BARANGAY Ginebra cruised to a 120-101 win over Converge and denied the FiberXers a Top 4 finish in the PBA Governors' Cup at the Philsports Arena on Sunday.
The Kings won for the third straight game and tied idle San Miguel at second place as the reigning champions continue to climb up the standings in the homestretch of the eliminations.
Overshadowed by the blowout win was the sudden dip in the play of Converge import Jamaal Franklin, who was held to just four points and attempted just five times in 35 minutes of play.
The figures were a far cry from Franklin's season-high 57 points in the team's 132-139 loss to Meralco just last Friday.
The explosive import leads the league in scoring with 37.3 points per game average.
"Better ask them. It's not me," said Ginebra coach Tim Cone when asked about the odd performance of the usually prolific Converge import.
With Franklin failing to put up his usual numbers, the Kings were quick to take advantage, taking a 64-55 lead at the break and a 93-78 spread by the end of the third quarter, which saw the Converge import not taking a single attempt.
Jamie Malonzo had a career-high 29 points, including 22 in the first half to go with eight rebounds and five assists, while Justin Brownlee and Christian Standhardinger each had a double-double of 28 points with 10 and 12 rebounds, respectively.
"We knew this one is a big game in terms of taking us over the hump and getting to the Top 4," said Cone. "I think officially we still have to get one of our next two to qualify to the Top 4."
All-Star snub Maverick Ahanmisi carried the load for Converge with 24 points, spiked by five three-pointers with Franklin refusing to take shots. Jeron Teng added 12 and rookie big man Justin Arana and David Murell had 11 each.
The loss relegated Converge to the lower half of standings entering the playoffs, where it needs to win twice against its seeded opponent to advance to its first semifinals appearance.
Ginebra (120) -- Malonzo 29, Brownlee 28, Standhardinger 28, Gray 16, Thompson 5, Pinto 4, R.Aguilar 4, Pringle 3, Onwubere 3, Pessumal 0, Dillinger 0.
Converge (101) -- Ahanmisi 24, Teng 12, Murrell 11, Arana 11, Stockton 10, Tratter 9, Racal 7, Balanza 7, Franklin 4, Ebona 3, Tolomia 3.
Quarterscores: 29-24; 64-55; 93-78; 120-101.