Johnson proved a thorn in the side of the ballclub he played for during the 2015 Governors’ Cup, scoring 23 points in the second half alone as the Beermen got back on track and improved to a 4-3 win-loss record.
The high-scoring import flirted with a triple-double after adding 10 rebounds and eight assists, bouncing back from a lackluster debut with the Beermen when he tallied a PBA career-low 12 points in a loss to TNT last Wednesday.
CJ Perez also had a big night, finishing with 23 points to send Barangay Ginebra to its fourth consecutive loss and alarmingly below .500 on a 3-4 record.
San Miguel also spoiled the 40-point effort of Justin Brownlee.
“I’m happy to see him now playing the expectations we are looking for from him. Nag-take charge siya,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria on Johnson.
Johnson scored 10 in SMB’s 38-point third quarter and combined with Perez in a 7-0 run to close the period that gave the Beermen an 86-73 lead.
Ginebra got within six points, 97-91, on a dunk by Japeth Aguilar but Johnson drained a three to bring the lead back to nine with five minutes left.
Johnson then sealed the win with a jumper over Brownlee with 45.7 seconds left, 110-100.
Marcio Lassiter and June Mar Fajardo also had valuable contributions on offense to finish with 13 points apiece for the Beermen.
Arvin Tolentino had 14 points including four threes, while Aguilar had 14 including a few highlight dunks for an injury-riddled Gin Kings side thst continues to miss the presence of Stanley Pringle.
San Miguel will next face Phoenix on Wednesday, as Ginebra goes up against NLEX on Friday.
San Miguel 110 – Johnson 31, Perez 23, Fajardo 13, Lassiter 13, Romeo 9, Manuel 8, Tautuaa 7, Ross 6, Brondial 0.
Barangay Ginebra 102 – Brownlee 40, Tolentino 14, J. Aguilar 14, Tenorio 13, Standhardinger 8, Thompson 7, Pinto 6, Caperal 0.
Quarters: 20-24; 48-46; 86-73; 110-102.
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