The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel will be marching on to the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup semis after beating the NLEX Road Warriors, 111-75, on the night Jeff Chan reached 5,000 career points, Tuesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Chan only needed three points to hit the milestone, and he did so at the 10:13-mark of the second quarter to become the 91st player in league history to reach the feat. The Negros sniper finished with 12 points, five assists and three boards.
The Gin Kings have forged a Manila Clasico best-of-five semifinals affair with rivals Magnolia Hotshots.
“When Magnolia won earlier we knew we had to come out and make sure we got this one also. We really need to win,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone. “We got Magnolia next… We’re playing well, I hope we can sustain it.”
Japeth Aguilar led the two-time defending champs with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Greg Slaughter had 16 markers. Justin Brownlee posted his second straight triple-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
The Gin Kings pulled away in the third canto after allowing the opposition to knock within four multiple times. From a narrow 59-55 lead, Ginebra closed out the quarter with a 17-7 blitz en route to a commanding 76-62 advantage.
The crowd darlings would go on to lead by as many as 36, 109-73, after a Prince Caperal trey with 1:34 left to play.
Import Aaron Fuller was the only Road Warrior to finish in double figures with 25 points, along with 12 boards and four dimes. JR Quiñahan and Philip Paniamogan each had nine markers on a combined 6-of-16 shooting.
Ginebra 111 – J. Aguilar 18, Slaughter 16, Mercado 14, Brownlee 13, Chan 12, Mariano 8, Tenorio 7, Ferrer 7, Thompson 6, Caperal 5, R. Aguilar 3, Manuel 2.
NLEX 75 – Fuller 25, Paniamogan 9, Quinahan 9, Galanza 7, Ighalo 6, Fonacier 5, Mallari 4, Rios 4, Monfort 3, Miranda 3, Taulava 0, Tiongson 0, Baguio 0, Tallo 0.
Quarterscores: 26-20, 50-36, 76-62, 111-75.