Once more tormenting their arch-rivals, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel continued to prove bane to the Meralco Bolts.
The Gin Kings finished off the Orangemen, 104-90, in Game Two of their 2018 Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal series to book the second semifinal seat, Tuesday evening at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings remain the hottest team in the league as they have now won their second straight game.
“Coming into the semis with a seven-game winning streak, it’s a blessing and a curse at the same time,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone. “A blessing because we have momentum. A curse because we have to calm down soon.”
This will now be their second straight semis trip in the mid-season joust. Ginebra will wait for the winner of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters-GlobalPort Batang Pier series tomorrow, July 12, to determine their opponents.
“To be able to sit and watch Rain or Shine play GlobalPort tomorrow… We’ll start preparing and hopefully we get to the next phase after,” said Cone.
Justin Brownlee shone the brightest for the Gin Kings with 36 points – 24 in the first half alone – on 14-of-19 shooting on top of nine assists, six rebounds, and three steals. Greg Slaughter provided 14 points and 10 boards.
Ginebra had to repel Meralco before coming out as winners. They once had a 17-point lead with 10:14 to go in the fourth quarter, but the Bolts unleashed a 14-3 spree to knock within striking distance, 81-87, with 4:52 remaining.
It proved to be their last gasp, however, as LA Tenorio’s triple and Brownlee’s tomahawk slam sparked Ginebra’s 9-0 rally and restored order in the Barangay, 96-83, with 2:59 left. Ginebra never looked back from there.
“That for me was the game,” said Cone of that Brownlee dunk.
Tenorioo finished with 11 points and five assists in the win. Japeth Aguilar – who apparently sprained his ankle late in the fourth quarter, after being inadvertently hit as he and others scrambled for the ball – had 10 points and four caroms.
Arinze Onuaku led the eliminated side with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Chris Newsome had 17 points, four boards, and four dimes, while Baser Amer and Reynel Hugnatan chipped in 11 and 10 markers, respectively.
Ginebra 104 – Brownlee 36, Slaughter 14, Tenorio 11, Aguilar 10, Mercado 9, Devance 8, Thompson 4, Ferrer 2, Caguioa 2, Mariano 0, Manuel 0.
Meralco 90 – Onuaku 21, Newsome 17, Amer 11, Hugnatan 10, Caram 6, Dillinger 6, De Ocampo 6, Hodge 6, Lanete 3, Baracael 2, Canaleta 2, Ballesteros 0, Bono 0, Salva 0.
Quarterscores: 24-28, 56-51, 79-65, 104-90.