It was another chapter of the Manila Clasico rivalry between Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia, Sunday night.
Justin Brownlee himself has figured in a few Manila Clasico battles before, and he shone bright again by churning out a new career-high of 49 points along with 20 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Gin Kings to the 102-81 victory.
“Grabe si Justin. Siya yung nagbuhat sa second half sa kanila, so parang lahat nga, simula nung first half sobrang controlled namin. Pero nung second half, grabe si Justin,” conceded Hotshots point guard Mark Barroca.
“Parang yung scoring di na nastop, tuloy-tuloy na. ‘Di na namin napigilan.”
But for Barroca, this edition of the Manila Clasico was different from the past. And it’s because of Stanley Pringle.
Pringle, whom the Gin Kings acquired from a trade with NorthPort Batang Pier weeks ago, had his first taste of the rivalry Sunday. And he made sure to make an impact as he finished with 13 points, five assists, and four steals.
The league’s reigning scoring champion also had a hand in the Barangay’s third quarter pull away, where they unloaded a 23-4 scoring blitz to turn a three-point deficit to a wide 78-62 advantage seconds prior to the end of the frame.
“Iba na talaga yung Ginebra ngayon. [May] Pringle. Yung offense nila, ang laki ng improvement talaga. Kasi nandyan yung depensa nila eh. Nadagdagan lang talaga ng opensa, ’di katulad dati na nakakahelp kami,” Barroca said.
“Sobrang galing na talaga nila ngayon eh, yung spacing nila andoon na. Hopefully in the future alam na namin yung schemes na gagawin namin sa kanila.”
Sunday night’s loss marked Magnolia’s second straight after being one hot team in the conference with five consecutive wins. Barroca admitted that it’s tough, but their sights are now set on getting back on track right away.
The Hotshots (5-4) have a chance to do so on Wednesday versus the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
“Mabigat nga pero sabi nga namin kailangan manalo kahit isa lang muna. Kasi nga mahirap pag matalo pa kami ng Wednesday. So kami baka Wednesday lang muna yung talaga eh para makapasok ng top six,” Barroca said.
“Yun talaga yung goal namin. Pagka-pasok ng top six bahala na kung sino kalaban doon. Yun lang goal namin.”