Ginebra dashed the Top Four aspirations of a free-falling Converge following a 120-101 blowout to further strengthen its own chances in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Sunday night at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
The Kings turned it up in the second and third quarters, eventually cruising to their fourth straight win to hike their win-loss record to 7-2 and join San Miguel Beer at the second spot of the standings currently topped by TNT (8-1).
“It’s been really crazy for us. And the fact that these guys keep finding a way in reaching deep, it’s been amazing to watch,” said head coach Tim Cone.
Starring yet again for the reigning champions were Jamie Malonzo, Christian Standhardinger, and Justin Brownlee as the trio combined for 85 points.
Malonzo finished with a conference-high 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field, together with eight rebounds, five assists, and a steal.
Standhardinger produced 28 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and three steals, while three-time Best Import Brownlee turned in the same amount of points alongside 10 boards, seven dimes, a steal, and two blocks.
Jeremiah Gray provided impact as well with a 16-5-4 statline for Ginebra, who mauled a side that received practically nothing from Jamaal Franklin.
Easily one of the conference’s most prolific scorers, the former NBA cager only shot five attempts and tallied four points — that, after coming off a 57-point triple-double in the FiberXers’ loss to Meralco just last Friday.
Franklin was already subbed out still with about five minutes remaining in the game, ending the night and leaving many mystified with his outing.
“We were a little bit surprised that Franklin wasn’t as aggressive as he’s been in the past,” said Cone. “That’s not our issue – our issue is to go out and win the basketball game. We’re just going to go out there and try to win.”
Maverick Ahanmisi took the scoring cudgels instead as he finished with 24 points and eight rebounds to lead Converge, who ended its elimination round campaign with three straight losses for a 6-5 record.
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
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.