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PBA: Ginebra gets past scrappy Northport, sets up Clasico semis


Ginebra got past a gritty NorthPort, 99-93, to sweep its way to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semis, Saturday night at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Justin Brownlee, Scottie Thompson, and LA Tenorio joined hands in a 10-0 run for a 97-85 lead with 2:40 left, though the Kings still needed a bit of luck to escape the Batang Pier and complete the comeback from a sluggish start.

Champions of the 2018 edition, the crowd darlings have set up a Manila Clasico semis against the 2-seed Magnolia beginning next week.

“I’m concerned because we didn’t play all that well tonight and we can’t play that well against… If we play like that against Magnolia, it’s not going to be much of a Clasico. We got to really pick it up,” said head coach Tim Cone.

Brownlee led Ginebra with 20 points and nine rebounds. Scottie Thompson made 15 points, nine rebounds, and nine rebounds, flirting with yet another triple-double in an outing that also saw him collect two steals and a block.

Tenorio supplied 14 points on four three-pointers as he tied two-time MVP James Yap at no. 3 in the league’s all-time triples made list.

His treys were important in the comeback. He made two during the Kings’ 11-0 run to take a 65-56 lead in the third, while his fourth and last one capped off the aforementioned 10-0 run for the much-needed separation.

“He was struggling the whole game and then all of a sudden, he just kind of turned a switch and bam bam bam,” said Cone of Tenorio, who iced the game with free throws. “That’s LA. He has those big games, big moments.”

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Jamie Malonzo once again gave his former team problems with 14 points and a game-high four steals, while another ex-NorthPort star Christian Standhardinger contributed 13 markers and eight boards off the bench.

On the other hand, former Ginebra sniper Jeff Chan finished with 20 points, five rebounds, and six assists to lead the Batang Pier in the loss.

Wingers Arvin Tolentino and Kevin Ferrer provided 18 points apiece, while Robert Bolick supplied 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

NorthPort had to play without top rookie William Navarro in the second half of the contest after suffering a knee injury during the first quarter. He left the venue during halftime as he went to the hospital to undergo MRI scanning.

The Scores:

Barangay Ginebra 99 – Brownlee 20, Thompson 15, Tenorio 14, Malonzo 14, Standhardinger 13, Pringle 10, Gray 9, J.Aguilar 4, Mariano 0.

NorthPort 93 – Chan 20, Tolentino 18, Ferrer 18, Bolick 13, Navarro 10, Ibeh 7, Sumang 5, Balanza 2, Taha 0, Calma 0, Caperal 0.

Quarterscores: 13-29, 43-47, 72-66, 99-93.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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