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PBA: Standhardinger go-ahead caps Ginebra rally from 18 down, eliminates SMB

Justin Brownlee and Christian Standhardinger connived as Ginebra frustrated San Miguel, 87-85, to sweep its way to yet another PBA Governors’ Cup Finals appearance, Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The three-time Best Import once again showed his willingness to make big plays for others, attracting the defense before dropping the pocket pass to the BPC frontrunner for the go-ahead bucket with exactly four seconds left to play.

Marcio Lassiter would miss his potential game-tying jumper on the other end, and the Kings went on to complete the comeback from as much as 18 down to become the first team to blank the Beermen in a best-of-5 series.

“It was designed for him [Brownlee] to be along the baseline and be at that drop position. But we’re not telling him to drive and then look for him. That’s really on Justin,” said head coach Tim Cone of the final play.

Now, Ginebra is bound for its fifth Governors’ Cup Finals trip since 2016, and will wait for either TNT or Meralco as its foe in the best-of-7 affair.

“If we go up against Meralco, it’s going to be like Meralco V or something? It’s like Shake, Rattle, and Roll. Remember? Shake, Rattle, and Roll 14,” quipped Cone. “But it’s always an incredible challenge going against coach Norman.

“And of course, Jojo [Lastimosa], my team captain for years and my assistant coach for years and having to go against him, it’s going to be really difficult because he knows me like the back of his hand,” he added.

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Brownlee actually struggled after going just 9-for-21 from the field, but still wound up with 22 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Barangay.

Scottie Thompson finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Standhardinger tallied his own double-double with 14 markers and 17 boards.

Jeremiah Gray supplied 13 points, none bigger than his triple with 1:51 left as it gave the Barangay the 83-82 lead. Jamie Malonzo added 12.

“To be honest, from a coaching standpoint, I was just wondering, do I pull our guys out and live to fight another day on Friday or do we keep going at it? That was my battle throughout the whole third and fourth quarter,” said Cone.

“But they just kept showing a will. I was looking for them to stop. I was looking for them to kind of, like, give up a little bit and they never did that. So I stayed with them,” he added. “And before you know it, we suddenly won the game.”

Cameron Clark, meanwhile, led San Miguel with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the collapse that ultimately led to the end of their season.

CJ Perez had 14 points while Lassiter added 13 in the loss that overshadowed the history he made, where he climbed up to solo sixth in the PBA’s all-time three-pointers made list, surpassing Dondon Hontiveros (1,137).

Also put to naught was Chris Ross’ achievement of becoming just the fourth player in league history to have at least 1,000 career steals after greats Bernie Fabiosa, Ramon Fernandez, and Johnny Abarrientos.

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The Scores:

Ginebra 87 – Brownlee 22, Thompson 17, Standhardinger 14, Gray 13, Malonzo 12, Pinto 4, Pessumal 3, Mariano 2, Pringle 0.

San Miguel 85 – Clark 16, Perez 14, Lassiter 13, Cruz 12, Enciso 11, Tautuaa 6, Herndon 6, Ross 5, Manuel 2.

Quarterscores: 17-16, 38-50, 58-70, 87-85.

Written By

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

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