Barangay Ginebra San Miguel have moved a win away from the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals after edging the Magnolia Hotshots, 85-79, in Game One of the quarterfinals Saturday night at SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Justin Brownlee broke the 77-all deadlock with a big three-pointer with 4:41 remaining in the game, before Stanley Pringle and Greg Slaughter joined hands inside the final 2:44 to apply the finishing touches in the victory.
The Gin Kings finished the game with an 8-2 scoring blitz en route to seizing the 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
Ginebra head coach Tim Cone, however, was not that upbeat despite the victory, saying, “As much as we won, it feels like a loss because we weren’t able to play the game we wanted to play at all. But credit their defense.”
Brownlee finished with 20 points — this, after scoring a total of 99 points in their last two games in the eliminations — along with 16 rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block in over 45 minutes to lead the crowd favorites.
Pringle had 18 points, four rebounds, and two assists in his first playoff win with Ginebra. Japeth Aguilar supplied 14 points, five rebounds, two blocks, and an assist, while LA Tenorio chimed in 11 markers and four steals.
Paul Lee finished with 24 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals to set the pace for Magnolia.
Rakeem Christmas has seemingly regained his bearings, bouncing back from an eight-point in their loss to TNT KaTropa last Wednesday by producing 18 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists in the 40 minutes he played.
“Breaks of the game. Very good game. That’s what we want: a close game so we have a chance in the end. But [Ginebra] executed very well in the last two minutes. Maganda execution,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.
Game Two is on Tuesday, July 23, 4:30 PM.at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Ginebra 85 – Brownlee 20, Pringle 18, Aguilar 14, Tenorio 11, Devance 6, Thompson 6, Slaughter 6, Caguioa 4, Mariano 0.
Magnolia 79 – Lee 24, Christmas 18, Barroca 11, Sangalang 10, Dela Rosa 5, Jalalon 5, Simon 4, Reavis 2, Gamalinda 0, Ramos 0, Melton 0, Pingris 0, Brondial 0.
Quarterscores: 26-23, 48-44, 66-60, 85-79.
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