After their stinging loss to Phoenix Pulse last Friday, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel rebounded by fending off the Alaska Aces, 118-106, in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Sunday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The defending champions pulled away late, unfurling a 17-6 scoring blitz – capped by an LA Tenorio three-pointer – en route to a 107-97 advantage with 2:57 remaining in the game. That proved to be the blow that downed the Aces.
“It’s a big difference from this game and the last game,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone. “We came out and played with a lot more fire. I thought last game, we kinda got lulled into sleep. But in this game, I think our guys buckled down.”
Justin Brownlee had 27 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks, and a steal to lead the Gin Kings.
This time around, the reigning Best Import also got plenty of support from the locals. New acquisition Stanley Pringle played his best game yet in a Ginebra uniform, producing 27 points, eight assists, and two steals.
“We tried to keep Stanley more involved in the second half, giving him some basic horn plays and some high screens. And [we] tried to use Justin and Stanley together down the stretch, and that created shots for LA,” Cone said.
Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar contributed 22 points apiece in the victory, which hiked Ginebra’s win-loss card to 5-4. The 6-foot-10 forward also collecting 10 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in a turnover-less game for him.
Chris Banchero had a career-high 29 points on top of four assists to lead Alaska, who have fallen to 4-5.
The Aces’ loss spoiled the return of Diamon Simpson, who has taken the import chores from Chris Daniels. The 6-foot-6 forward finished with 22 points, 22 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block in over 40 minutes of play.
The defending champions next take on sister team Magnolia Hotshots on Sunday, July 07, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Meanwhile, Alaska will face the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Saturday, July 06, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Ginebra 118 – Brownlee 27, Pringle 27, Tenorio 22, Aguilar 22, Devance 7, Thompson 6, Slaughter 4, Mariano 3, Caperal 0.
Alaska 106 – Banchero 29, Simpson 22, Manuel 18, Casio 9, Thoss 7, Teng 7, Enciso 6, Racal 3, Cruz 3, Exciminiano 2, Pascual 0, Ayaay 0.
Quarterscores: 34-32, 57-52, 88-80, 118-106
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