MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra turned the Manila Clasico into a bloodbath by blasting Magnolia, 104-84, to win back-to-back games for the first time in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, June 17.
Justin Brownlee delivered 35 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists as the Gin Kings reasserted their mastery over the Hotshots for the 7th straight time in an elimination-round game.
LA Tenorio chipped in 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists while Greg Slaughter added 12 points and 14 rebounds for Ginebra, which avoided being in a tough spot in the playoff race by improving to 3-5.
The Hotshots led by a whisker midway through the 3rd quarter, 55-54, before the Gin Kings turned the tides with an 11-2 run, powered by Slaughter's 6 points, for a 65-57 lead.
Ginebra ended the period with back-to-back triples from Brownlee and Tenorio to head into the last frame with a 79-65 cushion.
Magnolia would only get to as close at 11 points in the 4th quarter as Ginebra's lead swelled to as large as 24 points, 102-78, off a Japeth Aguilar dunk and a Joe Devance jumper.
"We picked tonight to play our best game of the conference, obviously. We're getting a little bit more comfortable and back to where we were with Justin, and I think we're just feeling a lot better," said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.
Aguilar finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds while Scottie Thompson made his presence felt in the win with 8 points, 11 rebounds and two assists.
The Hotshots trailed 25-17 after the maiden period before regaining their bearings and scoring 10 straight points for a 32-31 lead. The first half ended in a 44-all deadlock.
Justin Jackson paced Magnolia, which fell to a 4-5 card, with 21 points, 15 rebounds and 4 assists while Jio Jalalon had 17 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists.
Paul Lee and Mark Barroca wound up with 16 and 13 points, respectively, in the loss.
Ginebra (104): Brownlee 35, Tenorio 22, Slaughter 12, Aguilar J. 11, Thompson 8, Ferrer 6, Devance 4, Mercado 4, Manuel 2, Caguioa 0, Cruz 0, Taha 0, Caperal 0, Aguilar R. 0
Magnolia (84): Jackson 21, Jalalon 17, Lee 16, Barroca 13, Brondial 6, Dela Rosa 4, Melton 3, Reavis 2, Pascual 2, Ramos 0, Herndon 0
Quarter scores: 25-17; 44-44; 79-65; 104-84
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.