MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra redeemed itself from back-to-back blowout defeats with a lopsided win of its own to level the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals against San Miguel.
Thrashed by an average of 31.5 points in the past two contests, the Gin Kings returned the favor by quashing the Beermen, 130-100, in Game 4 of the best-of-7 series at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, August 3.
The win was a double celebration for Justin Brownlee after nabbing his first Best Import of the Conference plum – besting pal and San Miguel reinforcement Renaldo Balkman.
And in Game 4, Brownlee showed why he deserved the individual honor after leading the Gin Kings with 37 points on a stellar 15-of-18 clip to go with 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks and two steals.
Ginebra rode on a blistering 17-0 start – powered by 8 points from LA Tenorio – and never looked back as it saw its lead swell to as large as 38 points in the payoff period.
Greg Slaughter backstopped Brownlee with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks, Joe Devance chalked up 18 points and 5 rebounds and LA Tenorio added 17 points and 6 assists.
Scottie Thompson made his presence felt with 7 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and two steals while Sol Mercado and Japeth Aguilar conjoined for 17 points and 7 assists in the win.
June Mar Fajardo won his 7th Best Player of the Conference award and joined the 5,000-point club but the night did not go exactly his way as the Beermen failed to notch a commanding 3-1 lead.
Arwind Santos paced San Miguel with 22 points while Fajardo added 15 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Game 5 is on Sunday, August 5, at the same venue.
Ginebra (130): Brownlee 37, Slaughter 19, Devance 18, Tenorio 17, Mercado 9, Aguilar 8, Thompson 7, Caperal 7, Chan 4, Mariano 2, Manuel 2, Caguioa 0, Cruz 0, Ferrer 0
San Miguel (100): Santos 22, Fajardo 15, Standhardinger 15, Balkman 14, Cabagnot 13, Nabong 6, Lassiter 4, Pessumal 4, Heruela 3, Ross 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Mamaril 0
Quarter scores: 39-21, 67-52, 97-75, 130-100
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.