Kings thwart E-Painters, go 2-1
Scottie Thompson of Barangay Ginebra controls the leather in an aerial battle with Reginald Johnson of Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal game last night at the Mall of Asia Arena. Joey Mendoza
MANILA, Philippines — Justin Brownlee came out as Mr. Everything for Barangay Ginebra, running a virtual one-man show as the Gin Kings smothered the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 75-72, to move on the brink of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals at the MOA Arena in Pasay City last night.
Brownlee fired 25 points to outscore the entire Rain or Shine team in the first half and played relentlessly, providing the life-saver in many an ROS fightback in the second half as the Kings took the crucial win and the pivotal 2-1 lead over the E-Painters in their best-of-five semifinal showdown.
The two-time Ginebra champion import exploded for a PBA career second-best total of 44 points on a sizzling 14-of-19 field-goal shooting as the Kings sprang back from a 100-109 loss in Game Two.
“We’d got to go early and be aggressive. We hit a good rhythm and luckily got the win tonight,” said Brownlee on his scintillating game he also marked with 15 rebounds, six assists, five steals and one block against six turnovers.
“(But the series is) is still difficult. Rain or Shine is a tough team. They never give up. Hopefully, we start well and finish well in the next game,” Brownlee also said.
The two teams clash again at 7 p.m. tomorrow over at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with the Gin Kings taking their first of two shots at winning the series.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer takes its second shot at disposing of Alaska Milk in their own semis series at 6:30 p.m. tonight, also at the Big Dome.
Brownlee powered the Kings to a 25-point lead in the first half, but the E-Painters refused to give up and just ran out of time in their final comeback bid at the finish.
Rain or Shine actually could have forced an overtime play but James Yap muffed two three-point tries in the last six seconds.
It was a great fightback for the E-Painters after struggling with a woeful 6-of-35 shooting for 23 points in the first half – a second all-time low for the Asian Coating Inc. franchise.
The Kings allowed the E-Painters get back into the fight with only Brownlee practically doing everything for his team.
Ginebra 75 – Brownlee 44, Tenorio 13, Slaughter 8, Ferrer 3, Chan 3, J. Aguilar 2, Devance 2, Mercado 0, Thompson 0, Caguioa 0.
ROS 72 – Johnson 13, Almazan 12, Daquioag 11, Yap 9, Tiu 6, Nambatac 6, Belga 6, Ahanmisi 5, Norwood 2, Washington 2, Ponferada 0, Borboran 0, Torres 0.
Quarterscores: 24-10; 45-23; 61-41; 75-72