Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia hacked out convincing wins in their respective PBA Commissioner’s Cup matches at the PhilSports Arena Sunday, November 27.
Ginebra demolished NorthPort Batang Pier, 122-105, in a strong fourth-quarter finish to bounce back from a heartbreaking 117-120 overtime loss to the NLEX Road Warriors in their November 25 clash.
Thus the Kings, currently toting an 8-3 win-loss card, kept their hopes alive for a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.
Barangay Ginebra Justin Brownlee
Leading 93-92 after three periods, the Justin Brownlee-led Kings rallied past the Batang Pier, 29-13, in the last quarter to share the third spot of the team standings with Converge FiberXers before their matchup on Wednesday, November 30.
Brownlee scored 31 points with 13 rebounds and nine assists as teammates Jamie Malonzo and Christian Standhardinger added 26 and 20 points, respectively. The latter also grabbed 13 boards and issued seven assists.
With just a one-point lead Barely ahead at 93-92 after three quarters, Justin Brownlee and his teammates pummeled the Batang Pier, 29-13, in the final canto and thus pulled off the win that sent them to joint third with the Converge FiberXers ahead of their virtual playoff duel Wednesday in the same venue.
A Ginebra win would help the Kings salvage the second spot if the Magnolia Hotshots lose to Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at the close of Friday’s single-round-robin eliminations.
But should Magnolia win, it will join league-leader Bay Area Dragons with the twice-to-beat incentive in the quarters.
NorthPort, for its part, ended the elims with a 6-6 card following its loss to Ginebra, which snapped their three-game winning streak.
The 6-5 San Miguel grabbed the solo fifth.
Magnolia Paul Lee
Magnolia, meanwhile, crushed Meralco Bolts, 108-96, via a third-quarter surge led by Paul Lee.
He fired 11 of his 27 points, leading the Hotshots’ balanced attack in the third canto and outscoring the Bolts, 47-23, to take a 93-74 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Magnolia was unfazed by import Nico Rakocevic’s foul woes, stretching their lead to 21 points twice and fending off the Bolts’ fightback attempts.
Hotshots deputy coach Jason Webb, who subbed for head coach Chito Victolero in a post-game presser, said, “Our destiny is in our hands. We’ve got two games, we’ve handled Game One today, and on Friday if we handled that the same way we did today then we get a bit of an advantage for the quarterfinals.”
Lee’s teammates Rakocevic, Mark Barroca, Ian Sangalang, Jio Jalalon, Rome dela Rosa, and Calvin Abueva also made their presence felt.
Abueva had 17 points and five rebounds while Rakocevic made 16 markers and 20 boards, Jalalon with 12 points and five steals, and Sangalang and Barroca each scored identical 11 points.
KJ McDaniels led the scoring for the Bolts, hitting 32 points on top of nine rebounds and four assists as Aaron Black added 16 and Bong Quinto with 14.
The Box Score:
Ginebra 122 – Brownlee 31, Malonzo 26, Standhardinger 20, Gray 12, Thompson 8, J.Aguilar 7, Pringle 7, Mariano 6, Tenorio 3, Pinto 2.
NorthPort 105 – Tolentino 24, Ibeh 23, Bolick 22, Navarro 11, Chan 10, Ferrer 8, Balanza 4, Taha 3, Sumang 0.
Quarters: 27-34, 63-63, 93-92, 122-105
Magnolia 108 – Lee 27, Abueva 17, Rakocevic 16, Jalalon 12, Sangalang 11, Barroca 11, Dela Rosa 6, Ahanmisi 3, Reavis 2, Corpuz 2, Laput 1, Wong 0, Dionisio 0.
Meralco 96 – McDaniels 32, Black 16, Quinto 14, Banchero 11, Johnson 9, Almazan 8, Caram 2, Hodge 2, Pascual 2, Maliksi 0, Hugnatan 0, Pasaol 0, Jose 0.
Quarters: 27-21, 46-51, 93-74, 108-96.