Magnolia draws first blood vs Ginebra in Clasico semis

JR Isaga
Romeo Travis and Paul Lee take charge as the Hotshots take a 1-0 semis lead over the Gin Kings




TANGLED. Magnolia's Rodney Brondial dispute the ball with Ginebra's Justin Brownlee and Aljon Mariano during the first of the best-of-five Manila Clasico semis. Photo by PBA Images


ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines – The Magnolia Hotshots held off Barangay Ginebra’s late charge, 106-98, to take the opener of their best-of-five Manila Clasico semifinals in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center here on Saturday, November 10. 

Romeo Travis powered the Hotshots with 37 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists and Paul Lee also came through the clutch to finish with 27 points – including 9 in the payoff period – on an 11-of-19 shooting clip. 

The Hotshots were in control for much of the 2nd half, leading by 10, 86-76, heading into the 4th frame.

However, after a series of free throws and technicals, defending champion Ginebra got within two, 91-93, off a fastbreak layup from a streaking Kevin Ferrer with 4:48 left in regulation.

Magnolia calmly charged back and took an eight-point lead at the 1:57 mark, 101-93, ending with a really tough Lee spin move.

Lee then drove home the dagger with an and-one layup, 106-56, with 56 ticks left in the game. 

Fan favorite Justin Brownlee paced Ginebra with 37 points plus 14 rebounds and 8 assists while Japeth Aguilar chipped in 18 points and 6 boards. 

The Scores

Magnolia 106 – Travis 37, Lee 27, Melton 11, Sangalang 7, Barroca 6, Dela Rosa 6, Jalalon 5, Pascual 4, Herndon 3, Brondial 0, Reavis 0.

Barangay Ginebra 98 – Brownlee 37, Aguilar 18, Tenorio 13, Slaughter 8, Thompson 7, Chan 5, Mariano 4, Ferrer 4, Mercado 2.

Quarters: 31-39, 63-55, 86-76, 106-98.