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MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra started life without Justin Brownlee in style, nailing a come-from-behind 100-86 win over Converge in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, November 17.
Tony Bishop adeptly filled the void left by three-time Best Import awardee Brownlee with 34 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks to steer the Gin Kings to a triumphant Season 48 debut.
Christian Standhardinger also starred with 25 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 assists as Ginebra reasserted its mastery over the FiberXers, remaining the only PBA team that Converge has yet to beat.
The Gin Kings emerged victorious despite dealing with the absence of Brownlee, who is provisionally suspended by the International Testing Agency as he failed a doping test after leading Gilas Pilipinas to the Asian Games crown.
With Brownlee out, Ginebra brought in Bishop, who previously reinforced Meralco when it lost to the Gin Kings for the 2021 Governors’ Cup title.
That proved to be an excellent choice as Bishop delivered on both ends, joining hands with Standhardinger to drag the Gin Kings out of a nine-point hole in the first half en route to the convincing 14-point win.
Maverick Ahanmisi tallied 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals in his Ginebra debut against his former team Converge, which absorbed its third loss in as many games.
Justin Arana paced the FiberXers with 20 points and 8 rebounds.
Barangay Ginebra 100 – Bishop 34, Standhardinger 25, Thompson 13, J.Aguilar 11, Pringle 8, Ahanmisi 7, Pinto 2, Pessumal 0, Cu 0, Gumaru 0.
Converge 86 – Arana 20, Vodanovich 13, Balanza 13, Zaldivar 9, Nieto 7, Melecio 7, Stockton 6, Winston 5, Caralipio 3, Racal 3, Wong 0, Fornilos 0, Maagdenberg 0, Tallo 0.
Quarters: 25-30, 54-52, 80-67, 100-86.