MANILA, Philippines – No team is left unbeaten in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup as Barangay Ginebra sent Magnolia crashing back to earth with a 103-97 comeback win at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, October 23.
Justin Brownlee came through with a bunch of clutch plays for the Gin Kings, who completed their fightback from 15 points down before a mammoth crowd of 12,087 to halt the Hotshots’ scorching start of five straight wins.
Brownlee finished with 26 points, 12 assists, 8 rebounds, and 5 blocks as he took charge in the endgame with the go-ahead bucket, a crucial block, and the win-sealing free throws.
The two-time Best Import drained a tough jump shot to give Ginebra a 99-97 lead with 1:20 minutes left then blocked the potential game-tying layup by Nick Rakocevic on the other end.
After sorry misses from Rakocevic and Calvin Abueva, Brownlee iced the victory by sinking all of his four foul shots in the final 20 seconds as the Gin Kings stopped another undefeated squad.
Ginebra was also the first team to beat foreign squad Bay Area, which opened the conference with a 4-0 record before the Dragons lost to the Gin Kings two weeks ago.
Scottie Thompson put up 14 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds in the win as he helped anchor their comeback by scattering 9 points in the final quarter.
Thompson scored 4 straight points for a 95-93 edge, while Jamie Malonzo converted an acrobatic layup to pad the Ginebra lead and Magnolia never gained control of the game again.
“I think we just made a run and the fans went wild,” said Thompson as the Gin Kings outscored the Hotshots 30-14 in the fourth period. “The cheers from the fans boosted our energy. We’re thankful for our sixth man.”
Malonzo tallied a double-double of 18 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 steals, while Christian Standhardinger put up 14 points and 9 rebounds off the bench.
Japeth Aguilar added 13 points and 6 rebounds as Ginebra beat Magnolia for the first time since the 2019 Governors’ Cup after four straight losses in the famed Clasico.
“It was a typical a never-say-die Ginebra game in the 1990s in my opinion. I remember those. I remember being on the other side of those teams, when I was losing to those teams,” said Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone.
“So it is great to be on this side.”
Paul Lee fired a conference-high 22 points, with 15 coming in the first half as the Hotshots entered the break with a 53-41 cushion.
Magnolia maintained that double-digit lead at the end of the third quarter, 83-73, before Ginebra opened the final canto with a 16-6 blitz capped by back-to-back Standhardinger buckets to knot the score.
Rakocevic netted 21 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals in the losing cause.
Barangay 103 – Brownlee 26, Malonzo 18, Thompson 14, Standhardinger 14, J.Aguilar 13, Pringle 6, Tenorio 5, Mariano 3, Gray 3, Pessumal 1, Pinto 0.
Magnolia 97 – Lee 22, Rakocevic 21, Sangalang 13, Ahanmisi 11, Jalalon 11, Abueva 6, Barroca 5, Dionisio 3, Dela Rosa 2, Reavis 2, Wong 1.
Quarters: 20-24, 41-53, 73-83, 103-97.