MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra banked on a terrific 21-4 finishing kick to outlast Rain or Shine in a seesaw 104-93 win in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, March 6.
Import Justin Brownlee frolicked with 25 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals as the Gin Kings came back from a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter to clinch their quarterfinals berth.
Enduring a four-game skid in the middle of the conference, Ginebra concluded the elimination round by winning three of its last four games to finish with a 6-5 record.
But that almost did not happen as the Elasto Painters, already eliminated from playoff contention, sought to spoil the Gin Kings’ quarterfinals pursuit.
Rain or Shine led by 6 points multiple times in the fourth quarter, the last time coming off a Jewel Ponferada three-pointer, 89-83, with eight minutes remaining.
Brownlee, though, immediately answered with an and-one play to trim their deficit to a single possession before Jeff Chan knotted the score for Ginebra at 89-89 with a booming triple.
Those 6 points opened the floodgates for the Gin Kings, who then erected a 9-0 run, with 4 points each coming from Brownlee and Scottie Thompson.
Chan, who tallied 15 points, then sank another long bomb with two minutes left as Ginebra built a 101-91 lead and Rain or Shine never recovered.
Thompson also netted 15 points to go with 12 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals, while Christian Standhardinger backstopped Brownlee in scoring with 20 points off the bench.
More than his scoring production, Standhardinger also played a key role in the abrupt exit of Henry Walker after forcing the Elasto Painters import to commit an offensive foul – his last – with two minutes remaining.
It was a nip-and-tuck affair from start to finish as the two teams traded leads at the end of each quarter.
Rain or Shine led 23-20 after the first period, Ginebra seized a 50-41 advantage at halftime, before the Elasto Painters entered the final quarter with a 77-73 lead.
Walker chalked up 34 points and 8 rebounds in the loss as Rain or Shine wrapped up its Governors’ Cup campaign at 10th place with a 3-8 record.
The Elasto Painters failed to advance to the playoffs for the first time since the 2018 edition of the season-ending conference.
Barangay Ginebra 104 – Brownlee 25, Standhardinger 20, Thompson 15, Chan 15, J. Aguilar 10, Tenorio 9, Pinto 6, Onwubere 4, Tolentino 0.
Rain or Shine 93 – Walker 34, Caracut 12, Belga 12, Mocon 8, Borboran 7, Ponferada 7, Nieto 5, Nambatac 4, Guinto 2, Norwood 2, Jackson 0, Asistio 0, Torres 0.
Quarters: 20-23, 50-41, 73-77, 104-93.