MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra has usually been the team that comes from behind.
But the Gin Kings were given a dose of their own medicine as they frittered away a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter and allowed TNT to clinch the top seed in the PBA Governors’ Cup via a 114-105 win on Friday, March 17.
It was a loss that resident Ginebra import Justin Brownlee felt the team could have avoided.
“We’re a veteran team so I think we should’ve been smarter and [committed] less turnovers. I think that’s ultimately what beat us,” said Brownlee.
The Gin Kings held the edge in field goal shooting (50% to 48%), rebounds (52 to 39), assists (25 to 20), and blocks (4 to 1), but coughed up 22 turnovers when the Tropang Giga recorded only half.
Five of those turnovers proved costly during the blistering 30-7 finishing run TNT deployed to erase the Gin Kings’ 98-84 lead early in the fourth period.
Ginebra almost reached the century mark through the first three quarters with 93 points, only to score just 12 in the final frame, with 7 points coming from Brownlee.
“I think overall we did a great job, but just the last portion of the fourth quarter, it really hurt us,” said Brownlee. “I think our focus went down a bit and Talk ‘N Text did a really good job taking advantage of it.”
The loss not only snapped the Gin Kings’ five-game winning streak, it also denied the team from nailing the top seed.
Instead of being No. 1 and facing No. 8 Phoenix, Ginebra slipped to No. 3 with an 8-3 record and will go up against No. 6 NLEX on Sunday, March 19, at the Araneta Coliseum.
Brownlee, though, said the Gin Kings still accomplished their mission of securing a twice-to-beat advantage, which will come in handy for the quarterfinals.
“At this point it doesn’t matter who we play. Whether it’s the No. 8, seventh, sixth, fifth, whatever,” he said. “At this point, any game we play, or any team we play, it’s not going be easy.”
“Whoever it is, we’re just expecting a tough matchup.” – Rappler.com
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