PBA Philippine Cup

Cone ‘shocked’ but ‘happy’ as Ginebra rips Magnolia to reach PBA semis

Delfin Dioquino

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Cone ‘shocked’ but ‘happy’ as Ginebra rips Magnolia to reach PBA semis

DEUCE. Christian Standhardinger in action for Barangay Ginebra in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

A playoff clash tipped to be a nip-and-tuck affair turns into a blowout as Barangay Ginebra sends Magnolia packing behind Christian Standhardinger to claim its place in the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup

MANILA, Philippines – Not even Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone saw it coming.

A playoff clash tipped to be a nip-and-tuck affair turned into a blowout as the Gin Kings routed Magnolia, 99-77, to claim their place in the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, May 11.

Wielding a twice-to-beat shield after finishing the eliminations as the second seed, Ginebra leaned on the best scoring outing of Christian Standhardinger in a Gin Kings uniform to reach the final four for the fourth conference in a row.

“Totally shocked,” said Cone. “I’m shocked that this happened this quick and that we were able to beat them like we did.”

“I’m totally shocked that we played as well as we did and we were able to finish them tonight, honestly. And I’m really happy about it, I have to admit. Real happy. I didn’t want to play another knockout game with them.”

Although the Hotshots ended the eliminations as the No. 7 seed, they remained a force to be reckoned with owing to their rich playoff experience.

In fact, Magnolia just competed for the championship a couple of months ago when it pushed San Miguel to six games in the Commissioner’s Cup finals.

“They post a lot of danger. To me, they’re the most dangerous team out there outside of San Miguel. I know they’ve got a proven track record, their coach is playoff-tested,” said Cone.

But Standhardinger showed Cone he did not have to worry.

Standhardinger fired a season-high 36 points on top of 11 rebounds and 5 assists, showing the way for a balanced attack that saw all Ginebra starters finish in double-digit scoring.

Maverick Ahanmisi posted 16 points and 6 rebounds, Japeth Aguilar tallied 15 points, Scottie Thompson churned out 11 points, 10 assists, 7 steals, and 6 rebounds, while Ralph Cu netted 11 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds.

“I’m just trying to affect winning. That is why it is great to play with my teammates. Management and coach did a great job of getting good guys who are winners,” said Standhardinger.

Standhardinger already recorded 17 points at halftime as the Gin Kings built a 52-36 cushion then poured 12 more in the third quarter to help his side pull away for good, with their lead growing to its biggest at 99-73.

Ginebra now plays the waiting game as it battles the winner between Meralco and NLEX.

Mark Barroca paced the Hotshots with 19 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds, but he lacked sufficient help from the rest of the team, with only Aris Dionisio (10) ending up as the only other Magnolia player to score in twin digits.

Usual suspects Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang, and Calvin Abueva struggled from the field, combining for a woeful 7-of-27 shooting (26%).

Sangalang and Abueva chimed in 8 points apiece, while Lee got limited to just 6 points.

The Scores

Barangay Ginebra 99 – Standhardinger 26, Ahanmisi 16, J. Aguilar 12, Thompson 11, Cu 11, Pringle 6, Gumaru 3, Pinto 2, David 2, Onwubere 0, R.Aguilar 0, Pessumal 0, Tenorio 0, Murrell 0.

Magnolia 77 – Barroca 19, Dionisio 10, Sangalang 8, Tratter 8, Abueva 8, Mendoza 7, Lee 6, Laput 4, Balanza 3, Dela Rosa 2, Ahanmis 2, Reavis 0, Jalalon 0, Eriobu 0.

Quarters: 28-17, 52-36, 80-58, 99-77.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.