PBA Governors' Cup

Ginebra clobbers stunned TNT by 20 points to gain PBA semis spot

Delfin Dioquino
Ginebra clobbers stunned TNT by 20 points to gain PBA semis spot

VETERAN. LA Tenorio steps up big for Barangay Ginebra in its semifinal-clinching win over TNT.

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LA Tenorio leads Ginebra's same set of suspects as the Gin Kings disarm TNT of its twice-to-beat advantage

MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra overcame a twice-to-beat disadvantage and stunned TNT, 115-95, to earn its semifinal berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, March 19.

Justin Brownlee impressed across the board with 29 points, 18 rebounds, and 7 assists as the same suspects from the Gin Kings’ inspired Game 1 victory proved to be a thorn in the side of the Tropang Giga anew.

Scottie Thompson once again shone for Ginebra with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists, while Japeth Aguilar punished TNT with 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

It was LA Tenorio, though, who ended up as the big difference maker for the Gin Kings as he churned out 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists after finishing with only 7 points in the quarterfinal opener.

The Tropang Giga appeared to have rediscovered the formula in beating Ginebra like they did thrice earlier in the season after taking a 29-25 first-quarter lead but fizzled out in the ensuing period.

In a dominant offensive display, the quartet of Brownlee, Tenorio, Thompson, and Aguilar combined for 32 of their 34 second-quarter points as the Gin Kings flipped the switch on TNT and seized a 59-48 edge.

That lead then grew to as big as 23 points behind a 16-4 run powered by Brownlee and Aguilar, 75-52, and Ginebra coasted to the runaway victory.

Although the Tropang Giga narrowed the gap to 13 points early in the final salvo, the Gin Kings eventually restored order and brought their lead back to 23 off an Aguilar alley-oop slam with three minutes left, 112-89.

Christian Standhardinger also scored in twin digits for Ginebra with 10 points, while John Pinto added 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in the win.

While the Gin Kings shot from all cylinders, finishing the game with a scintillating 55% clip from the field, it did not help TNT that it replaced its import from Aaron Fuller to Leon Gilmore at such a crucial time.

The Tropang Giga missed the vaunted inside presence of the injured Fuller as Gilmore finished with only 14 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Star guard Mikey Williams struggled in the loss as well, chalking up a team-high 17 points on 16 shots.

The Scores

Barangay Ginebra 115 – Brownlee 29, Aguilar 26, Tenorio 22, Thompson 17, Standhardinger 10, Pinto 7, Chan 4, Ayaay 0, Enriquez 0, Caperal 0.

TNT 95 – M. Williams 17, Gilmore 14, Castro 12, Erram 11, K. Williams 10, Pogoy 9, Rosario 7, Khobuntin 5, Montalbo 4, Cruz 3, Reyes 3, Marcelo 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.

Quarters: 25-29, 59-48, 96-74, 115-95.

– 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.