MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone felt for NLEX counterpart Frankie Lim after the Gin Kings gave the import-less Road Warriors the boot to reach the semifinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup.
NLEX played without Wayne Selden as the former NBA player suffered a midfoot sprain and witnessed Ginebra cruise to a 127-93 rout on Sunday, March 19.
“I commiserate with Frankie and that group because it’s really tough to lose your import going to the playoffs, that’s like the worst luck you could have,” said Cone.
Selden lived up to his lofty billing as an NBA veteran as he averaged 31.9 points, 6.7 assists, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.4 steals in seven games after coming in as a replacement for Jonathon Simmons.
Those kind of numbers were severely missed by the Road Warriors, who came apart after a neck-and-neck opening quarter that saw them trail 17-18 on the way to their most lopsided defeat of the conference.
“Obviously, the game would have been a lot, lot different with Selden there. He’s a stud,” said Cone.
Cone and Ginebra, though, showed no mercy and enjoyed a lead as big as 38 points in the romp spearheaded by three-time Best Import Justin Brownlee.
Brownlee torched NLEX with 31 points on sizzling 14-of-20 shooting (70%) on top of 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals.
It was a near-perfect performance from Brownlee, who did not commit a turnover in 38 minutes.
“The thing I’m proud about our guys is we didn’t leave anything for chance, we didn’t go down and let up. We stayed aggressive,” said Cone.
“Justin came out right from the beginning and really sent a message to everybody on the team and even to the other team that we’re going to take care of business.”
Eyeing their fifth Governors’ Cup crown in seven seasons, the Gin Kings face an intimidating challenge as they go up against San Miguel in a best-of-five semifinals starting next week. – Rappler.com
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