November 06, 2018

Ginebra dispatches NLEX, sets up Final Four faceoff with Magnolia

Barangay Ginebra played true to form as the playoff top seed, crushing NLEX, 111-75, to advance to the semifinal round of the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Tuesday night.

Justin Brownlee scored only 13 points but the Kings drew firepower from local ace Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, Sol Mercado and Jeff Chan as Ginebra made one crucial step in their three-peat bid in the season-ending tourney.

Aguilar scored 18 points and snared 10 rebounds, Slaughter tossed in 16 markers while Mercado and Chan combined for 26 points as the Kings arranged a best-of-five semifinal showdown with the Magnolia Hotshots.

Magnolia, largely behind Romeo Travis' solid triple-double of 18 points, 20 rebounds and 12 assists, fended off Blackwater, 103-99, earlier in the night.

Brownlee also put up a triple-double effort with 13 markers that went with 10 rebounds and the same number of assists.

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But a solid effort together by the Ginebra main men spelled the difference in their ghastly rout of the Road Warriors.

The Kings hit at a steady 47-percent shooting (18-of-38) while holding the Road Warriors to a 30-percent clip as Ginebra led by as many as 18 before settling for a 50-36 spread at the turn.

Brownlee struggled for only three markers but Aguilar, Slaughter, LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson carried the offensive load for the Texters in the first 24 minutes of play.

Aguilar drained five of seven field-goal shots and drilled in 2-of-2 charities to be the lone player from both teams in double figures in the first half. He also snared five rebounds.

But the Road Warriors did hit their strides in the second half, charging to within four, 55-59, in a searing chase in the third period.

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Brownlee, however, also found his range in the final half, scattering 10 points in the third as Ginebra regained a 14-point lead at 76-62 going into the payoff quarter.

Then the Kings poured everything in the fourth for the runaway win. (SB)