Brgy. Ginebra struggled to get into the groove versus Alaska Milk but stayed patient and found a way in the end to get its title-retention bid to a triumphant start.
Behind key plays and key baskets by Stanley Pringle, Justin Brownlee and LA Tenorio at endgame, the Gin Kings eked out an 80-77 decision over the erstwhile unbeaten Aces Sunday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Brownlee collected 28 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks to mark his comeback in the league where he has won three crowns for Ginebra.
“It’s good to be back, and it’s pretty good to start the conference with a win. We’re okay but we can get better,” said Brownlee.
“We had a hard time finding a good rhythm. It’s an uphill climb but we got some key stops and key loose balls. When Stanley (Pringle) tied the game, that gave us confidence. Justin also hit a key shot, then LA iced it,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
The multi-titled mentor said they took care of things themselves with the league playing before empty seats.
He’s looking forward to drawing tremendous boost from the fans in their next game next week.
Barangay Ginebra 80 – Brownlee 28, J. Aguilar 11, Thompson 9, Standhardinger 8, Pringle 7, Tenorio 6, Tolentino 5, Salado 2, Caperal 2, Onwubere 2, Chan 0.
Alaska 77 – Ashaolu 19, Herndon 12, Ahanmisi 10, Teng 10, Taha 9, Brondial 4, Tratter 3, Adamos 3, Racal 3, DiGregorio 2, Tolomia 2, Stockton 0.
Quarterscores: 14-18, 34-38, 56-59, 80-77.