Brgy. Ginebra bucked the absence of Japeth Aguilar and pummeled NLEX anew, 104-94, to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five semifinal round of the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup, Friday at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
Justin Brownlee and Scottie Thompson took the cudgels once more as the defending champions overcame another double-digit deficit to move one win away from a return trip to the Finals of the season-ending conference.
“We talked about the fact that nobody’s gonna be able to replace Japeth by themselves. It’s going to take a collective effort,” said Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone during the post-game presser.
“Guys — starters, they’re doing the extra work and guys coming off the bench — they would be of collective effort,” he added.
The 6-foot-9 Aguilar missed the game due to a calf injury which he aggravated during the initial meeting between the two semifinalists.
Brownlee finished with a game-high 32 points on 14-of-24 shooting from the field spiked by 4-of-8 from three-point country. The 4-time PBA champion reinforcement also collected 9 boards, issued 6 assists, stole the ball 4 times and blocked 2 shots in 43 minutes of action.
Thompson and Christian Standhardinger added 17 points apiece while guards LA Tenorio and Nards Pinto chipped in 15 and 10 markers, respectively. Veteran big man Joe Devance contributed 7 points, 2 steals and a rebound in 11 minutes of play.
Brgy. Ginebra will try to complete a sweep of the Yeng Guiao-mentored squad when the two sides meet again for Game 3 on Sunday, March 27 at the same venue.
Brgy. Ginebra 104 – Brownlee 32, Thompson 17, Standhardinger 17, Tenorio 15, Pinto 10, Devance 7, Tolentino 6, 3, Caperal 0, Chan 0, Ayaay 0.
NLEX 94 – Nieto 19, Clark 15, Chua 12, Alas 12, Rosales 10, Trollano 10, Quinahan 8, Semerad 3, Ighalo 3, Paniamogan 2.
Quarterscores: 24-27, 55-49, 82-66, 104-94.