Barangay Ginebra withstood repeated rallies by the gritty Magnolia Pambansang Manok and completed a 93-86 victory that guaranteed the reigning champ of a twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.
Justin Browlee flirted with a triple-double job with 29 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists while the frontcourt tandem of Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter combined for 28 markers and 15 boards as Ginebra rebounded from an upset by Rain or Shine to nail an eighth win against two losses.
The Gin Kings close out their elims stint versus the TNT KaTropa Texters next Sunday, with a win making Ginebra the playoffs top seed.
“It’s just pogi point. No. 1 is the same as No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, getting a big relief, though, on their vital win over the Hotshots.
The Kings took the opening quarter at 24-15 and the half at 46-31, and survived a series of Magnolia fightbacks in the second half with big help from returning players Slaughter and Sol Mercado.
Brgy. Ginebra 93 – Brownlee 29, Aguilar 17, Slaughter 11, Tenorio 9, Mercado 9, Mariano 6, Thompson 6, Chan 3, Ferrer 3, Caperal 0.
Magnolia 86 – Travis 30, Lee 21, Jalalon 12, Barroca 10, Herndon 5, Melton 3, Simon 2, Dela Rosa 2, Reavis 1, Sangalang 0, Ramos 0, Brondial 0.
Quarterscores: 24-15, 46-31, 69-53, 93-86.