Finally, Magnolia managed to snap out of Barangay Ginebra’s spell.
Romeo Travis made sure of that, scoring a personal conference-high 37 points in leading the Hotshots to a 106-98 victory over the Kings Saturday at the start of their PBA Governors Cup semifinal duel at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Travis also had 16 rebounds and five assists while Paul Lee added 27 points, including some crucial ones down the stretch, as Magnolia showed uncanny resiliency against Ginebra to end its seven-game losing skein to the perennial crowd darling since last February.
More important, the Hotshots took the headstart in their best-of-five duel which resumes Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Justin Brownlee also wound up with 37 points on top of 14 rebounds and eight assists, but he failed to sustain a sterling start that netted him 20 points in the first quarter alone that propped his team to two 12-point leads.
It’s not just Brownlee alone, however, as the entire Ginebra crew, save for a brief stretch in the fourth, struggled mightily in the face of Magnolia’s pressure.
After making 16 of its first 22 shots, Ginebra wound up shooting 37 of 80 from the field to Magnolia’s 43 of 93 clip. The Kings were also harassed into committing 22 turnovers.
Magnolia 106 – Travis 37, Lee 27, Melton 11, Sangalang 7, Barroca 6, Dela Rosa 6, Jalalon 5, Pascual 4, Herndon 3, Brondial 0, Reavis 0.
Brgy. Ginebra 98 – Brownlee 37, Aguilar 18, Tenorio 13, Slaughter 8, Thompson 7, Chan 5, Mariano 4, Ferrer 4, Mercado 2.
Quarterscores: 31-39, 63-55, 86-76, 106-98