Brgy. Ginebra recalibrated on the return of coach Tim Cone and gained a sure spot in the PBA Philippine Cup best-of-three quarterfinals with a game to spare via a 100-93 disposal of NorthPort Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings, with tremendous boost from their backcourt, blasted the Batang Pier badly in the middle quarters, 60-34, and climbed to solo third with a 7-3 win-loss card.
Snapping out of back-to-back losses to TNT and Meralco, Cone and his crew assured themselves of a Top Six finish while pushing NorthPort on the brink of elimination at 3-7.
Guards Scottie Thompson (with 23 points) and John Pinto (18) led the scoring parade as the Kings scored a heartwarming win to welcome Cone in his return from his stint with the Miami Heat in the NBA Summer League.
Thompson flirted with a triple-double as he also came through with 15 rebounds and eight assists with three steals and three blocks in a superb all-around game.
Pinto provided a big help off the bench with 18 markers (4-of-6 from the arc), six boards and three dole-outs, and so did Jeff Chan with 11 points, two assists and two rebounds.
The Gin Kings won’t be denied as Japeth Aguilar (14) LA Tenorio (13) and Christian Standhardinger (9-10-6) put in their shares as starters as the Kings moved ahead of the Magnolia Hotshots (6-3).