Gin Kings force rubber match against Tropang Giga for semis ticket

Brgy. Ginebra is determined to hold on to the Governors’ Cup crown for a little longer.

The 6th-seeded Gin Kings came through with decisive plays in the endgame to thwart TNT’s repeated comeback attempts and pull off a scintillating 102-94 victory in the quarterfinals of the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Justin Brownlee finished with 38 points on 17-of-27 shooting from the field to go with 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, an assist and a steal in almost 46 minutes of action to lead the crowd darlings past the 3rd-seeded Tropang Giga and along with it another shot at advancing into the next round.

“This is the first time that we beat them (TNT),” said Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone during the post-game presser. “They have our number and they have a real, good feel for what we like to do. Chot Reyes always has a good feel for what I like to do. He’s always been a tough strategist.”

“I don’t want to make too big of a deal about this game. It’s just one game. All we did was even out the odds. They had the overwhelmingly big odds coming into this series, and now we’ve kind of halved those odds,” he added.

Scottie Thompson ably supported Brownlee with a near triple-double performance of 23 points, 15 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 blocks while Japeth Aguilar added 21 markers and 7 boards.

The Gin Kings will try to oust the flagship team of the MVP group when they clash in a winner-take-all match on Saturday, March 19 at the same venue.

The scores:

Brgy. Ginebra 104 – Brownlee 38, Thompson 23, J. Aguilar 21, Tenorio 7, Pinto 6, Standhardinger 6, Chan 3, Caperal 0, Onwubere 0, Devance 0.

TNT 92 – Fuller 22, Rosario 20, M. Williams 19, Pogoy 12, K. Williams 12, Castro 5, Reyes 2, Erram 0, Khobuntin 0, Heruela 0, Montalbo 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.

Quarterscores: 28-14; 50-45; 71-70; 104-92.

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