Brgy. Ginebra routed Manila Clasico rival Magnolia for the second straight game and booked a ticket to the championship round via 99-84 win in Game 4 of the semifinals, Wednesday in the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Gin Kings initially registered a lopsided, 23-point victory in Game 3 before taking the best-of-five series, 3-1, with another dominating performance which gave the crowd darlings a chance to compete for the title of the mid-season spectacle.
LA Tenorio dropped 10 points in the opening quarter to set the tone for the one-sided match and finished with 18 on 7-of-14 shooting with 4-of-8 coming from long distance. The 38-year old Batangueño playmaker also contributed 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in 33 minutes of action.
“We created a lot of open shots talaga within our offense because of our execution, kaya siguro nagkakaroon din ng opportunity for me to take the shot because it’s open — not only me but the other guards also,” said Tenorio during the post-game press with the best player and winning mentor.
Justin Brownlee led all scorers with 24 points highlighted by 4 booming treys to go with 14 boards, 6 dimes, 2 steals and 5 rejections.
“I’m so thankful we don’t have to play a Game 5 against this team,” said Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone.
“We talked about it: Just say no to Game 5. We had to put all our eggs in one basket in this game and we did. These guys didn’t leave anything, they didn’t look beyond this game,” added the former Alaska and Magnolia bench tactician who will be gunning for his 25th title.
Japeth Aguilar scored a conference-best 19 points while Scottie Thompson and Jamie Malonzo chipped in 14 and 10 markers, respectively.
Game 1 of the best-of-seven Finals series is on Christmas Day, December 25, 5:00pm at the same venue.
Brgy. Ginebra 99 – Brownlee 24, J. Aguilar 19, Tenorio 18, Thompson 14, Malonzo 10, Pringle 5, Gray 3, Pinto 3, Mariano 2, Standhardinger 1, Pessumal 0, R.Aguilar 0.
Magnolia 84 – Abueva 14, Rakocevic 13, Jalalon 12, Lee 9, Reavis 8, Barroca 7, Ahanmisi 6, Sangalang 6, Dionisio 4, Wong 3, Corpuz 2, Dela Rosa 0, Mendoza 0.
Quarterscores: 29-18, 53-41, 82-68, 99-84.