Brgy. Ginebra drew first blood in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals versus the Bay Area Dragons, fighting with grit and guts in pulling off a 96-81 victory in a Christmas Day special at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
Ginebra’s starting group of Justin Brownlee, LA Tenorio, Christian Standhardinger, Scottie Thompson and Jamie Malonzo all played with tremendous hustles, leading the team to the crucial head start in the race-to-four series.
Brownlee top scored with 28 points plus 13 rebounds, Standhardinger had his own double-double with 16 markers and 10 boards while Tenorio put in a conference high 22 points going with three assists, three steals and two rebounds.
Thompson was pure hustle in their third-quarter breakaway and finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two blocks and one steal while Malonzo contributed 10 boards plus three markers.
Together, they were a tremendous group giving the cheering Ginebra die-hards a super special Christmas treat.
“A Christmas Day game is extra special, and our guys threated it that way,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone of the emphatic Game 1 win replicating their conquest of the Dragons in their elims tussle.
The Kings try to make it 2-0 as the series resumes with Game 2 over at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.