Brgy. Ginebra came out on top in the battle for third spot by whipping Converge, 115-96, Friday night in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Gin Kings dominated the FiberXers from start to finish and cruised to their 9th victory in 12 outings with plenty to spare to stay in contention for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinal round.
Securing the playoff bonus, however, is not entirely in their hands as they have to hope for a Rain or Shine victory over Magnolia on Friday for it to become a reality.
Justin Brownlee once again led the charge for the crowd darlings with another near-triple double effort of 25 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. He shot 9-of-18 from the field including 2-of-6 from beyond the arc to go with a steal and a block in 40 minutes of play.
“Again, it’s out of our control. We aren’t going to worry too much about it – two or three. We prefer two but we are okay at three,” said Brgy. Ginebra head coach Tim Cone on the much-coveted No. 2 spot.
“We are just glad we didn’t slip down to seven or eight and have play a Bay Area or something like that, twice-to-beat,” he added.
“We’re going to, sorry Mark [Barroca] and Rafi [Reavis] and all the guys I used to coach over there, but we’re going to be cheering madly against you on Friday.”
Jamie Malonzo finished with 17 points highlighted by 3-of-7 shooting from long distance while Japeth Aguilar added 16. LA Tenorio and Christian Standhardinger chipped in 14 and 13 markers, respectively. Scottie Thompson and Stanley Pringle contributed 9 points each.
“Jamie and Aljon just did a really great job of scheming him [Quincy Miller] and keeping him uncomfortable and never letting him get a rhythm. Normally, he comes out and hits four or five or six three-pointers in a game,” said Cone on the Converge reinforcement.
“And, they were just really focused on not letting him do that tonight. That took, I think, a lot of the other team — not being able to rely on what they normally get from the import”.