Brgy. Ginebra enters semis, crushes San Miguel’s Grand Slam hopes with 104-84 win

ByJay King


PBA Media Bureau

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel spoiled the grand slam aspirations of sister team San Miguel Beermen with a massive 104-84 victory on Wednesday night as they moved on to advance to the semifinals of the PBA Governors Cup.

Coming from a lopsided loss to TNT in their final elimination round game, the third-seeded defending champion Kings vented their fury on the stunned Beermen who got buried in an avalanche of baskets from the Kings in the closing minutes to the delight of the mostly Ginebra fans at the jampacked Mall of Asia Arena.

Ginebra now awaits the winner of the sudden death match between TNT and Rain or Shine on Friday for the best-of-5 semifinals beginning on Monday.

Justin Brownlee was on fire all game long, exploding for 37 points along with 12 rebounds and four blocks with less than two minutes of rest to lead the Kings’ defense of the title they won last season against the Meralco Bolts.

The do-it-all import scored 16 of his points in the fourth quarter when the Kings broke the game wide open.

After ruling the first two conferences of the season, the Beermen sputtered out, losing their last two games to kiss their grand slam hopes goodbye. SMB thus became the first team to fail to wrap up the Grand Slam after winning two straight conferences since TNT also figured in the same collapse in 2011.

Brownlee got plenty of support from Ginebra’s triple towers—Joe Devance, Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar. Devance scored 17 points, including four three-pointers, while Slaughter and Aguilar added 13 points apiece.

Ginebra’s guards also outclassed their SMB counterparts with Sol Mercado breaking out of his scoring slump, nailing three triples in the fourth period. LA Tenorio added eight points, 10 assists, and two steals while Scottie Thompson had seven points, 13 boards and four assists. A Thompson three-pointer gave Ginebra their biggest lead at 102-72 with less than three minutes left.

Terrence Watson led SMB with 30 points. June Mar Fajardo added 19 markers, 22 boards, and five blocks. Marcio Lassiter chipped in 13. However, SMB’s other usually reliable shooters—Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, and Chris Ross—mostly shot bricks all night long.

The scores:

BRGY. GINEBRA 104 – Brownlee 37, Devance 17, Aguilar J. 13, Slaughter 13, Mercado 9, Tenorio 8, Thompson 7, Mariano 0.

SAN MIGUEL 84 – Watson 30, Fajardo 19, Lassiter 13, Cabagnot 8, Santos 6, Ross 5, Espinas 3, Rosser 0, De Ocampo 0.

Quarters: 23-23, 45-32, 74-61, 104-84.

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