Brgy. Ginebra strengthens bid for top 2 spot with 96-82 win over stubborn Blackwater

PBA Media Bureau

Barangay Ginebra struggled through the first 40 minutes before getting into the groove to zoom to a 96-82 win over Blackwater that bolstered the Gins Kings’ Top Two quest in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna Friday night.

Justin Brownlee, LA Tenorio, Mark Caguioa and Sol Mercado got the team to a blazing windup as the Gin Kings weathered the Elite’s tough resistance and inched closer to clinching a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals with a 7-2 win-loss card.

Blackwater, meanwhile, eventually bombed out of playoff race with an eighth loss against only two wins.

The Kings were holding a precarious 67-65 lead early in the fourth before hitting their strides and coming through with a decisive closing flurry.

“We wanted to gather rhythm in the first half but we just couldn’t do it. Then we put a lot of ball pressure and we got going,” said Brownlee. – PBA

The scores:

GINEBRA 96 – Brownlee 35, Tenorio 17, Aguilar 15, Mercado 9, Caguioa 8, Mariano 5, Marcelo 3, Taha 2, Cruz 2, Ferrer 0, Thompson 0, Ellis 0

BLACKWATER 82 – Smith 37, Digregorio 18, Pinto 7, Pascual 5, Buenafe 4, Sena 4, Cruz 2, Gamalinda 2, Aguilar 2, Cervantes 1, Perez 0, Canaleta 0, Banal 0, Sumang 0

Quarterscores: 22-23, 43-43, 65-62, 96-82.