After having their seven-game winning streak snapped by the San Miguel Beermen, the Barangay Ginebra Kings rebounded with an important win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 89-82, in the 2017 Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Justin Brownlee bounced back from a forgettable performance in their last outing as he led the Kings in scoring with 28 points in the contest alongside 10 rebounds.
The Kings were ahead for much of the game but the persistent Painters refused to go down without a fight. ROS still had a chance late in the game as Gabe Norwood scored on a two-handed dunk with 55 seconds left to bring the Ginebra lead down to six points, 86-80.
However, the Ginebra defense held strong in the end game and Brownlee and LA Tenorio put the finishing touches on the game with free throws as Ginebra claimed the solo top spot for the moment, holding an 8-2 win-loss tally.
Rain or Shine, on the other end, fell to 5-4 as their hopes of making it to the top four took a drastic hit.
“The top one spot is not our goal in the elimination round,” said Ginebra head coach Time Cone after the game. “We finished number one before and we lost in the semis so if anything it’s added pressure. Our goal in the elimination is to be in the top four, that’s all we want. But if we win the games we’re supposed to win and we finish on top, that’s okay too.”
Scottie Thompson was named the Best Player of the Game with 12 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
“Alam naman namin na magiging mahirap yung laro kasi kailangan rin ng Rain or Shine manalo,” Thompson said about the tough stand of the Painters throughout the game.
Eager to rebound from their last loss to SMB, Ginebra came out firing to start the game as Brownlee came out aggressively with 11 first quarter points. ROS, on the other hand, got next to nothing from J’Nathan Bullock who only came up with a single basket as Ginebra led 24-15 after the opener.
The Kings wanted to break the game but wide open in the second but Raymond Almazan came up with a huge performance in the period, scoring off a variety of ways to keep the Painters in the game.
Almazan led all scorers at the half 14 points to pull ROS within five, 37-32.
ROS could not recover from the sub-par game of Bullock who only finished with 15 points on 4-of-14 shooting from the field after his outstanding effort against Phoenix in their last game.
Almazan led the Painters with another stellar output as the center finished with 20 points and eight rebounds. Jericho Cruz and Chris Tiu heated up in the fourth quarter from the three-point range as they combined for 24 points in total but it would not be enough to overcome the Kings.
GINEBRA 89 – Brownlee 28, Tenorio 16, Thompson 12, Slaughter 12, Mercado 9, Devance 7, Ferrer 5, Aguilar 0, Caguioa 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 82 – Almazan 20, Bullock 15, Cruz 13, Tiu 11, Norwood 9, Belga 6, Matias 3, Belga 3, Yap 2, Ahanmisi 0, Ponferada 0, Trollano 0.
Quarters: 24-15, 37-32, 65-55, 89-82.
– ROS and Ginebra are two of the best defensive teams in the league and it resulted to a relatively low-scoring game.
– The Painters only shot 34% from the field which was worse than their three-point shooting at 39% as they were bothered by the size of the Kings.
– Japeth Aguilar failed to score a single point in 26 minutes on the floor, missing all five attempts from the field.
ROS – Sept. 20 versus Alaska Aces at the Ynares Center, Antipolo
Ginebra – Sept. 23 versus TNT Katropa at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum