Tenorio, Brownlee gang up as Ginebra staves off late Alaska rally to make semis return

Photo Courtesy of the PBA.

By Patrick Sutare

Barangay Ginebra counted on its top guns as it finished off Alaska, 109-104, on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in their Quarterfinal match of the PBA Governor’s Cup to make an official return to the elusive Final Four stint of the league.

Ginebra star point guard LA Tenorio went out with guns blazing as he spearheaded the Gin Kings’ attack, tallying a career playoff high of 32 points(21 in the first half), along with six dimes and four boards.

The crowd favorites led by as much as 26 points, and even carried a monumental 20 point advantage going to the final canto.

The Aces then launched their recurrent comeback prowess, going off to a ferocious 16-4 run led by Calvin Abueva and Dondon Hontiveros to cut the deficit to single digit with barely five minutes left of ball.

Ginebra weathered the storm. Justin Brownlee took the driver’s seat and gave his squad a 10-point advantage reaching the last two minutes of the game.

But Alaska just would not back down. LaDontae Henton capped a crucial salvo with a three point basket to put the Aces to within a point, 104-105, 31 ticks left.

With so much at stake, Brownlee continued to take matters in his own hands. The prized Ginebra import pulled up with all his guts and banked in a three-point shot to bring the Kings to a two possession lead, much to the delight of their legion of fans.

Alaska had their chance for a final push of snatching the win but Abueva missed all three free throws off an Aguilar foul.

Brownlee then split his charities to seal the deal for Ginebra. He finished with 29 points.

Henton and Abueva dropped 27 and 17, respectively for Alaska, which now failed to advance deep in the Playoffs after multiple Finals stints in the previous conferences.

Ginebra will face sister-team San Miguel in the Semis which starts on Monday.
The scores:
Ginebra 109 – Tenorio 32, Brownlee 29, Mercado 14, Aguilar 12, Marcelo 7, Devance 6, Caguioa 4, Thompson 3, Cruz 2, Mariano 0, Helterbrand 0
Alaska 104 – Henton 27, Abueva 17, Jazul 13, Hontiveros 12, Manuel 10, Casio 9, Thoss 9, Banchero 5, Racal 2, Baclao 0, Dela Rosa 0, Exciminiano 0

Quarterscores: 23-23, 53-41, 86-66, 109-104 

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