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Ginebra pummels TNT to draw first blood in Semis

Joe Devance anchored Ginebra's offense as the Kings took Game 1 of their semifinal series against TNT.
By Patrick Sutare

MANILA--Barangay Ginebra continues to display its relentless playoff gear in its campaign of defending the PBA Governors' Cup.

After ousting and ending the Grand Slam aspirations of San Miguel in the first round via a resounding blowout, the reigning champs served TNT a drubbing of its own, 121-94, to take home Game 1 of their Semifinal series on Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Gin Kings lorded it over from start to finish while neutralizing TNT's running game, in the process gaining some measure of vengeance to their disastrous defeat opposite the stacked KaTropa in their elimination encounter.

Seven players reached double figures in scoring for the crowd favorites led by Justin Bronwlee who cashed in 21 points despite playing minimal minutes in the second half due to foul trouble. He also added eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Joe Devance set the pace offensively for Ginebra, opening up the space after hitting a number of long range baskets in the first quarter where his team carried a 31-22 separation which was never surrendered since. The multi-titled forward finished with 19 points, four boards and three dimes, enough to win him the Best Player of the Game award.

Greg Slaughter contributed 16 markers, seven caroms and five assists while Jervy Cruz provided quality minutes off the bench as he scored 10 points in five-of-seven shooting. Mark Caguioa was able to reach double figures as well, pouring in 13 points in 12 minutes, most of which came when the match was already virtually decided.

Glen Rice Jr. led TNT with 26 points, 10 rebounds and four assists but got the raw end of his team's gunning tempo as he was seen visibly gassed in the second half when the KaTropa played catch up next to the Kings.

Jayson Castro had 16 points and seven dimes but also committed six turnovers while RR Pogoy was the last player from the second-seed TNT to score in double-digits with 12.

Coach Nash Racela and his troops will eye bounce back to even up the series on Wednesday as Game 2 goes on the road in Batangas City.

Box Scores:

Ginebra 121-Brownlee 21, Devance 19, Slaughter 16, Caguioa 13, Tenorio 10, J. Aguilar 10, Cruz 10, Thompson 7, Mercado 7, Mariano 4, Taha 4, Helterbrand 0, R. Aguilar 0

TNT 94 - Rice Jr. 26, Castro 16, Pogoy 12, Tautuaa 7, Carey 6, Nuyles 6, Rosario 5, Williams 5, Semerad 5, Hernandez 3, Reyes 2, Chua 1, Golla 0, Lingganay 0, Seigle 0

Quarterscores: 31-22, 60-48, 95-75, 121-94

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