|Justin Brownlee flirted with a triple double, but nonetheless guide Ginebra in its win on Saturday. PBA Media Bureau.|
MANILA—Barangay Ginebra finally got off the hump, needing the heroics of import Justin Brownlee to turn back NLEX, 93-85, in an out-of-town game of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Saturday at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Legazpi City.
Brownlee issued a near triple-double of 23 points, 22 rebounds, and seven assists to snap a three-game losing spell and improve to a 2-5 record in a game between teams eager to finish in the top eight of the mid-season conference.
After engaging NLEX into a tight first half, the Gin Kings came alive in the third quarter, turning a 54-all deadlock to a 75-66 lead at quarter’s end.
They finally broke away in the final period, and with Brownlee’s jam with 8:41 left capped off a 10-0 spurt for a 19-point spread, 85-66. They never relinquished the lead since then.
Japeth Aguilar added 13 markers with three rebounds, three assists, and two blocks for Ginebra, which are now half a game behind idle Phoenix Fuel and GlobalPort (both 3-4) for the final seed in the next round. Fellow twin tower Greg Slaughter issued a double-double of 12 and 10 boards, while LA Tenorio had 10 and three assists.
The loss plunged the Road Warriors to a 2-6 card while still reeling from the loss of prized guards Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas. Reinforcement Arnett Moultrie topscored with 30 points, but got little help from his teammates, with Emman Monfort the only double-digit scorer with 14.
Ginebra 93 – Brownlee 23, Aguilar 13, Slaughter 12, Tenorio 10, Ferrer 9, Devance 8, Mercado 7, Thompson 5, Caguioa 4, Mariano 2, Cruz 0.
NLEX 85 – Moultrie 30, Monfort 14, Soyud 8, Quinahan 5, Miranda 5, Mallari 4, Gotladera 4, Uyloan 3, Baguio 3, Fonacier 3, Marcelo 2, Tiongson 2, Rios 2, Ighalo 0.
Quarterscores: 22-16; 41-35; 75-66; 93-85.