Ginebra repulses ROS, sets Finals date with SMB

Joe Devance exploded at the right time. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--It's Ginebra versus San Miguel in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals

The Barangay notched the other seat to the best-of-seven finale after eliminating the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters, 96-94, in Game 4 of their best-of-five semifinal series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Monday night.

Ginebra, which led by as much as 14 in the first half, held on despite ROS showing grit down the stretch.

Up eight, 79-71, with 9:49 left, the Barangay found themselves having to endure the E-Painters' 19-9 blitz that gave them a 90-88 lead 2:29 to go.

Ginebra answered with a 7-0 run with LA Tenorio shooting or assisting in the said sequence to go up, 95-90 with 37.9 seconds remaining.

ROS still threatened after a quick layup by Reggie Johnson and two free throws from Chris Tiu cut the lead down to just one, 95-94, with 7.2 seconds left.

However, the team took some time before fouling Jeff Chan with 2.4 seconds on the clock.

Chan gave the E-Painters some daylight after only making a split from the free throw line, but with no timeout left, they had to go the full length of the court to get a decent shot.

Scottie Thompson saved the Barangay after picking Gabe Norwood's outlet pass.

Greg Slaughter and Joe Devance each made 19 points for Ginebra, whose championship series against SMB will begin on Friday night.

Justin Brownlee, despite the struggles, came close to a triple-double, making 12 points, 17 rebounds, and eight assists with one steal.

Johnson made 22 markers, 16 caroms, five dimes, three steals, and two blocks for ROS, which bowed out of the tournament despite entering the quarterfinals as the top seed.

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