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Ginebra subdues Phoenix to move to first place

Justin Brownlee saved Ginebra's cause with a clutch steal. PBA Media Bureau
By Dugout Philippines

CAGAYAN DE ORO -- Crippled and all, but there's still no stopping the amazing Barangay Ginebra Kings.

Behind clutch plays by Joe Devance, Aljon Mariano and Justin Brownlee, the Kings reigned over the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 101-99, in their Petron Blaze road showdown and seized league leadership halfway through the PBA Governors Cup elimination round.

Devance and Mariano banged in a triple each while Brownlee nailed a charity then took a crucial steal as the Kings squeaked past the Fuel Masters in a fierce battle before a sellout crowd at the Xavier University Gymnasium.

With the win, the Kings fly back to Manila already the tournament leader with a 5-1 win-loss card.

The Fuel Masters, the erstwhile leaders, dropped down to second place at 5-2.

Down by two with 10.2 seconds to go, the Fuel Masters still had a chance to win the game or force overtime, but Matthew Wright fumbled their last possession in attacking a crowded Ginebra defense.

Brownlee tapped the ball away from Wright leading to a steal that sealed the deal.

The Ginebra three-time champion import piled up 34 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, four blocks and one steal against five turnovers as he once again carried Ginebra on his shoulders on the continued absence of Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Sol Mercado, Jervy Cruz, Raymond Aguilar and Art dela Cruz.

Devance banged in a big trey in the last 1:10 mark to cap a 15-point game while Thompson and Tenorio came up with 12 and 10 markers, respectively.

Wright had a big game marked by 27 points before fumbling their last possession.

The Fuel Masters engaged the Kings in a tough battle while also drawing stellar efforts from Eugene Phelps (23 points and 13 rebounds), Calvin Abueva (17 markers and nine boards) and Jason Perkins (13 points, six boards and six steals).

But the Kings won't be denied on Brownlee's heroics at the finish.

The scores:

Ginebra 101 - Brownlee 34, Devance 15, Thompson 12, Tenorio 10, Caperal 8, Ferrer 8, Mariano 6, Caguioa 4, Chan 4.

Phoenix 99 - Wright 27, Phelps 23, Abueva 17, Perkins 13, Jazul 6, Chua 5, Intal 4, Wilson 2, Alolino 2, Revilla 0.

Quarters: 19-22, 49-52, 78-72, 101-99

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