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Mariano sizzles as injury-riddled Ginebra scrapes past SMB

Barangay Ginebra got ample support in Aljon Mariano as it blew by San Miguel Sunday night. PBA Media Bureau.

By Ricky Manliguis

MANILA-- Undermanned Barangay Ginebra found a savior in Aljon Mariano as it fashioned out a 110-102 win over San Miguel in the main game of Sunday's PBA Governors' Cup action at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

Missing the services of key men Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, and Sol Mercado, the defending champs got an unlikely source in Mariano enough to improve to a 4-1 win-loss slate. 

The win also eased the pain for the Gins after its heart-breaking OT loss to undefeated Blackwater on Friday. 

Justin Brownlee topscored with 29 points, 19 rebounds, and five assists, while Mariano finished with 20 points, hitting all his seven shots, with seven rebounds. 

The former UST Tiger also stamped his class on the defensive end, especially against AZ Reid, limiting the SMB import with only 13 points on a measly 6-of-21 shooting from the field. 

“I know we will get our guys back eventually, at least some of them. But we don’t want them to be back where we are in an impossible situation. In other words, knocked out in the bottom four, or in the middle four,” said coach Tim Cone.

Joe Devance was the third Ginebra man in double figures with 17. 

Christian Standhardinger scored 25 points for SMB, which slid to an even 2-2 card. Arwind Santos issued 22, and Chris Ross 18. 

Aside from June Mar Fajardo, the Beermen played without Marcio Lassiter due to sore eyes. 

The Scores: 

Ginebra 110-- Brownlee 29, Mariano 20, Devance 17, Tenorio 9, Ferrer 8, Caguioa 8, Chan 7, Caperal 6, Thompson 5, Manuel 1. 

San Miguel 102-- Standhardinger 25, Santos 22, Ross 18, Reid 13, Cabagnot 10, Nabong 8, Pessumal 6, Heruela 0, Rosser 0.

Quarterscores: 22-21, 49-44, 76-70, 110-102.

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