(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
7 p.m. -- Talk N Text vs. San Miguel
BARANGAY Ginebra barged into the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals in explosive fashion, demolishing Meralco, 104-90 in Game 2 of their best-of-three quarterfinals series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
The Gin Kings swept the Bolts in the series and marched on to their ninth semifinals appearance in the three-conference era.
Justin Brownlee once again carried the fight for Ginebra, finishing with a game-high 36 points on 14-of-19 shooting from the field. He also tallied six rebounds, nine assists, and three steals to keep alive his quest for a third championship in as many seasons with Ginebra.
Three other Gin Kings’ players capped the night in double figures, with Greg Slaughter leading the locals with a double-double 14 points and 10 rebounds.
LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Ginebra, which made the semifinals of the same conference last season but were beaten by Talk ‘N Text, thus joined Alaska in the semis but their opponents will be either Rain or Shine or Globalport.
The Gin Kings actually had a sluggish start but got their bearings in the second period and led by five, 56-51 at the break.
Ginebra acknowledged an opening in the third period and took advantage of the visibly exhausted Arinze Onuaku, showing no remorse and continually attacked Meralco’s defense in the third quarter.
A 15-5 run was all the Gin Kings needed that was capped by Jeff Chan off a transition layup from Tenorio’s steal as they erected a 71-56 lead at the 6:26 mark.
There was absolutely no doubt on the victory by the Gin Kings who led by as many as 18 points early in the fourth. They sputtered a bit thereafter, allowing the Bolts to come within 87-81, with 4:52 remaining.
That proved to be the best the Bolts could offer as Tenorio readily sank a triple and came up with a steal in the ensuing Meralco play and set up Brownlee to a powerful slamdunk as Ginebra made it 92-81.
Ginebra took Game One, 88-81, in a game Brownlee scored 25 points. Last night however, the hard-working Ginebra import caught fire right in the first half and continued to fire all the way to the second half.
Entering the fourth with a 78-63 cushion, the Gin Kings even stretched that to as many as 85-67.
Quarterfinal action resumes today with Rain or Shine seeking to end the hopes of Globalport in the lone game at 7 p.m. also at the Big Dome.
Ginebra (104) -- Brownlee 36, Slaughter 14, Tenorio 11, Aguilar 10, Mercado 9, Devance 8, Chan 8, Thompson 4, Ferrer 2, Caguioa 2, Manuel 0, Caperal 0, Mariano 0.
Meralco (90) -- Onuaku 21, Newsome 17, Amer 11, Hugnatan 10, De Ocampo 6, Dillinger 6, Hodge 6, Caram 6, Lanete 3, Baracael 2, Canaleta 2, Ballesteros 0, Salva 0, Sedurifa 0, Bono 0.
Quarterscores: 24-28, 56-51, 79-65, 104-90.