Barangay Ginebra turned up the heat from distance in the second half to bury Magnolia, 105-83, in the PBA Governors' Cup edition of the Manila Clasico on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Justin Brownlee starred once more after gathering 27 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds, but he got ample help from Kings locals Japeth Aguilar (14 markers), Scottie Thompson (14) and Stanley Pringle (11) in putting away the Hotshots for their second straight win.
"We're surprised. I'm absolutely surprised that we were able to put that game away like we did," coach Tim Cone admitted.
Ginebra buried six threes in the third quarter to eventually gain separation from Magnolia, who actually stayed within striking distance before the Kings' outburst. Pringle hit two of the first three 3s, the second of which was a stepback triple at the top of the key that gave his side some breathing room at 58-49.
Romeo Travis brought Magnolia closer, 60-56, after a pull-up jumper, but Ginebra broke the game wide open as Jeff Chan two straight 3s to spark 11-0 burst. Another Chan trey with 2:30 to go even hiked the lead to 16, 75-59.
Ginebra continued to cruise in the fourth quarter, where the lead ballooned to as large as 27 en route to climbing to 3-2.
"It was big in the standings, we stayed at two losses now. I think there's only five teams now with only two losses or less. We were really looking at the standings going into this game. We knew this was a big game for us to win, to knock them to four losses and also to get the quotient. Big performance for us," said Cone.
The coach also thought that their second half explosion was night and day compared to their first half performance, where the ball didn't move around as well as he would have liked (7 assists as a team) on offense.
"We were doing a lot of stuff individually. We had six three-point shots made in the first quarter and yet we were still down by five after that. That's really not our game. The ball wasn't moving. We talked about the ball whizzing around, it wasn't whizzing around. The ball was very slow going around the court," he noted.
"At halftime, even though we were leading by one point, we said that if we play like we did in that first half we are not going to beat this team. This team is too good. We really needed to tighten our game up, especially defensively, and get more ball movement," Cone added.
The Kings were able to do just that after the break and finished the game shooting 46.8 percent from the field after hitting just 39 percent of their shots in the first two quarters.
"We've been a team of two halves all conference long. We've played one average or below average half and then one great half. Today we played the average half in the first half and then they played the great half in the second. But we gotta find a way to kinda smooth that out," said Cone.
Magnolia sank to 3-4 and was led by an 18-point effort from Rome dela Rosa. Travis also added 17 points, 17 boards and 5 assists in his return from a right ankle injury, but Cone thought Travis wasn't his usual impactful self against Ginebra.
"I didn't think Romeo Travis was moving very well out there. He was moving OK, he wasn't limping noticeably but he wasn't as explosive as he normally he is and he was playing a lot from the perimeter out there. That usually means his ankle was bothering him," he observed.
Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang also chipped in 14 and 10 markers as the Hotshots dropped its third consecutive loss.
Ginebra 105 - Brownlee 27, Thompson 14, Aguilar 14, Pringle 11, Dela Cruz 10, Tenorio 9, Chan 9, Slaughter 7, Mariano 4, Sargent 0, Aguilar R. 0, Teodoro 0.
Magnolia 83 - Dela Rosa 18, Travis 17, Lee 14, Sangalang 10, Jalalon 6, Barroca 5, Ramos 5, Reavis 2, Pingris 2, Pascual 2, Herndon 2, Melton 0, Abundo 0.
Quarters: 24-29, 45-44, 79-65, 105-83.
- This was Ginebra's second straight win after going 0-2 following Tim Cone's appointment as Gilas Pilipinas head coach.
- Ginebra managed 27 assists and only 15 turnovers in the win.
- Barangay Ginebra vs. Rain or Shine on Oct. 26 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum
- Magnolia vs. Columbian on Oct. 27 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum