Ginebra repulses Phoenix, eyes top seed | Inquirer Sports
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Ginebra repulses Phoenix, eyes top seed

/ 09:24 PM September 14, 2016
 Justin Brownlee ginebra

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ANTIPOLO – Ginebra held off Phoenix’s late spurt and escaped with a 96-87 victory against Phoenix Wednesday in the 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup at Ynares Center here.

The fourth straight win improved the Gin Kings’ record to 8-2, giving them a chance to finish at the top of the standings when they face off against TNT (9-1) on Sunday.

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Justin Brownlee captained Ginebra as he scattered 28 points and nine rebounds and helped stave off the Fuel Masters’ uprising late.

“Phoenix really fought tooth-and-nail tonight. I kept on thinking we have a chance to really knock them back and run away with it, but they kept on coming back. (Eugene) Phelps is just a beast,” said coach Tim Cone.

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Despite losing Greg Slaughter to a partial ACL injury last Friday, Ginebra showed its depth and overwhelmed Phoenix on the offensive end, jumping to a 31-18 edge in the first frame, which would even balloon to 21, 61-40, to start the third.

But the Fuel Masters refused to lose, trimming the deficit to as low as five in the payoff period thanks to Phelps and Simon Enciso, before Brownlee towed his team to victory in the clutch.

LA Tenorio finished with 15 markers, while Sol Mercado and Japeth Aguilar knocked down 12.

What was more amazing was rookie Scottie Thompson’s statline, dominating the boards as he hauled down 16 rebounds to go with his three points and five assists.

Already assured of a twice-to-beat, Cone acknowledged that the game was sort of a no-bearing one for his crew. But what he wanted to see is for the Gin Kings to keep that intensity as the playoff nears.

“One of the things that I want is for our team to try to learn as a group. We want to play the game the same way all the time, may it be a practice game, a championship game, or a Game 7, and try to develop it as a culture,” he said.

Phelps led Phoenix (5-6) with 24 points, 16 rebounds, and five assists, as it now awaits its fate in the quarterfinals.

Enciso added 15 markers on a 5-of-11 shooting from three, while Josh Urbiztondo got 11.

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