Ginebra sweeps Meralco, advances to PBA semis
Barangay Ginebra is off to the semifinals after completing a sweep of Meralco with the 104-90 Game 2 win in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings will face the winner of the series between Globalport and Rain or Shine.
Taking advantage of a gassed out Arinze Onuaku, Ginebra showed no remorse and continually attacked Meralco’s defense in the third quarter.
The Gin Kings opened up the third period on a 15-5 run that Jeff Chan capped off with a transition layup off of LA Tenorio’s steal for the 71-56 lead at the 6:26 mark.
Onuaku had 16 points while playing for more than 19 minutes in the first half but that early offense took out much of his energy leaving him a husk of himself in the third quarter.
“We just kept trying to rotate different guys on him Joe [Devance] had a fantastic job on him, Greg [Slaughter] did a great job, Japeth [Aguilar], they were all giving him different looks,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.
“We were throwing different guys at him, and that’s what you got to do with big guys, you got to wear them down otherwise if they can dominate for 40, 42, 44 minutes you really don’t have a chance.”
Ginebra continued its attack into the early part of the fourth and built and 18-point lead, 85-67, but the Bolts mounted a quick 14-2 run to trim the deficit to six, 87-81, after Chris Newsome hit a three with 4:54 left in the game.
LA Tenorio, though, responded with a three just seconds later and then dished to the trailing Justin Brownlee for the one-handed dunk for the 92-81 lead to push the distance again.
Brownlee finished the game with 36 points, six rebounds, and nine assists to lead Ginebra, Slaughter had a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double effort while Tenorio had 11 points and five assists.
Onuaku led the Bolts with 21 points and 13 rebounds while Newsome and Baser Amer had 17 and 10 points, respectively.
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