Ginebra dumps San Miguel, draws first blood in PBA Finals
Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone brushed this one aside as “one of those nights” and will spend the one-day break planning for a fightback like no other by San Miguel Beer.
Using a strong start and a sustained effort the rest of the way, the Gin Kings blew the defending champion Beermen off the floor and scored a 127-99 Game 1 victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title series that belied all pre-tournament talk about this best-of-seven series being close.
And that’s what worries Cone the most.
“We steered the beehive and they (Beermen) will stick it to us in Game 2,” Cone said after getting 42 points from import Justin Brownlee and twin digits from four locals in the unexpected rout which surprised even the multi-titled coach.
“It was one of those nights when we had it and they didn’t,” Cone went on. “We didn’t win the series yet, but we got Game 1 and that’s important. They’re a veteran team and they’ve been in this situation so many times. We are expecting a real forceful game from them in Game 2.”
The Kings dropped 35 points in the first quarter – with Brownlee shooting 18 – to lead by 15 at the start of the second. They opened the second half with a 19-point lead that the Beermen spent the rest of the last two quarters trying to overhaul.
San Miguel didn’t even come close to doing that.
Ginebra led by as large as 39 using its shock troopers as the Kings built their confidence some more with the second game slated Sunday at 6:30 p.m. also at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.