MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra recovered from a stinging start to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup with a vengeful 99-91 win over longtime rival Meralco on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Import Justin Brownlee was one of six players in double figures with 34 points as the Gin Kings entered the win column after a 22-point loss to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters last Wednesday.
“It was a little bit stunning [losing to Rain or Shine] and I think it provided us with a wake-up call,” said coach Tim Cone.
Stanley Pringle also came up big for Ginebra with 16 points, Scottie Thompson flirted with a triple-double, registering 15 points, nine rebounds and nine assists that went with three steals.
Ginebra sent Meralco to 0-2 in the first game since the two squads met in a hard-fought decider of their Philippine Cup quarterfinal series which the latter won.
The Bolts were without Chris Newsome, who suffered a calf injury last Friday when they suffered a meltdown in a 101-95 overtime loss to the NorthPort Batang Pier.
Johnny O’Bryant posted 31 points and 16 rebounds, but his effort was not enough to lift Meralco to victory.
Meralco suffered its worst start in an import-laced conference since the 2014 Governors’ Cup.
GINEBRA 99 — Brownlee 34, Pringle 16, Thompson 15, J.Aguilar 10, Malonzo 10, Standhardinger 10, Tenorio 4, Pessumal 0.
MERALCO 91 — O’Bryant 31, Maliksi 20, Black 14, Almazan 10, Pasaol 9, Quinto 3, Hodge 2, Banchero 2, Caram 0, Hugnatan 0.
Quarters: 26-22, 49-41, 73-65, 99-91.