Diamond a gem in Beermen victory; Justin shines even brighter for Kings | Inquirer Sports

Diamond a gem in Beermen victory; Justin shines even brighter for Kings

/ 04:25 AM October 10, 2022

San Miguel import Diamond Stone

San Miguel’s Diamond Stone (left) managed to deal with Rain or Shine’s physicality. —PBA IMAGES.

Diamond Stone finally put in a gem of a performance.

Justin Brownlee, however, did better later in the evening.


Brownlee and Barangay Ginebra turned an expected dogfight with Bay Area into a surprising beatdown on Sunday—and they were highly motivated to produce such a result.


“They’re a guest team here and they’re a great guest team, and we just want to represent our league and play hard,” Brownlee said after firing 46 points in the Gin Kings’ 111-93 win that halted the Dragons’ unbeaten start in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at four.

Ginebra improved to 2-1 before a good-sized crowd at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City after a third quarter that further broke the myth of invincibility Bay Area had built since arriving in the country in August.

Bay Area, mentored by the well-decorated Brian Goorjian, claimed nine tuneup games against teams from the PBA, UAAP, NCAA and even one from South Korea before going on a tear in the midseason conference.

But Ginebra not only gave Bay Area a humbling result, it also won convincingly thanks to a huge third quarter breakaway.

“I was totally surprised with how we played in that second half,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, who was eager to match wits with his counterpart known for leading Australia to a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria was less surprised as he was relieved after Stone put up a performance that may leave the Beermen less worried about its import situation.


“I feel that I have adjusted well,” Stone said after going for 42 points in San Miguel’s 113-105 win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters earlier in the day.

A last-minute replacement after original import Thomas Robinson went down with a back injury during the leadup to the midseason conference, Stone struggled in his debut last Wednesday which saw San Miguel squandering a big lead and falling to Blackwater in a stunning upset.

But Stone gave Austria a reason to be less anxious after scampering for an immediate replacement for Robinson.

“The first game was really hard for him,” Austria said. “He didn’t know the team, he didn’t know the system and he didn’t know the kind of basketball we have here. But I’m happy for him because he seemed to have realized that he has to perform.”

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Stone made 17 of 29 shots during a 43-minute performance.

He also had 13 rebounds and three assists while dealing with the physicality that eventually saw Rain or Shine big man Beau Belga being sent off late in the fourth with a Flagrant Foul 2. INQ

TAGS: Basketball, PBA, Sports

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