PBA: Ginebra pulls away to beat NorthPort
MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra bounced back from a stinging loss that jeopardized its chances of a twice-to-beat advantage after pulling away to beat NorthPort, 122-105, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Back-to-back threes by Jeremiah Gray and Jamie Malonzo ignited a decisive run that allowed the Gin Kings to turn a tightly-contested affair—the last time at 96-all early in the fourth—into a lopsided victory for the Gin Kings.
Malonzo finished with 26 points while coach Tim Cone also praised the performance of Stanley Pringle on both ends as Ginebra climbed up to 8-3 after falling to NLEX, 120-117, in overtime two nights earlier.
That defeat put Ginebra’s chances of a quarterfinal incentive in peril which coach Tim Cone acknowledged as something that is no longer in his team’s hands.
“We have no control over it so we want to control what we control which is the process of getting better,” said Cone, whose Gin Kings wrap up the eliminations against the Converge FiberXers on Wednesday.
A win over Converge plus a loss by Magnolia against Rain or Shine on Friday assures Ginebra of second place and the twice-to-beat bonus.
Justin Brownlee topscored for Ginebra with 31 points.
Arvin Tolentino, who liked Malonzo faced his former club for the first time, dropped 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting but NorthPort’s untimely flameout resulted in a 6-6 record at the conclusion of the elims.
NorthPort is assured of at least a playoff for No. 8, but can clinch a quarters berth depending on the results of the final two playdates.
GINEBRA 122 — Brownlee 31, Malonzo 26, Standhardinger 20, Gray 12, Thompson 8, J.Aguilar 7, Pringle 7, Mariano 6, Tenorio 3, Pinto 2.
NORTHPORT 105 — Tolentino 24, Ibeh 23, Bolick 22, Navarro 11, Chan 10, Ferrer 8, Balanza 4, Taha 3, Sumang 0.
Quarters: 27-34, 63-63, 93-92, 122-105.
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