PBA: Ginebra still in play for twice-to-beat, blasts Converge

Justin Brownlee Ginebra PBA

Barangay Ginebra import Justin Brownlee. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra stayed in contention for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals after taking down Converge, 115-96, on Wednesday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Justin Brownlee dropped 25 points a few days after his naturalization was approved by the House of Representatives on the third and final reading while LA Tenorio had 14 points as Ginebra bounced back from an overtime loss to NLEX to end the elims at 9-3.

Ginebra can place no lower than third, but will gain the quarterfinal bonus if Magnolia drops its final match against Rain or Shine on Friday.

Magnolia carries the advantage in the twice-to-beat race with a 9-2 record.

“It’s out of our control,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “Right now, it’s difficult to prepare because we don’t know where we are, who we will play.”

Converge suffered a second straight defeat to place fourth going into the quarters at 8-4.

The FiberXers will take on the San Miguel Beermen, already assured of the fifth seed, in a best-of-three series.

Import Quincy Miller came back after he didn’t play against NorthPort for disciplinary measures, was held to 16 points while grabbing 16 rebounds for Converge.

Rookie big man Justine Arana topscored for Converge with 23 points.

The Scores:

GINEBRA 115 — Brownlee 25, Malonzo 17, Aguilar J. 16, Tenorio 14, Standhardinger 13, Thompson 9, Pringle 9, Gray 7, Pessumal 3, Aguilar R. 2, Mariano 0.

CONVERGE 96 – Arana 23, Miller 16, Melecio 12, Ilagan 11, Stockton 10, Teng 10, Tratter 6, Tolomia 4, DiGregorio 2, Racal 2, Browne 0, Ambohot 0.

Quarters: 25-23, 56-48, 84-75, 115-96.