Ginebra ends SMB’s Grand Slam dreams, earns ticket to semis

September 27, 2017 - 9:57 PM
PBA Media Bureau

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel ended the Grand Slam dreams of the San Miguel Beermen, pulling away with a dominant 104-84 victory to advance to the semifinals of the Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage, the defending champions didn’t allow the Beermen to force a knockout game, building a lead as big as 30 points to eliminate their sister team in the No.3 versus No.6 matchup.

Ginebra import Justin Brownlee exploded for 37 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks while also burying four triples to lead the hot-shooting Gin Kings who sank 14 out of 29 triples to take the fight out of San Miguel.

Joe Devance added 17 markers spiked by four three-pointers, while Japeth Aguilar contributed 13 points. Scottie Thompson also grabbed 13 rebounds to go along with his seven points and four assists.

After a 23-all tie in the first 12 minutes, Ginebra shackled the Beermen in the second period, limiting them to just nine points while scoring 22.

The Gin Kings built a 45-32 halftime lead but couldn’t completely run away. Terrence Watson kept the Beermen within striking distance, hitting difficult jumpers against the tough Ginebra defense which froze San Miguel’s juggernaut offense.

Back-to-back triples by Devance and Sol Mercado at the start of the fourth quarter finally hammered San Miguel which simply had difficult time in its halfcourt execution.

Ginebra made it a 30-point game after a Thompson triple with 2:39 remaining.

Watson led the Beermen with 30 points, June Mar Fajardo registered 19 points and 22 rebounds and Marcio Lassiter made 14 markers.

However, San Miguel missed big-time productions of Alex Cabagnot who only had eight points; Arwind Santos who finished with six markers; and Chris Ross who just made five points.

It was a disappointing end to the season of San Miguel which had aimed to become the sixth team in league history to win all of the season’s three conference titles.

The Beermen found themselves in a twice-to-beat disadvantage in the quarterfinals after squandering an 18-point lead to Meralco last Sunday at the end of the elimination round. A win would have secured them a top-four finish in the playoffs.

The scores:

GINEBRA 104 – Brownlee 37, Devance 17, Aguilar J. 13, Slaughter 13, Mercado 9, Tenorio 8, Thompson 7, Mariano 0.

SAN MIGUEL 84 – Watson 30, Fajardo 19, Lassiter 13, Cabagnot 8, Santos 6, Ross 5, Espinas 3, Rosser 0, De Ocampo 0.

Quarters: 23-23, 45-32, 74-61, 104-84.