In the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, Barangay Ginebra defeated Rain or Shine with a breakthrough score of 116-108 to start its title-retention campaign.
Three weeks after their Commissioner’s Cup headline run, Justin Brownlee ended up leading the Gin Kings to an impressive victory with 29 points, outlined by a triple double.
Even so, Rain or Shine kept the Gin Kings on their heels and led by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter, making the victory anything but simple.
But in front of over 10,000 spectators at the Big Dome, Brownlee and super-substitute Nards Pinto led a late comeback, preventing the Elasto Painters from completing their work.
With five of his 12 points coming during an 11-0 run that gave Ginebra its first sizable lead of the game at 101-93, Pinto ended up being the game’s absolute legend.
To avoid having to play lengthy minutes, they attempted to slightly shorten the minutes. But then Nards started playing so well, Ginebra coach Tim Cone said of Pinto’s performance in the game, They just left him out there.
Notwithstanding the valiant effort in a game where the team, in the words of head coach Yeng Guiao, required a miracle to win, Rain or Shine lost, dropping to 0-4 overall.
There is no miracle. After the defeat, Guiao jokingly remarked.
For both the Gin Kings, Japeth Aguilar scored 18 points, and Scottie Thompson turned in his typical all-around effort of 15 points, 8 rebounds, as well as 5 assists.
With 23 and 21 points each for Rain or Shine, Michael Qualls and Beau Belga took the lead.
Ginebra 116 – Brownlee has a high score with 29 points, J. Aguilar 18, Thompson 15, Malonzo 14, Pringle 14, Pinto 12, Gray 7, Standhardinger 4, Tenorio 3, Mariano 0.
Rain or Shine 108 – Qualls has got high score with 23 points , Belga 21, Nambatac 18, Yap 11, Santillan 7, Torres 7, Mamuyac 6, Borboran 5, Asistio 4, Demusis 4, Norwood 2, Ponferrada 0.
Quarters: 28-21; 50-45; 80-81; 116-108