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Ginebra defeats the import-free NLEX to set up a dream semifinal matchup with SMB

Mar 20, 2023

On Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, Barangay Ginebra easily defeated NLEX—a team without any imports—by a score of 127-93 to progress to the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals.

In a second-quarter surge that resulted in a commanding 56-36 advantage at halftime, Justin Brownlee and Jamie Malonzo combined for 24 of the team’s 38 points, which allowed third-seed Ginebra establish a sizable lead early on.

The reigning champs, led by Christian Standhardinger, dominated the NLEX team in the second half, outscoring them by 38 points while Wayne Selden Jr. was out with an ankle injury.

Barangay Ginebra’s rout of Converge in the day’s first game set up an ideal semifinal matchup with second-seeded San Miguel thanks to the victory.

It was unfortunate for NLEX to play without an import at this point in the conference, according to Ginebra coach Tim Cone.

Tim Cone, the head coach, said it was just poor luck that he didn’t find out the import was hurt and wouldn’t be able to play until he was about to leave the locker room to go outside. NLEX has such awful luck now.

Cone is glad that the team did not leave anything to chance, though. They continued to be aggressive, particularly Justin, from the start, and they sent a message, according to Cone.

Brownlee finished with 31 points and 13 rebounds for Ginebra while Selden was out. He set the tone for the Gins in the first half by making 9 of his 11 shots.

For Ginebra, which is still competing without LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar, Malonzo finished with 20 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals, and Standhardinger scored 20 points and eight rebounds.

In NLEX’s final game of the season, Sean Anthony scored 16 points, and Kevin Alas added 15 more.

By losing to San Miguel, NLEX already lost the opportunity to earn a twice-to-beat incentive in the semifinals, falling to the No. 6 spot and having to play the defending Governors’ Cup champions.

The Scores

Barangay Ginebra 127 – Brownlee 31, Malonzo 20, Standhardinger 20, Gray 15, Pessumal 12, Thompson 10, Mariano 10,  R.  Aguilar 0, David 0, Onwubere 0, Pringle 5, Pinto 4.

NLEX 93 – Anthony 16, Alas 15, Trollano 14, Ganuelas-Rosser 14, Rosales 11, Semerad 10, Miranda 7, Pascual 0, Gabo 0, Doliguez 4, Nieto 2.

Quarter Scores: 18-17; 56-36; 93-62; 127-93

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