Barangay Ginebra continued its mastery of Meralco.
The Gin Kings marched to yet another semifinal stint as they impressively finished off Meralco, 104-90, sweeping their best-of-three quarterfinal clash, 2-0, in the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
The contest followed almost the same script as Game 1 as Barangay Ginebra gained the needed leverage in the third quarter to take charge and bulldoze its way onto the next round.
Justin Brownlee sizzled yet again. The steady gunner once led his squad to victory, dropping a game-high 36 points, on an astounding 73-percent shooting, to go with six rebounds and nine assists as Meralco once again didn’t have an answer for him.
Not only did they book a ticket to the semis, the Gin Kings continued to be on fire, now having won seven straight dating back to the elimination round.
Ginebra will now await the victor between top seed Rain or Shine and No. 8 ranked GlobalPort, who will figure in a do-or-die rubber match tonight to see who moves on to the round of four.
“I give a lot of credit to my teammates. They just know how to set me up,” said Brownlee, who scored 17 in the second frame, of his fiery shooting. “We’re just trying to keep our rhythm and stay aggressive. Hopefully, we can just continue to have success in the playoffs.”
Just like in the series opener, the Gin Kings trailed early, 12-24, after the opening minutes of the game, but they immediately turned things around before pouncing harder in the third.
Ginebra took the second quarter, 32-23, to snatch the lead and take a 56-51 lead at the half.
With momentum on its side and with Brownlee scoring all over, the Gin Kings continued their dominance in the third as they tightened their grip on the game, establishing several 15-points leads after multiple runs to eventually take a key 79-65 spread heading the fourth quarter.
After surrendering its lead completely in the second quarter, it was all downhill from there for Meralco.
Greg Slaughter had a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds to help out the Gin Kings, while LA Tenorio added 11 markers.
Arinze Onuaku led the exiting Bolts with 21 points and 13 rebounds.