Scottie Thompson and Japeth Aguilar gave Justine Brownlee a lift as an energized Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings exploded in the second quarter and posted a 114-99 swamping of the Bay Area Dragons before a record crowd in Game 7 on Sunday of the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup finals.
The trio strung up six triples, which allowed the fired-up Gin Kings to break the game wide open as they nailed their 15th league crown at the end of their best-of-seven finals series with the Dragons at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Brownlee showed the way with 34 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists for the Gin Kings, who became the league’s winningest team in the league’s 47-year history.
Jamie Malonzo, who struck with 13 points in the third period, tallied 22 points and 17 boards, while Thompson and Aguilar, who shot 10 points in the second canto during Ginebra’s blistering charge, scattered 18 and 14 points, respectively, for the Gin Kings.
Their efforts paved the way for the big performance for the Gin Kings, who broke their tie with Magnolia and Alaska Milk in terms of the number of championships won in the PBA.
“From the tipoff, when the ball went up, you can feel the energy of the crowd, and you can see the way it affected the players. This game is for all of you,” said Cone as members of Gin Kings celebrated their title conquest by smoking cigars as they acknowledged a mammoth and record crowd of 54,589, who watched the winner-take-all finals.
Brownlee’s big game came just two days since formally becoming a Philippine local, after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed into law his naturalization status.
The huge turnout broke the previous all-time high of 54,086, who trooped to the Philippine Arena in Game 7 of the 2017 Governors’ Cup, where the Gin Kings played against the Meralco Bolts.
Three consecutive treys from Brownlee, Thompson and Aguilar found their marks in the last 8:32, highlighting a 12-4 blast, which came as soon as the Dragons threatened, 27-31. The Gin Kings went on to enjoy a 42-32 edge after that.
Two more treys from Brownlee and LA Tenorio saw Ginebra moving away by 20, 59-39, with 49 ticks left in the first half.
Aguilar then slammed a dunk at the end of the first half, handing Ginebra one of their biggest edges at 22, 61-39.
Jamie Malonzo banged in 13 points in the third and his two freebies in the final 4:44 of the third sent the Gin Kings up by 27 points for the first time, 82-55.
Tenorio’s back-to-back three-pointers in the final 1:19 of the third later allowed the Gin Kings to keep distancing themselves with a second 27-point spread, 95-68.
It was the biggest lead registered in the series so far, as it surpassed the 20-point edge of the Dragons near the end of Game 2.
Ginebra’s Game 7 win is now considered as the most lopsided, since the San Miguel Beermen pulled off a 119-97 triumph over the TNT Tropang in this season’s Philippine Cup.
The Dragons, who could have become the first guest team to win a PBA crown since Nicholas Stoodley of the United States did it in the 1980 Invitationals, got 29 points from Myles Powell, while Hayden Blankley fired 25.
For coach Tim Cone, this will be his 25th overall PBA crown as a coach, and seventh for the Gin Kings.
Ginebra 114- Brownlee 34, Malonzo 22, Thompson 18, Aguilar 14, Standhardinger 12, Tenorio 10, Pringle 3, Gray 1, Dillinger 0, Pinto 0.
Bay Area 99—Powell 29, Blankley 25, Liu 17, Lam 13, Yang 10, Zhu 5, Ewing 0, Si 0, Ju 0, Liang 0.
Quarterscores: 27-21, 61-39, 95-74, 114-99.