Barangay Ginebra displayed its full strength as it clobbered TNT, 121-94, to gain a 1-0 lead in their best-of-5 semifinals series in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Monday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Justin Brownlee opened the floodgates for the Gin Kings in the first quarter as he anchored a 14-2 blast to turn a 17-19 deficit into a 31-21 lead.
Brownlee fired a team-high 21 points on an efficient 10-of-15 shooting clip on top of eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
The 29-year-old forward, then, teamed up with Greg Slaughter to further pounce on the hapless KaTropa in the third quarter, before Mark Caguioa followed suit in the fourth period.
“They beat us up in the eliminations, and we got them today,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
The Kings got back at the KaTropa, who manhandled them,121-92, in the elimination round.
Joe Devance scattered 19 markers, four boards, and three assists, while Slaughter collected 16 points, seven rebounds, five dimes, and four blocks off the bench in the win.
Caguioa uncorked all of his 13 markers in the fourth quarter as three other players finished in double-digits for the Gin Kings.
Game 2 is on Wednesday at Batangas City Coliseum in Batangas City, and Cone expects a much-prepared TNT squad for the tiff.
“Game 2 is probably going to be pretty exciting. One way, we’re happy that we’re able to play like this because we’re able to beat them. On the other hand, we just filled their bag with a whole bunch of motivation going to Game 2,” Cone said.
“There’s always positives and negatives to blowouts in a series. But we basically got done what we wanted to do today, in terms of getting the ball inside to Joe, Japeth (Aguilar), Justin, and Greg, and we also defended well.”
It was a complete annihilation on the part of the Gin Kings, who controlled the boards, 54-42, and led by as much as 34 points, 113-79.
Glen Rice paced TNT with 26 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and three steals, but committed seven turnovers.
Jayson Castro chipped in 16 markers and seven dimes, while Roger Pogoy got 12 points and five boards in a losing effort.
GINEBRA 121 – Brownlee 21, Devance 19, Slaughter 16, Caguioa 13, J. Aguilar 10, Cruz 10, Tenorio 10, Mercado 7, Thompson 7, Mariano 4, Taha 4, R. Aguilar 0, Helterbrand 0.
TNT 94 – Rice 26, Castro 16, Pogoy 12, Tautuaa 7, Carey 6, Nuyles 6, Rosario 5, Williams 5, Semerad 5, Hernandez 3, Reyes 2, Chua 1, Golla 0, Lingganay 0, Seigle 0.
Quarters: 31-22, 60-48, 95-75, 121-94.