Ginebra closes Bay Area to open PBA Finals

LA Tenorio Ginebra PBA

LA Tenorio. PBA . IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra drew the Bay Area in the bottom of the tournament on Christmas Day to win 96-81 and then scored the first goal of their best of seven games to PBA Commissioner’s Cup competition.

LA Tenorio reset its conference top score to 22 points, showing prominently in the second quarter attack that helped the Gin Kings take control of the competition against 18,252 screaming souls at the Mall of Asia Arena in City of Pasay.

“This is very important to us. Of all the Finals I’ve been (in) this is the first that really matters and coach Tim (Cone) has always preached about it. We want to set the tone,” said the club captain.

Justin Brownlee leads the crowd’s darlings in scoring with 28 points and 13 rebounds, Christian Standhardinger with 16 and 10, while defending Player of the Year Scottie Thompson 14 and 9 with six assists. ​created for the first blood draw in a series that many felt would go the distance and give this cage-crazed nation a timely gift.

“Playing on Christmas Day is a bit of a pressure. And playing in a situation where you have both together, that causes a lot of anxiety. But it was a special moment, a special moment. People are coming with their families to come see us. They’re watching the Philippines play, and that’s what makes the game so special,” Cone said.

“That’s how we treat it,” he continued.

Ginebra took the lead by 15 points, all thanks to an intense run from Tenorio, Brownlee and Standhardinger. The Gin Kings also holds it together — especially when the Dragons take the lead in round 74-69 at the top of the final bracket.

Imports Andrew Nicholson was only kept at 27 points, while Glen Yang and Zhu Songwei each accounted for 12 points. Kobey Lam has scored another 11 as the visiting club are now conspiring against going into the 0-2 rut this Wednesday as the title rundown moves to the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.


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