PBA: Ginebra beats Rain or Shine to defend title

Justin Brownlee Ginebra PBA

Justin Brownlee. PBA . IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines-Barangay Ginebra kicked off her title-maintenance effort in style by taking on Rain or Shine, 116-108, in the PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Gin Kings rode on the hot hand of Nards Pinto, who scored 12 points from the bench, lubricating the defending champion’s counterattacks in the payline that eventually eliminated teamfights from the Painters.

“I think just with the likes of Nards (Pinto) and Scottie (Thompson) we didn’t panic when we fell behind in that short time and got back in the game,” coach Tim Cone said.

Import Justin Brownlee has 29 points and 11 bounces. Japeth Aguilar added 18, Thompson 15, while Jamie Malonzo and Stanley Pringle each added 14.

Rain or Shine collected 23 points from imported Michael Qualls, 21 points from Beau Belga and 18 more from Rey Nambatac. James Yap pushed for another 11 goals but was hardly a factor when the Gin Kings rallied again.

Ginebra actually had a nine-point lead at the end of the third half but managed to maintain the lead thanks to Malonzo, who has scored eight of his total in that span of time alone.

Pinto then made it through to the next frame, knocking out a pair of threes to give everything to his teammates, which ultimately caused the Painters to lose their fourth straight game in as many outings.

The Gin Kings will take the 2nd place win over NLEX this Wednesday, while Rain or Shine will have nearly a week to regroup when it returns to Blackwater.


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