Gin Kings eliminate Hotshots

Brgy. Ginebra put on a masterful display against Magnolia, preventing them from finding any rhythm and ultimately securing a commanding 99-77 victory to secure a spot in the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup.

Christian Standhardinger delivered a standout performance with 36 points, 17 of which came in the first half, setting the tone for the Gin Kings’ impressive win. It was a career-high scoring output for the Fil-German veteran in a Brgy. Ginebra uniform.

As the No. 2 seeded team with a twice-to-beat advantage, the Kings are the first to advance to the semis and will face the winner of the Meralco vs. NLEX quarterfinal series, which currently sees the Bolts leading 1-0.

Coach Tim Cone expressed his surprise at how efficiently his team dispatched the Hotshots, who were fresh off a runner-up finish in the previous Commissioner’s Cup to San Miguel.

“I’m totally gulat. I’m so gulat right now. I’m shocked that this happened this quick and that we were able to beat them like we did. All day today I was just dreading having to come and play this game and thinking about, ‘Oh no, we have a knockout game on Wednesday.’ And so we go to all those emotions leading up to the gam,” said Cone.

“I’m totally shocked that we played well as we did and we’re able to finish them tonight, honestly.”

Contributions from Maverick Ahanmisi (16 points), Japeth Aguilar (12 points), Ralph Cu (11 points), and Scottie Thompson (11 points) solidified the crowd darlings’ dominance, leading by as many as 26 points during the game.

Despite their best efforts, Magnolia struggled to find their footing throughout the match, with the early exit of guard Jio Jalalon due to injury further complicating their situation.

Veteran Mark Barroca led the Hotshots with 19 points, six rebounds, and eight assists, while Aris Dionisio was the only other player in double figures with 10 points. Ian Sangalang, a key player for Magnolia, was limited to just 8 points and 2 rebounds, while Paul Lee was held to 6 points.

The defeat marked a disappointing end to Magnolia’s campaign, especially after showing promise earlier in the season.

The scores:

Brgy. Ginebra 99 – Standhardinger 26, Ahanmisi 16, J.Aguilar 12, Thompson 11, Cu 11, Pringle 6, Gumaru 3, Pinto 2, David 2, Onwubere 0, R.Aguilar 0, Pessumal 0, Tenorio 0, Murrell 0.

Magnolia 77 – Barroca 19, Dionisio 10, Sangalang 8, Tratter 8, Abueva 8, Mendoza 7, Lee 6, Laput 4, Balanza 3, Dela Rosa 2, Ahanmis 2, Reavis 0, Jalalon 0, Eriobu 0.

Quarterscores: 28-17, 52-36, 80-58, 99-77.

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