Brgy. Ginebra routed Manila Clasico rival Magnolia for the second straight game and booked a ticket to the championship round via 99-84 win in Game 4 of the semifinals, Wednesday in the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Gin Kings initially registered a lopsided, 23-point victory in Game 3 before taking the best-of-five series, 3-1, with another dominating performance which gave the crowd darlings a chance to compete for the title of the mid-season spectacle.
LA Tenorio dropped 10 points in the opening quarter to set the tone for the one-sided match and finished with 18 on 7-of-14 shooting with 4-of-8 coming from long distance. The 38-year old Batangueño playmaker also contributed 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in 33 minutes of action.
“We created a lot of open shots talaga within our offense because of our execution, kaya siguro nagkakaroon din ng opportunity for me to take the shot because it’s open — not only me but the other guards also,” said Tenorio during the post-game press with the best player and winning mentor.
Justin Brownlee led all scorers with 24 points highlighted by 4 booming treys to go with 14 boards, 6 dimes, 2 steals and 5 rejections.
“I’m so thankful we don’t have to play a Game 5 against this team,” said Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone.
“We talked about it: Just say no to Game 5. We had to put all our eggs in one basket in this game and we did. These guys didn’t leave anything, they didn’t look beyond this game,” added the former Alaska and Magnolia bench tactician who will be gunning for his 25th title.
Calvin Abueva paced the Hotshots with 14 points while import Nick Rakocevic and Jio Jalalon added 13 and 12 markers, respectively. Paul Lee, who played for only 2 minutes the last time around, saw action for 26 and contributed 9 points but could only convert on 1 of 5 attempts from beyond the arc. Regular starters Mark Barroca, Ian Sangalang and Rome dela Rosa were non-factors anew and combined for a measly 13 points.