MANILA – The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings snapped a three-year PBA finals drought after scoring a 117-92 victory over the San Miguel Beermenin Game 5 of the 2016 Oppo PBA Governor’s Cup best-of-five semifinals on Tuesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Reinforcement Justin Brownlee led the way with a near triple-double 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Kings, which will face the Meralco Bolts in the best-of-seven finals beginning on Friday.
Earl Scottie Thompson chipped in a career-high 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Solomon Mercado, LA Tenorio and Aljon Mariano contributed 22, 18 and 11 points respectively for the Kings.
“We were shocked in the first quarter when we got a big lead but, as expected, the San Miguel came back. But we talked about aggressiveness in the second half and we never look back,” said Kings head coach Tim Cone.
From a tight exchange early in the opening quarter, the Kings went on a huge run behind triples from Thompson, Mercado, Tenorio and Brownlee to build a huge 37-12 advantage early in the second period.
The Beermen, however, retaliated with a 24-0 scoring run behind ArwindSantos and Marcio Lassiter to come to within 37-36, but a huge finishing blow by the Kings behind Tenorio and Brownlee gave the Kings a 45-38 halftime lead.
The Kings regained its form in the third quarter as conversions from Tenorio and Brownlee increased the lead to 56-43. With the Beermenstruggling, the Kings pulled to an 81-73 edge on baskets by Mariano and Tenorio.
The Kings delivered fatal shots in the final quarter to build its largest lead of the match at 112-80 on conversions from JapethAguilar, Mark Caguioa and Anthony Helterbrand.
Santos finished with 24 points, while reinforcement Elijah Millsap chipped in 18 markers for the dethroned champions Beermen, which only got seven points from big man June Mar Fajardo, all on free throws./PN
GINEBRA 117 – Brownlee 26, Thompson 24, Mercado 22, Tenorio 18, Mariano 11, Devance 6, Aguilar 5, Caguioa 2, Helterbrand 2, Marcelo 1, Cruz 0, Villamor 0
SAN MIGUEL 92 – Santos 24, Millsap 18, Lassiter 11, Cabagnot 10, Heruela 9, Fajardo 7, David 7, Ross 3, Reyes 3, Tubid 0, De Ocampo 0, Arana 0, Semerad 0, Espinas 0
QUARTERS – 33-12, 45-38, 81-53, 117-92