Defending champion Ginebra ends SMB's Grand Slam chase

Paul Lintag on Sep 27, 2017 09:19 PM
Defending champion Ginebra ends SMB's Grand Slam chase
The Gin Kings made full use of their twice-to-beat advantage, eliminating San Miguel after just one game.

Well, San Miguel's Grand Slam chase sure had an anticlimactic ending.

Defending champion Brgy. Ginebra ended the Beermen's aspirations for a triple crown, scoring a big 104-84 victory in the 2017 Governors' Cup quarterfinals Wednesday at the MOA Arena.

The Gin Kings made full use of their twice-to-beat advantage, eliminating San Miguel after just one game.

Instead of the Beermen looking to win a second Grand Slam in franchise history, it's Ginebra's journey to win back-to-back titles that's getting an extension.

Import Justin Brownlee was in full destroyer mode all game long, but is incredible effort in the second period allowed the Gin Kings to pull away from San Miguel.

Brownlee scored 16 in that pivotal quarter, single-handedly turning a tie game into a blowout in favor of Ginebra. He finished with a game-high 37 points to go along with 12 rebounds and four blocks.

The Beermen tried to keep the game manageable in the second half but the Gin Kings landed the final haymaker in the fourth, leading by as many as 30 points, 102-72, before settling for a 20-point victory.

After Brownlee, Joe Devance came through for Ginebra with 17 points while the twin tower combination of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar scored 13 apiece.

"We played great from start to finish. They struggled with their shooting all-game long. It’s just one of those nights for them, it came at a bad time for them," head coach Tim Cone said.

"We were on our game, we used our bigs to just pound and pound the ball inside. We had a couple of massive games from Joe Devance and Justin. They just kind of propelled us," he added.

After dominating the first two conferences, the Beermen came crashing in the season-ending joust, losing their final two games including this one. San Miguel is the first team since the 2011 Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters to come close to a Grand Slam only to lose in the third conference.

In the case of TNT, they were denied by the Beermen (then known as Petron Blaze) in Game 7 of the Governors' Cup Finals.

Import Terrence Watson carried the fight for San Miguel, pouring 30 points in a losing effort. Reigning 3-time MVP June Mar Fajardo added 19 points and 22 rebounds.

The no. 3 Gin Kings, shooting for back-to-back titles in this conference, will now wait for the winner of the TNT-Rain or Shine series in the semifinals.


The scores:

GINEBRA 104 - Brownlee 37, Devance 17, Aguilar J. 13, Slaughter 13, Mercado 9, Tenorio 8, Thompson 7, Mariano 0.

SAN MIGUEL 84 - Watson 30, Fajardo 19, Lassiter 13, Cabagnot 8, Santos 6, Ross 5, Espinas 3, Rosser 0, De Ocampo 0.

Quarters: 23-23, 45-32, 74-61, 104-84.



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