Barangay Ginebra San Miguel took Game 1 of the best-of-seven series against the San Miguel Beermen yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Everyone have expected to that the initial duel will be an intense battle but the Gin Kings came well prepared and lambasted the Beermen, 127-99.
The main reason why Ginebra went supreme is the stellar performance of their import. Justin Brownlee teased another triple-double performance as he led his team to a victory.
The now resident foreign hire of the team NSD probably saw the rim of the Big Dome too large in their Friday’s game schedule. Brownlee only missed two shots as he went 17-of-19 from the field. He logged 42 points on top of 9 assists, 7 rebounds and two block shots.
To make matter worse for San Miguel, the hot shooting of Brownlee became contagious and his teammates also caught fire and torched the nets of the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Joe Devance chipped in 20 points where most of his damage came from their third quarter run. Greg Slaughter and Mark Caguioa had a combined efforts of 22 points and eleven rebounds. “Mark the Spark” surprised their opponent as he stepped up his game Friday night.
LA Tenorio who made a three-point buzzer-beater at the end of the first half added nine points, eight rebounds and 2 steals while Scottie Thompson had seven points, seven assists and six rebounds in their victory.
“I think everybody was surprised by that game,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.”
“It was just one of those nights where we had it, they didn’t. We were firing on all cylinders, and we kind of got them on their heels early and just never let up.”
It’s now the usual thing for Brownlee to score 20 or more points in the first 24 minutes of basketball action and in Game 1 he did it again. Brownlee scored 29 points in the first two quarters and only missed one field goal attempt (12-of-13). Ginebra had a commanding 69-50 advantage as they head to their dugout.
In the last and final quarter, San Miguel’s chance to take their last stand but the Gin Kings spoiled their attempt for a comeback as they orchestrated another run. Brownlee and Mercado made a tandem during that stretch making sure that the Beermen won’t recover.
San Miguel’s prized rookie and the top overall pick of the 2017 PBA Draft, Christian Standhardinger led the second squad where he logged his career-high of 26 points.
SMB’s import Renaldo Balkman had 27 points and 13 rebounds while June Mar Fajardo was limited to 13 points but still a dominant force in controlling the boards as he registered 12 rebounds.