It’s the second time in the past two seasons that Barangay Ginebra San Miguel took the lights out from the San Miguel Beermen in their campaign for a Grand Slam as they went successful on dethroning the defending champ in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Ginebra faithfuls went full force and most probably they’re the majority of the 20,000+ crowd present in the Mall of Asia Arena. Coach Tim Cone and his troops used that as an added motivation and they didn’t failed their fans as they unleashed a fiery offensive attack in the third period.
Justin Brownlee was once again in his stellar performance and prove once again why he is the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Best Import Awardee. Brownlee led his Gin Kings with 31 points, 19 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 blocks and two steals effort, enough to secure the championship trophy.
During the first half, the Beermen defenders were successful on pinning down the Ginebra import as he was only limited to 11 points. However, in the second half, adjustments were made and Brownlee scored 10 points in the third quarter. Ginebra was trailing at the end of the first half 35-38 but turned the tides at the end of the third period, 62-46.
Jeff Chan and Joe Devance had a back-to-back layup to extend their lead to as much as 22 points. After that, San Miguel unable to recover as the game went to another blowout.
That Ginebra Game 6 victory wasn’t all Brownlee heroics.
Third year guard Scottie Thompson also stole the show with his 12 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists and was later named as the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP.
Apart from giving SMB’s June Mar Fajardo hard time operating inside the post, Greg Slaughter added 13 points and 9 boards for Ginebra.
Going back how Ginebra started the second conference, it’s preposterous to think that they’ll win all the way.
Ginebra started with a 1-5 win-loss record most of it was during the time of their import Charles Garcia. Then Brownlee got recalled and sparked an eight-game winning streak.
In the quarterfinals round they have battled against Meralco Bolts along with their big-import Arinze Onuako. They’ve won the best-of-three series using their running game to exhaust the Bolts foreign hire.
In the semis, they faced the second conference’s league leading team in victories, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. They disposed coach Caloy Garcia’s squad in Game 4 by winning the best-of-five series 3-1.
“Who would’ve thought that we’ve been able to win this series? And who would have thought that we can win it in 6 games?” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said. “I’m amazed at the resilience of our players, the fight and the battle.”
“The Kraken” June Mar Fajarod shown his MVP skills as he countered Ginebra’s offense with 29 points and 15 rebounds. SMB import Renaldo Balkman added 24 markers and 14 boards.
San Miguel’s back-court tandem of Marcio Lassiters and Alex Cabganot were shutdown. The duo missed all of their 17 attempts from the field.
Brian Heruela who mostly played as what everyone called as garbage time added 11 points and four assists.
Ginebra vs San Miguel – Game 6 Box Score
Quarters: 14-17 | 35-38 | 62-46 | 93-77
Gin Kings (93): Brownlee 31, Slaughter 13, Thompson 12, Tenorio 11, Chan 10, Mercado 6, Ferrer 5, Devance 4, J. Aguilar 1
Batang Pier (77): Fajardo 29, Balkman 24, Heruela 11, Cabagnot 6, Santos 5, Pessumal 2