In drubbing NLEX, Ginebra takes the expressway to semifinals

Ginebra caught a big break facing an NLEX team that played without import Wayne Selden. And the Gin Kings rode it all the way into the semifinals Sunday night.

Immediately, the Gin Kings went for the kill, routing the Road Warriors, 127-93, to secure a top-four berth in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Selden, a veteran of the National Basketball Association, missed the game after suffering a Grade 1 right mid-foot sprain.

The Gin Kings wasted no time, but could only put away the Road Warriors in the second period as Ginebra outscored NLEX, 38-19, to take a commanding 56-36 halftime lead.

The road ended for NLEX from then on.

“It was really, really bad luck,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “We didn’t know until after warm-ups and until after leaving the locker room to go out.”

“We had no idea and such bad luck for NLEX. The game would be a lot, lot different with Selden there. He’s a stud. But what we’re proud about our guys, we didn’t leave anything for chance. We didn’t let up,”

Justin Brownlee was business as usual as the three-time Best Import pumped in 31 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out six assists while also completing four steals.

Six other players also ended up in double figures for the Gin Kings, who will now prepare for the best-of-five semifinals duel with the San Miguel Beermen.

Brownlee will have a semifinal rematch against his counterpart, Cameron Clark, who now has an opportunity of making a deep run now that he’s reinforcing the more talented Beermen.

“It’s definitely going to be a tough match-up,” said Brownlee. “In my opinion, he’s (Clark) in the running for the Best Import of the Conference.”

The Scores:

GINEBRA 127 – Brownlee 31, Standhardinger 20, Malonzo 20, Gray 15, Pessumal 12, Thompson 10, Mariano 10, Pringle 5, Pinto 4, Onwubere 0, R. Aguilar 0, David 0

NLEX 93 – Anthony 16, Alas 15, Trollano 14, Ganuelas-Rosser 14, Rosales 11, Semerad 10, Miranda 7, Doliguez 4, Nieto 2, Pascual 0, Gabo 0

QUARTERS: 18-17, 56-36, 93-62, 127-93

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