Feb 05, 2023

Kings radiant even from short breather, ward off Elasto Painters

FROM a championship just a little over two weeks ago, it's still another day in the office for the Barangay Ginebra Kings.

Justin Brownlee brought his usual stuff and so did most of his Ginebra core players as the recently crowned PBA Commissioner's Cup champs started another conference on a winning note.

They showed more than enough gas in their tank and spring in their legs as they warded off the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 116-108, before a crowd of over 10,000 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.

"We're trying to shorten the minutes of everybody but then Nards came out with energy and started shooting," said Ginebra coach Tim Cone of Nards Pinto, a guy given more minutes than the usual with the spark he provided in the clutch.

Brownlee started yet another Commissioner's Cup stint with a 29-point, 11-assist and 10-rebound triple-double while Pinto came through with 12 markers, including two crucial treys, to be with four other Ginebra locals in double figures.

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"Credit goes to Rain or Shine, they really came out and played tough and aggressive. But we got some rhythm and we got some stuff," said Brownlee of their triumphant start in the conference where he has led Ginebra to four title runs.

The Kings did face some challenge, but used a key 11-0 blast in the fourth period to pull away from the Elasto Painters who even led by nine at one point.

Pinto and Scottie Thompson sparked their run then Brownlee took over to finish it and personally hand the Elasto Painters a fourth setback in as many games.

Japeth Aguilar got away with 18 markers, Thompson piled up 15, Jamie Malonzo and Stanley Pringle fired 14 each while Pinto went 5-of-7 from the field as the game-changer.

"Binibigay ko lang ang best ko pag nabibigyan ng minutes," said Pinto.

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The Elasto Painters put up a fight behind Michael Qualls (23 points), Beau Belga (21), Rey Nambatac (18) and James Yap (11).

They were ahead at 93-90 before the Kings touched off their telling 11-0 run to surge ahead at 101-93.

And there's no stopping the Gin Kings. (SB)

The Scores:

Ginebra 116 - Brownlee 29, J.Aguilar 18, Thompson 15, Pringle 14, Malonzo 14, Pinto 12, Gray 7, Standhardinger 4, Tenorio 3, Mariano 0.

Rain or Shine 108 - Qualls 23, Belga 21, Namabatac 18, Yap 11, Santillan 7, Torres 7, Mamuyac 6, Borboran 5, Asistio 4, Demusis 4, Norwood 2, Ponferrada 0.

Quarters: 28-21, 50-45, 80-81, 116-108