IT'S been a while since Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer figured in a playoff face-off.
The wait for this one is over.
Denied of a playoff top seeding, the Gin Kings nonetheless took the quick route to the PBA Governors' Cup Final Four with a 127-93 rout of a Wayne Selden-less NLEX side at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.
Sans the injury-hit Selden, the Road Warriors just had no answer for Justin Brownlee and his teammates who pounded the opening to set up a best-of-five semis showdown with the Beermen.
The second-seeded Beermen, earlier, also took one attempt to make the semis, blasting the Coverge FiberXers, 121-105.
Thus, Ginebra and San Miguel are duking it out in a playoff clash again - the first time since the Kings disposed of the Beermen in the 2019 Governors' Cup quarterfinals.
As the fourth seed then, Ginebra knocked out San Miguel in one try, then topped NLEX in four games of a best-of-five semifinals and proceeded to win the crown with a 4-1 conquest of Meralco.
The Kings found no problem booking a semis return in the season-ending tourney despite the continued sidelining of Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio due to their own health woes.
The Road Warriors, the sixth seed, were into the game only in the opening period.
The Kings created a big separation with a 38-19 salvo in the second quarter and kept the Road Warriors at bay the rest of the way.
Brownlee piled up 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals while Jamie Malonzo logged 16 markers, five boards, two steals and one assist as Ginebra took the half at 56-36.
And there's no let-up for the Kings.
Coach Tim Cone said he's proud of his guys they got the job done and didn't fall in a trap of playing lousy against an import-less rival.
At the same time, Cone said he felt sorry for coach Frankie Lim and the Road Warriors for the bad luck they suffered.
"It's the worst luck one could get," said Cone.
"It would have been a lot different if Wayne was there. He's a stud," said Cone.
The Kings didn't hold their punches, throwing a barrage with Brownlee finishing with 31 points on top of 13 rebounds and six assists, and Standhardinger and Malonzo ending up with 20 points apiece.
Sean Anthony paced the losing side with 16 markers. (SB)
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.