PBA: Ginebra fends off Meralco fourth quarter rally to book semis berth

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 11) — Barangay Ginebra is marching on to the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner's Cup semifinals.

Ginebra thwarted a late-game Meralco run to eliminate the Bolts, 104-90, in the quarterfinals Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Import Justin Brownlee carried Ginebra with an all-around performance 36 points on 73 percent shooting, nine assists, and six rebounds.

The Bolts maximized on Ginebra's sluggish start to take a four-point advantage at the end of the first period.

Ginebra then adjusted its game plan to grab the driver's seat heading into the halftime break, 56-51.

A collective effort from the Ginebra players on both ends of the floor propelled them to build a lead as high as 15 points in the third period.

Not giving up without a fight, Meralco unleashed a 10-0 blast midway in the final period to trim the deficit to a single digit.

But veteran playmaker L. A. Tenorio orchestrated Ginebra's offense perfectly to avoid any complications down the stretch.

Big man Greg Slaughter contributed 14 points and and 10 rebounds, while Tenorio chipped in 11 points for Ginebra.

Arinze Onuaku powered the Bolts with 21 markers and 13 boards on a losing effort.

Ginebra will wait for the winner in the do-or-die quarterfinals match between the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and GlobalPort Batang Pier.

 

The scores:

Barangay Ginebra (104) – Brownlee 36, Slaughter 14, Tenorio 11, Aguilar 10, Mercado 9, Devance 8, Thompson 4, Ferrer 2, Caguioa 2, Mariano 0, Manuel 0.

Meralco (90) – Onuaku 21, Newsome 17, Amer 11, Hugnatan 10, Caram 6, Dillinger 6, De Ocampo 6, Hodge 6, Lanete 3, Baracael 2, Canaleta 2, Ballesteros 0, Bono 0, Salva 0.

Quarterscores: 24-28; 56-51; 79-65; 104-90.