Ginebra’s title drought ends

THE Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings ended a 21-year title drought in the Commissioner’s Cup of the Philippines Basketball Association (PBA) as they finished off the erstwhile defending champion San Miguel Beermen, 93-77, in Game 6 at the jam-packed Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena last Wednesday night.

The Kings won three straight games to erase a 2-1 deficit and closed out the best-of-seven championship series at 4-2 in front of the 20,490 crowd in MOA Arena, Pasay City. The last time that the Kings won the Commissioner’s Cup was in 1997 when charismatic Robert Jaworski was still a playing coach.

Barangay Ginebra used a strong third quarter as they erupted for 31 points while limiting the Beermen to only eight to break away with a 62-46 edge going to the final quarter after both teams were neck-to-neck in the first two quarters.

The Beermen had a slim 38-35 lead at the half and opened the third quarter with a basket from import Renaldo Balkman before the Kings found their rhythm, staging a 16-2 blast to take a 51-42 lead midway through the third.

Ginebra continued their dominant display in the fourth quarter and went on to lead as much as 22 points.

The 6-foot-4 forward Brownlee led the Kings to the title-clinching victory finishing with a double-double of 31 points and 19 rebounds on top of seven assists in 44 minutes of play.

The do-it-all guard from Digos City Scottie Thompson was the brightest among the local players with another brilliant game, fueling energy to the Kings with his 13 rebounds, 12 points and five assists. He was later named the Finals MVP.

Cebuano bigman and former University of Visayas (UV) Green Lancers stalwart Greg Slaughter also had a good showing for Ginebra, finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds in almost 40 minutes of play.

“For us to recover and win three in row, I’m speechless. It’s on the player,” the now a 21-time PBA champion coach Tim Cone told PBA.PH.

Cone also credit the crowd for its undying support to the team. “You made the big difference. We came back because of you. You kept pushing us, and so we’re back as champions,” Cone addressed the crowd.

Meanwhile, Cebuano and four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo had a double-double of 29 points and 15 rebounds but was not enough to lift the Beermen to victory. (RSC)

Source: Ph Local

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