Ginebra answers back with authority, ties series versus San Miguel

Barangay Ginebra 130 – San Miguel Beermen 100 (Series tied 2-2)

This series has been weird.

It’s very rare to see blowouts versus two teams as equally matched as San Miguel and Ginebra, but to see four straight is even more jarring. What makes these series of blowouts even more baffling was how the teams have been trading blowouts with each other. We thought we finally got a gauge for the series after Game 3, but that’s far from the case. If anything, these blowouts have made things even more difficult when it’s come to determining who’s likely going to win these series.

There have been SOME consistencies, one for each team, in fact For the Beermen, it’s how they’ve dominated the offensive glass. From Games 1-3, the Beermen averaged 19 offensive rebounds, a huge advantage compared to the 8.7 that Ginebra grabbed. This can be shocking for many because of how much length Ginebra has, but the Beermen have countered with their girth down low led by Christian Standhardinger, and the activity of their guards.

The result of this has been more possessions. For their first three games, the Beermen averaged 96 total shot attempts versus the 79 of the Gin Kings. More shot attempts should mean more chances of making shots right? It was especially true for the wins of the Beermen, where they came out running and blew Ginebra off the gate.

For Ginebra, their constant force has been Justin Brownlee. He’s been an absolute BEAST in this series, averaging 35 points on 78 percent (!!!) shooting. As awesome as Brownlee is, he can’t do it alone as evidenced by the weekend he had last week. He needs help from the rest of his teammates, whether it be off making shots or even making the correct passes to make things easier for everybody else.

The fact remains, this series has shown us that grabbing offensive rebounds and making sure everyone gets to contribute doesn’t assure you a victory. Ginebra learned that the hard way in Games 2 and 3 as the rest of Ginebra had difficulty establishing their rhythm, while San Miguel learned that during Games 1 and 4.

San Miguel continued to feast on offensive boards (25 offensive rebounds, 101 shot attempts), but their added activity did lead to baskets. They shot only 39% from the field and 28% from beyond the arc.

Justin Brownlee continued to go en fuego (37 points, 15/18 FG), while the rest of the Gin Kings helped their main man out. Greg Slaughter had 19 points and eight rebounds, Joe Devance scored 18 while LA Tenorio added 17. It was beautiful basketball by Ginebra as they had 36 assists as a team. They shot 64% from the field and hit a whopping 13 treys on 54% shooting.

Once again, this series has been weird. Game 5 is set for tomorrow, but it’s difficult to predict what we’re getting. The effort and Brownlee remain constant, but the rest are mysteries. Maybe it’s more fun that way.