Barangay Ginebra battled in a gritty game against the NorthPort Batang Pier and escaped with a tight win. Justin Brownlee came up big in the clutch, leading Ginebra to a 73-70 win over the Batang Pier. Ginebra rises up to 2-1 and hands NorthPort their first loss of the conference in the process.
Ginebra and NorthPort combined for only 27 points in the first period as both teams struggled with their offense early on. Down by two at the start of the second quarter, Ginebra found a groove and went on a 10-0 tear to take an eight-point lead. That run was powered by eight points from Brownlee and Sol Mercado, with both players aggressively attacking the basket. Ginebra held on to the advantage and settled for a seven-point lead heading to the half.
In the third quarter, it was NorthPort’s turn to respond. Sean Anthony came alive and scored seven points in a 9-0 counter run to tie the game. Ginebra tried to pull away once again but the Batang Pier had a ready answer to their runs. The game turned into a back-and-forth affair all the way to the final minutes.
With less than two minutes left in the game and Ginbera down by two, Brownlee took over. He got a pass from Scottie Thompson in the paint and scored on a layup to tie the game at 70. In the next possession, Thompson found Brownlee again on the swing pass that led to a tie-break three-pointer from the right corner. Brownlee finished off his flurry by tipping the ball away from Mo Tautuaa and coming up with a clutch steal. Ginebra held on to win the game.
Brownlee finished with a game-high 32 points. He had eight rebounds, six assists and five steals to go along with his scoring total. Greg Slaughter backed him up with 16 points. Thompson had 11 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Tautuaa led the Batang Pier with 15 points.
In the first game, Cjay Perez exploded for a new career high to lead the Columbian Dyip over the NLEX Road Warriors 120-105. The Dyip get their first win of the conference while the Road Warriors remain winless in four games.
Perez dropped 39 points on NLEX, shooting a scorching hot 76% from the field. He was nearly perfect from beyond the arc, hitting seven of his eight three-point attempts. Perez also had nine rebounds and three steals to add to his strong stat line. Kyle Barone, playing his last game for Columbian scored 31 points on 54% shooting. He also had eight rebounds and three blocks.
Barone and Perez powered a 16-3 run midway through the second period. The two combined for 12 points in that blitz and turned the game in Columbian’s favor. From just three points, the lead extended to 16, giving the Dyip full control of the game.
The game got out of hand in the third quarter when Perez and Barone went berzerk from beyond the arc. Perez started off the quarter with 12 straight points, all from threes to bring Columbian’s lead up to 21. Barone then took over and hit three straight triples to increase the lead to 29 points. Columbian held off NLEX all the way to the final buzzer.
Photos from the PBA