MANILA -- (UPDATED) Barangay Ginebra took multiple solid shots from rival Magnolia but each time, the two-time champs had big time answers.
The Gin Kings won Manila Clasico once again, surviving the Hotshots, 98-86, Sunday at the Big Dome.
Ginebra took over first place in the season-ending conference once again and the Gin Kings' current 8-2 mark is enough to secure a twice-to-beat edge come playoff time.
"Everytime we look like we're putting the game away, they'll come back and go on a big run," head coach Tim Cone said.
"That shows how good that team is. I was frustrated three or four times in the game. That's the way they are, they do that to everybody," he added.
True enough, the Gin Kings were up by 15 at the break only for the Hotshots to cut it down to four points halfway through the third.
Ginebra would recover to take a 16-point lead entering the fourth and the Gin Kings even led by as many as 22, 81-59.
Still, Magnolia would display its own never-say-die attitude, making Ginebra earn the win in the final minute.
Import Justin Brownlee was once again instrumental for Ginebra, pouring 29 points, 17 in the second half. He also had 12 rebounds and seven assists. Japeth Aguilar was the top local for the Gin Kings with 17 points.
The Hotshots missed out on locking up the No. 1 seed and will finish the elimination round with an 8-3 mark. Romeo Travis led Magnolia with 30 points.
Ginebra 93 - Brownlee 29, Aguilar 17, Slaughter 11, Tenorio 9, Mercado 9, Mariano 6, Thompson 6, Chan 3, Ferrer 3, Caperal 0.
Magnolia 86 - Travis 30, Lee 21, Jalalon 12, Barroca 10, Herndon 5, Melton 3, Simon 2, Dela Rosa 2, Reavis 1, Sangalang 0, Ramos 0, Brondial 0.
Quarter scores: 24-15, 46-31, 69-53, 93-86.
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.