(UPDATED) Justin Brownlee dropped 46 points while LA Tenorio put in the finishing touches to orchestrate Barangay Ginebra’s dramatic 107-103 finish against Magnolia in Game 3 of their best-of-5 PBA Governors' Cup semifinal showdown at the Araneta Coliseum.
It was the defending champion’s first win in the series, thus keeping their finals hopes alive against the Hotshots, 2-1.
Aside from Brownlee’s 46 points, the Ginebra import also grabbed 19 rebounds and dished out 3 assists while helping the Kings erase an 18-point deficit.
But Tenorio played a huge role in the final seconds of the game.
Just after Romeo Travis scooped in a shot to tie the scores for the Hotshots, 103-all, Tenorio got past Jio Jalalon's defense and sank the go-ahead floater that pushed the Kings ahead with 14.0 seconds remaining.
A few seconds later, Tenorio settled the final scores from the free- throw line to hand the Hotshots’ first defeat in the race-to-3 wins series.
Coach Tim Cone admitted they had to make adjustments after trailing Magnolia by 18 points in the first half.
That meant sacrificing his big men in favor of a smaller line-up.
“When we’re playing Greg (Slaughter) and Japeth (Aguilar), we've got to win the match-ups. We can't let the smalls beat us, and that didn't happen in the first half so we went smaller in the second-half trying to match up,” said Cone.
The coach also gave credit to Joe Devance who played a big role in limiting Travis to just 12 points.
“If this was not the playoffs, Joe Devance would not be playing… The only reason he's playing is we we're down 2-0. You got to give the guy credit, he's coming off a broken toe, hasn't healed all the way yet, he's supposed to take another 2 weeks off,” said Cone.
“He made some nice passes, handled the ball and played defense on the import, that's basically why he's here and helped us get over the hump.”
Despite enjoying the lead in the first-half of the match, the Hotshots eventually collapsed with Travis settling for just 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Paul Lee also struggled with a 6-for-17 field goal shooting and finished with 17 points.
Further hurting Magnolia's cause was the ejection of Magnolia coach Chito Victolero midway in the fourth quarter. The coach got kicked out for throwing the ball at a referee while complaining about the officiating.
Ginebra 107 - Brownlee 46, Thompson 15, Tenorio 14, Aguilar 11, Devance 8, Chan 5, Mercado 3, Slaughter 3, Caperal 0, Ferrer 0.
Magnolia 103 - Barroca 19, Lee 17, Sangalang 16, Travis 12, Jalalon 10, Brondial 10, Dela Rosa 8, Simon 5, Melton 3, Reavis 3, Herndon 0, Gamalinda 0.
Quarters: 23-22, 41-58, 79-81, 107-103.
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