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Ginebra rolls past Converge, stays in running for twice-to-beat spot

MANILA, Philippines, December 1 ------ BARANGAY Ginebra capped its elimination-round campaign with a 115-96 blowout win over Converge on Wednesday night in the PBA 47th season Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena.

The Gin Kings completed the elimination round by winning seven of their last eight outings to finish with a 9-3 win-loss record, giving themselves a chance at capturing the second of two twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. Currently at third place, Ginebra can still take the second seed and the last twice-to-beat in the event of a Magnolia defeat to Rain or Shine on Friday.

Justin Brownlee and Jamie Malonzo played a key role in a second-half run that saw the Gin Kings turn the game into a mismatch, opening leads by as many as 22 points to take the fight out of Converge. “Again, it’s out of our control,” said Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone, referring to the No. 2 spot. “We aren’t going to worry too much about it – two or three. We prefer two but we are okay at three. We are just glad we didn’t slip down to seven or eight and have play a Bay Area or something like that, twice-to-beat.”

Converge slipped to No. 4 after going down to 8-4, which means the FiberXers facing San Miguel in the quarterfinals, regardless of the result of the Beermen's final game of the eliminations against Meralco on Friday. Justin Arena provided 23 points while Quincy Miller, playing his first back after being benched in the NorthPort game, added 16 points for the FiberXers, who fell back after a 10-2 Gin Kings run to start the fourth.

The scores:

Barangay Ginebra 115 – Brownlee 25, Malonzo 17, J. Aguilar 16, Tenorio 14, Standhardinger 13, Thompson 9, Pringle 9, Gray 7, Pessumal 3, R. Aguilar 2, Mariano 0.

Converge 96 – Arana 23, Miller 16, Melecio 12, Ilagan 11, Stockton 10, Teng 10, Tratter 6, Tolomia 4, DiGregorio 2, Racal 2, Browne 0, Ambohot 0.

Quarters: 25-23; 56-48; 84-75; 115-96.


Editor's note:

In the first game, NLEX stormed back to show Meralco the door, 92-81. NLEX now has a 5-7 record and will now hope for Rain or Shine (4-6) to lose to Magnolia on Friday to forge the playoff for no. 8. Earl Clark topscored for NLEX with 40 points while Don Trollano added 16 points and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser with 10.


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