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PBA Battle of the Titans | SMB vs Gin Kings, Crowd Favorite Wins
On Friday, Barangay Ginebra defeated San Miguel Beer 121-112 in the first game of their best-of-five semifinal series in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. Even though their captain, LA Tenorio, could not play due to his struggle with Stage Three colon cancer, Ginebra gained encouragement from his presence on the sidelines and displayed a determined display.
Ginebra was paced by Christian Standhardinger, Jamie Malonzo, and Justin Brownlee, with Standhardinger especially dominating in the paint, recording 33 points and ten rebounds. Malonzo had 27 points, including five three-pointers, while Brownlee had 24.
Ginebra took a commanding lead in the third quarter, leading 90-69 at one point, but San Miguel Beer refused to go down without a fight. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Beermen embarked on a 15-0 run to swiftly decrease the gap, eventually cutting it to just five points.
Ginebra, on the other hand, responded admirably to the challenge, with Malonzo and Standhardinger making critical shots to put their club back in front. Brownlee, Stanley Pringle, and Scottie Thompson contributed to the Gin Kings’ triumph.
Despite the victory, Ginebra will need to improve in several areas of their game, notably defense, after allowing San Miguel Beer to stage a comeback in the fourth quarter. San Miguel’s Cameron Clark led the way with 26 points and nine rebounds, while CJ Perez scored 23 points despite foul trouble.
When Ginebra meets San Miguel Beer again on Sunday, they will try to build on their Game One triumph and take a dominating 2-0 lead in the series.
Game 1 Recap | Ginebra vs San Miguel
In Game One of Ginebra vs. San Miguel, Standhardinger was a dominant force for the Gin Kings in the absence of the Beermen’s June Mar Fajardo. He had 33 points and ten rebounds in Ginebra’s 62-47 halftime advantage, with the statistical leader for Best Player in the Conference adding 18 points.
Brownlee and Malonzo also contributed significantly for Ginebra after the team withstood a San Miguel revival to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
The victory came only days after Ginebra squad captain LA Tenorio disclosed he was fighting Stage Three colon cancer. Despite this, Tenorio attended Game One and worked on the coaching crew.
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