Barangay Ginebra stormed back into the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup finals after finishing off the TNT KaTropa in Game Four, 115-105, Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The defending champions overhauled an 18-point third-quarter deficit before breaking loose in the final quarter, taking advantage of the exhausted Rice-less TNT KaTropa to win the semifinals series, 3-1, and set up a finals rematch with the Meralco Bolts.
Justin Brownlee, rose to the occasion once more, delivering when needed most as he exploded for 28 second-half points on his way to PBA career-high 46 points, 10 boards, and five assists in 45 minutes of action.
Despite losing ejected import Glen Rice, Jr. late in the opening salvo, the KaTropa had a stellar first half, catching fire from downtown to gain a 66-52 advantage that ballooned to 72-54 early in the third frame.
That’s when Justin Brownlee began to take matters in his own hands as he went unconscious, firing away 14 points to help Ginebra pull to within 80-86, at the end of three quarters.
With TNT still leading by 90-85, the hardworking Ginebra import unloaded his last 12 points to spark the team’s 23-6 onslaught that rewarded them their largest lead, 108-96, and took the fight out of resilient KaTropa.
LA Tenorio led the Ginebra locals with an all-around effort of 25 markers, seven assists, four boards, and one steal in 39 minutes, while Greg Slaughter put on the finishing touches en route to a near double-double of 21 points and nine caroms.
Troy Rosario topscored for TNT with 28 points on top of 10 rebounds while Jayson Castro added 26 markers, nine assists, and seven rebounds in a losing effort.
The much-anticipated Game One of the best-of-seven championship series will be on Friday, October 13, 7:00 PM at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena, Quezon.
GINEBRA 115 – Brownlee 46, Tenorio 25, Slaughter 21, Mercado 11, Aguilar 6, Ferrer 4, Caguioa 2, Thompson 0, Devance 0.
TNT 105 – Rosario 28, Castro 26, Pogoy 14, Semerad 12, Williams 10, Tautuaa 9, Reyes 4, Rice Jr. 2, Golla 0, Carey 0, Nuyles 0, Hernandez 0, Seigle 0.
Quarter scores: 32-41, 52-66, 80-86, 115-105.