The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings showed their will to win as they fended off the San Miguel Beermen, 87-85, pulling off a three-game sweep of their best-of-five semifinal series on Wednesday in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Import and naturalized Filipino Justine Brownlee handed an assist to Christian Standhardinger for the winning basket in the last three seconds, assuring Ginebra of a second straight finals appearance.
Standhardinger, who delivered eight of 14 points in the last period, scored on a layup following a 10-2 run that allowed the Gin Kings to overcome a 75-82 deficit in the remaining four minutes.
“It was certainly different from the first two games. It was a real struggle. Will there be another game on Friday? But they just kept showing a will. I was looking for them to stop. I was looking for them to kind of give up. But they never did. And I stayed with them,” said Gin Kings’ coach Tim Cone.
Brownlee powered the Gin Kings with 22 points and 14 rebounds, including six in the last period.
The game could have gone into overtime, but Brownlee got in the way of SMB’s Marcio Lassiter, who missed a potential game-tying jumper at the buzzer.
The Gin Kings, who trailed by as many as 18 points, also drew six points from Jeremiah Gray and Scottie Thompson in in the last period as they fought their way out of an 18-point deadlock.
Thompson added 17 points for the Gin Kings, who are back in the finals for the fifth time since 2016.
Lassiter’s first triple for the Beermen at the 6:59 mark of the third quarter gave SMB a commanding 62-48 lead.
This moved Lassiter into solo no.6 in the all-time list for most triples.
GINEBRA 87 – Brownlee 22, Thompson 17, Standhardinger 14, Gray 13, Malonzo 12, Pinto 4, Pessumal 3, Mariano 2, Pringle 0
SAN MIGUEL 85 – Clark 16, Perez 14, Lassiter 13, Cruz 12, Enciso 11, Tautuaa 6, Herndon 6, Ross 5, Manuel 2
QUARTERS: 17-16, 38-50, 58-70, 87-85