A shorthanded Barangay Ginebra still proved to be too much for NorthPort, running away with a 115-100 victory to keep its record unblemished in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, Feb. 10.
The Kings had to endure a strong first half from the Batang Pier and a thin frontline rotation following the injuries to Japeth Aguilar, Christian Standhardinger and Raymond Aguilar before pulling away in the final frame to improve their record to a perfect 3-0 slate.
Justin Brownlee shone with another triple-double outing of 22 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists while it was Jamie Malonzo who stepped up big for the Kings with career-high 28 points along with 10 rebounds and four blocks.
Head coach Tim Cone actually had to dig deep into his bench which didn’t disappoint with John Pinto providing the spark with 18 points – 13 of which buoyed a huge second quarter rally from the Kings which erased an early 10 point deficit.
Jeremiah Gray added 16 points while Aljon Mariano contributed 12 as the Kings was forced to play small ball for the most part of the contest due to the injuries.
The Kings unleashed a 17-5 run bridging the third and final frames to seize full control of the contest, turning a 69-71 deficit into a commanding 86-76 lead. Ginebra never looked back from there as it kept NorthPort at bay behind the timely hits from Malonzo, Gray and Brownlee.’
Robert Bolick impressed in his first game back after missing NorthPort’s first four games, finishing with 30 points while returning import Kevin Murphy added 38 points although had to take 41 shots to reach his output.
The Batang Pier remained winless through five games while the Kings got a much-needed confidence booster ahead of their Manila Clasico match against Magnolia on Sunday, Feb. 12.