By NIKOLE JAVIER
Barangay Ginebra breezed past Phoenix with a commanding 109-89 win to strengthen its playoff bid for a twice-to-beat advantage in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday night, March 3, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings leaned on their huge 31-9 second-quarter finish as their second stringers took charge to complete the beating over the Fuel Masters and improved 6-2 in the standings.
Six Ginebra players finished in double figures, with Christian Standhardinger tallying 28 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists on an 11-of-14 shooting clip.
Justine Brownlee contributed a double-double performance of 18 points and 11 boards, while Scottie Thompson added 16.
Von Pessumal and Jamie Malonzo had 14 markers each, while Jeremiah Gray scored 11 in a total team effort.
There was no moment wasted for the Gin Kings who greeted the halftime buzzer with a 29-point advantage over the Fuel Masters.
As if the beating was not enough, the ensuing half was no different as Ginebra pretty much held on and ran away with its double-digit advantage until the buzzer.
“I thought our guys coming off the bench did a really great job today. They maybe look kind of silly because I haven’t been playing them and they came out and were just awesome. And that’s sending a strong message to me that we can really rely on our bench,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.
Du'vaughn Maxwell led the Fuel Masters with a 22-point outing while Sean Manganti and Javee Mocon added 15 and 11, respectively, in the losing effort as they slid 4-6 in the standings.