With Tenorio around, Ginebra downs SMB in semis series opener



With Tenorio around, Ginebra downs SMB in semis series opener


Barangay Ginebra survived San Miguel’s fourth-quarter rally for a thrilling 121-112 win at the start of their semis series in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo Friday, March 24.

Christian Standhardinger and Jamie Malonzo put things back in order for the Kings, who squandered a comfortable 15-point lead before regaining their composure en route to the big win.

Standhardinger exploded for 33 points on an impressive 13-of-19 shooting from the field while grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing off five assists while Malonzo added 27 points, six boards and four assists.

Behind 95-80 after three quarters, San Miguel uncorked a blistering 15-0 run anchored on Vic Manuel, CJ Perez and Jericho Cruz to lock the game at 95-all, 9:05 to go.

But Malonzo and Standhardinger countered it with seven straight points to reclaim a 102-95 upperhand. The Kings gallantly protected their lead despite the resilient attempts of the Beermen.

Ginebra actually led by as many as 20 points, 92-72, after Justin Brownlee layup with 1:44 left in the third quarter, but San Miguel refused to go into the night that early and launched a massive attack.

“I hope with that 20-point lead, we’d be able to get back to the end and be able to give our guys some rest but San Miguel had another thought in mind and they came rumbling right back at us,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said.

“We played well overall but obviously we had some bad stretches, played a little flat and we’re gonna have to figure that one out and make sure that didn’t happen to us again. This team (San Miguel) is too good,” he added.

Ginebra was also motivated with the presence of teammate LA Tenorio, who shocked the basketball community with his announcement of his cancer diagnosis.

“I don’t wanna speak too much about LA because he’s asked to be private about it, but I just say it’s a great honor that he is here with us doing things that he wants to do while he’s doing things he needs to do. He’s valuable and he’s been a leader the time I’ve been here,” Cone said.

Justin Brownlee also stepped up for Ginebra with 24 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, while Jeremiah Gray and Scottie Thompson chipped in 15 and 12 points, respectively.

Cameron Clark and Perez paced San Miguel with 26 and 23 points.