Gin Kings, Elasto Painters shoot for semis berths

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Rain or Shine try to finish their respective foes to get to the semifinals of Season 44 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup today at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Gin Kings bested Magnolia, 85-79, behind Justin Brownlee and Stanley Pringle in Game 1 of their quarterfinal battle last Saturday, and now they are looking for a repeat in their 4:30 p.m. second encounter in Game 2.

But despite the opening victory, Ginebra coach Tim Cone remains cautious of Magnolia’s upcoming solid defense in Game 2.

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Justin Brownlee of Ginebra attempts a lay up against Magnolia’s Rafi Reavis on Saturday during Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinals series of Season 44 PBA Commissioner’s Cup game at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. PBA MEDIA BUREAU PHOTO

“It felt like a loss because we weren’t able to play the game we wanted to play at all,” said Cone, referring to Game 1 performance despite the win. “Credit to their defense and coaching staff for putting up a fine defensive game plan.”

“We got to handle it better on Tuesday and make sure we’re better prepared. Obviously, we are not ready to celebrate anything at this point. We know how good they are.”

Justin Brownlee finished with 20 points and 16 rebounds while Stanley Pringle had 18 points.

But Magnolia is bent on tying the series and forcing a sudden-death Game 3.

Paul Lee posted 24 points while Rakeem Christmas notched 18 points and 14 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Hotshots’ five-game losing skid.

Meanwhile, Rain or Shine aims to close out the series with a win over Blackwater in the 7 p.m. game.

After Rey Nambatac’s heroics in Game 1, where he nailed that game-winner for a close 83-80 win also last Saturday, coach Caloy Garcia of the Elasto Painters expects the Elite to come out aggressive and defiant in Game 2. JOSEF RAMOS

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The post Gin Kings, Elasto Painters shoot for semis berths appeared first on The Manila Times Online.

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