The disappointment from the Miss Universe results today was easily replaced by unbridled joy at least for the basketball crazy Filipino fans.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, the perennial crowd favorite and the team with the largest fanbase in the PBA just won game 7 of the Commissioner’s cup against Hong Kong based Bay Area Dragons, 114-99 in front of a record 54,589 fans Sunday night at the Philippine Sports Arena in Bulacan.
The record crowd pushed the Gins over the hump
It was probably over even before it began as the Gin Kings rode the energy of the jam-packed arena as they led the entire game after scoring the first bucket in the first quarter. They went on an exciting run with seven minutes left in the quarter making it a 13 point lead, 25-12 from best import, Justin Brownlee’s three-pointer with two minutes remaining.
The Dragons managed to keep it from getting out of hand by out-scoring the Kings 9-2 to go to the second quarter trailing by just six points 21-27.
As they say defense wins championships, the Gin Kings clamped down on the Dragons in the second quarter limiting them to only 18 points.
And if Ginebra learned one thing about their game six loss is that Brownlee can’t do it alone.
The Gin Kings piled on the Dragons with more balanced scoring in the second. Even LA Tenorio joined the shooting spree with a rare three-pointer to increase the lead to 20 with 49 seconds left in the half.
Gins went for the jugular
It didn’t get any better for the Dragons after halftime as the Gin Kings continued the onslaught, leading by as much as 27 points from another Tenorio rainbow shot with just a minute left in the third.
By this time, the entire arena already knew what was coming. It was just a matter of time.
The Dragons got as close as 13 points in the final quarter but Brownlee’s tournament-long consistency in the clutch immediately stopped a possible rally on their tracks with a floating jump shot with three minutes left.
The Gin Kings scored six more points after that to seal the Championship.
Brownlee finished with 34 points 8 rebounds and 12 assists to earn his much deserved award. His much needed support came in the most crucial time as six players scored in double figures for Ginebra.
While the Dragons couldn’t be saved by Myles Powell’s usual heroics ending up leading his team with 29 points from the bench.
Congratulations to Philippines basketball’s most famous team —- Barangay Ginebra San Miguel for taking it home and winning the 15th trophy of their storied franchise!