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PBA: Ginebra guns for finals

Ginebra ’s LA Tenorio steals the ball from a fallen Rain or Shine’s Reggie Johnson during PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal action at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Ginebra ’s LA Tenorio steals the ball from a fallen Rain or Shine’s Reggie Johnson during PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal action at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Game Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
7 p.m. – Ginebra vs Rain or Shine
(Ginebra leads series 2-1)

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel tries to lay down the hammer on Rain or Shine tonight and ad­vance to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals tonight in Game 4 of their semifinal series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Coach Tim Cone nothing less than a consistent performance in the 7 p.m. match after Ginebra al­most blew a commanding 25-point first half lead before hanging on for a 75-72 victory Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“Obviously we’re coming away from this game with a lot of con­cerns,” said Cone.

Ginebra got a big performance from import Justin Brownlee with 44 points, continuing his trend of starting off strong in the playoffs. But Cone wants more support for Brownlee, knowing Rain or Shine can’t be taken for granted.

Brownlee accounted for almost half of the points Ginebra scored with LA Tenorio the other player in double figures with 13.

“I think we got a little bit too Jus­tin-reliant in that first half. He had 25 points and we just thought it was go­ing to continue to be like that,” Cone said. “But they picked up the defense and picked up the physicality and we struggled with it.

“We gotta get smarter with that for Game 4. We don’t figure that out, we don’t come with a bit more poise and a little bit more fight, then they’re gonna come out and get Game 4 easy,” added the American mentor who is seek­ing his 32nd finals appearance.

Elasto Painters mentor Caloy Garcia, meanwhile, found silver lining in the failed comeback.

“We’re confident,” Garcia said. “After the way we played in the second half, it gave us at least confidence.”

Rain or Shine almost sent the game into overtime but James Yap twice tried to fire a three-point shot from way beyond the arc in the dying seconds but to no avail.

-JONAS TERRADO

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