by Jonas Terrado
Games Wednesday (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. — San Miguel vs Meralco
7 p.m. — Magnolia vs TNT KaTropa
Justin Brownlee reset his career-high for the second straight game after firing 50 points to help Barangay Ginebra San Miguel escape with a 127-123 overtime victory over Columbian in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Brownlee’s jumper with 31.4 seconds left in the extension shattered a 123-all tie that put the Kings in front for good and survive the upset scare of a Dyip side which almost won it in regulation.
Stanley Pringle saved Ginebra from the jaws of defeat, sending the game to a five-minute extension at 113-all by scoring a layup with 1.2 left in regulation.
Ginebra finished tied with Blackwater at 7-4 but it was already assured of the No. 4 seed regardless of the outcome after the latter’s 112-104 win over Alaska in the first game.
The only thing left to determine is Ginebra’s opponent in the best-of-three quarters which could either be San Miguel Beer or Magnolia.
“(The game) didn’t really matter in terms of positioning if we win or lose but we really want to just try to create some momentum in the playoffs,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
Brownlee went 20-of-37 from the field to shatter his previous mark of 49 set the previous Sunday when Ginebra clobbered Magnolia, 102-81.
He also had 14 points, five assists, four steals and four blocks in almost 51 minutes.
Import Lester Prosper hit a conference-high 45 points in the final game of his maiden PBA stint but the Dyip ended the campaign at 3-8.
Columbian was already eliminated from the playoff race prior to tipoff due to an inferior quotient in all of the potential scenarios.
GINEBRA 127 — Brownlee 50, Aguilar 20, Pringle 16, Tenorio 15, Thompson 12, Slaughter 9, Devance 3, Mariano 2, Caguioa 0.
COLUMBIAN 123 — Prosper 45, Perez 20, Khobuntin 17, McCarthy 14, Cahilig 11, Escoto 9, Celda 4, Camson 3, Reyes 0, King, Faundo 0.
Quarters: 23-33; 55-51; 85-82; 113-113 (Reg); 127-123 (OT).