PBA Semis: Barangay Ginebra handles Rain Or Shine with ease, takes Game 1


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MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra showed Rain Or Shine no mercy as Justin Brownlee and Jeff Chan handled the Elasto Painters with ease, 102-89 to claim Game 1 of their best-of-five semis duel on July 15, 2018 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Barangay Ginebra handles Rain Or Shine with ease, takes Game 1
35 for Justin Brownlee and 21 for Jeff Chan. Great numbers that won Ginebra semis game 1 vs Rain Or Shine | Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

James “Big Game” Yap played a terrific basketball in the quarterfinals versus Globalport 3 days ago and the veteran shooter is too eager to replicate his excellent performance in the semis against the crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra.

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It was not a good opener though for Rain Or Shine as Ginebra rained multiple three pointers on them for the early 20-7 lead.

Nothing was going right for the Elasto Painters. James Yap seemed off offensively and their import, Reggie Johnson got into an early foul trouble after getting toe-to-toe against Justin Brownlee under the basket.

Total domination displayed by Ginebra as they closed the 1st quarter with a 31-17 advantage.

Major problems continued to pile up for Coach Caloy Garcia and the entire ROS squad. Their former gunner, Jeff Chan who was shipped to Ginebra late in the elimination round was now dropping bombs at them.

Aside from Jeff Chan, Justin Brownlee was also doing huge damage against Rain Or Shine and was virtually unstoppable in the shaded lane. Brownlee had already registered 18 big points with over 7 minutes left in the half.

Coach Caloy Garcia’s “magic bunot” paid off in the dying minutes of the 2nd quarter. Ed Daquioag and Jewel Ponferada were both very instrumental in their team’s comeback and managed to lower the lead to 6.

Justin Brownlee beat the buzzer and wrapped-up the 1st half with a Ginebra 52-45 lead.

James Yap hit his first trey at the start of the 3rd quarter and followed by another one seconds later to downsize Ginebra’s lead to 5.

Reggie Johnson, just like Justin Brownlee, was efficient for ROS. He just needed some support from his fellow big men Beau Belga and Raymond Almazan who were both playing subpar and foul plagued.

Johnson was an immovable force under the rim that even Greg Slaughter can’t push him out and prevent him from scoring. Coach Tim Cone tried an experiment by sending in Raymond Aguilar to contain ROS’ Johnson. It didn’t go well as Aguilar committed 4 consecutive fouls and the Elasto Painters sealed the penultimate quarter with just a 6-point, 76-70 disadvantage.

Coach Garcia picked his poison at the 4th quarter. He ordered his wards to let Justin Brownlee take his shots but locked down on the locals defensively.

Coach Caloy’s unorthodox play seemed effective as few Ginebra locals had score. The thing was, Justin Brownlee kept on scoring until Ginebra’s lead got back to 15 midway of the final period.

Rain Or Shine started the 4th period behind by just 6 points but Ginebra’s margin ballooned to 24 under 3 minutes of the ballgame. Coach Caloy Garcia waved the white flag as he pulled out Reggie Johnson.

Justin Brownlee and Jeff Chan finished the game with 35 and 21 points respectively and took game number 1 of their best-of-five semis duel against ROS to the tune of 102-89.

Barangay Ginebra and Rain Or Shine will face again on Tuesday, July 17 for game number 2.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express


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