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    PBA Semis: Ginebra beats Northport by 25 points, evens series to 1-1

    MANILA, Philippines – All even now. Ginebra returned the favor to Northport as the Kings walloped Batang Pier, 113-88 in the Game 2 of 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup semis on Monday, December 16 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    Stanley Pringle hit a team-high 23-points to help Ginebra leveled the series
    Stanley Pringle hit a team-high 23 points to help Ginebra leveled the series vs. Northport | Photo Credit: Philippine Star

    Coach Pido Jarencio and the rest of Northport Batang Pier knew that Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel will eventually try to come back after a lopsided loss couple of days ago.

    Northport had been warned. Ginebra started strong from both the inside and the outside courtesy of its local players.

    Imports of both squads remained timid in the opener but the locals led by Stanley Pringle for Ginebra and Nico Elorde for Northport were in scoring frenzy.

    Pringle led all scorers at the end of the first 12 minutes with 10 points and above all, a 31-18 advantage over Batang Pier.

    Truly, Ginebra has adjusted its defense on super import Michael Qualls. 15 minutes had passed and Qualls hadn’t produced a score. In contrast, Justin Brownlee found his range from the arc and widened his team’s lead with 20-plus points.

    With Qualls playing subpar, Christian Standhardinger forced his way up to narrow the gap at least.

    Coach Jarencio opted to sideline his import for the rest of the 2nd period. With a small northport lineup on the floor, Greg Slaughter really made a living underneath the basket to help his team preserve their big lead.

    Michael Qualls got his first 3 points of the game with 30 ticks left in the half. Despite that effort, Ginebra maintained its position, 62-44.

    The Northport Batang Pier reinforcement finally showed up in the beginning of the 3rd period. However, Ginebra countered Quall’s offensive with long bombs to escalate the lead to more than 30.

    The trio guard: Pringle, Tenorio and Thompson initiated the shooting spree while giving Brownlee a well-deserved breather.

    Woes continued to pile up for Northport as Sol Mercado left the game with a right ankle sprain. Mercado was instrumental in Batang Pier’s win in game 1.

    Ginebra was just a quarter away from tying the series as they led Northport, 94-70.

    Garvo Lanete, who was Game 1’s best player and dropped multiple triples misfired tonight and one of the main reasons why Northport trailed a lot.

    Nothing changed in the 4th quarter. Ginebra still made big three pointers and Coach Tim Cone didn’t show any sign of slowing down as he retained his stars and import on the floor despite their humongous margin.

    Coach Cone finally showed some mercy on Northport as he subbed in his reserves to finish the job and level the series.

    With few more minutes, the Ginebra 3rd unit got the job done and gave Tim Cone a big win, 113-88.

    Pivotal Game 3 will be on Wednesday, December 18, 2019.

    — Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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