MANILA – Ginebra escaped with an 87-84 win against Magnolia in Game 1 of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal series on Wednesday night at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Gin Kings held the Hotshots scoreless in the final 2:36 of the game and got the needed breaks in the end to take the opener of the best-of-five "Manila Clasico" semifinals despite Justin Brownlee's off night.
Jamie Malonzo put up 21 points, a playoff career-high, 12 rebounds, one assist and three steals, while Scottie Thompson added 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and one block for Ginebra, which gave head coach Tim Cone a fitting gift on his 65th birthday.
Brownlee was held to just 11 points, his lowest output since only making 10 in Game 4 of the 2016 Governors' Cup Finals, committed seven turnovers, but had 13 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks.
Paul Lee led Magnolia, which still put up a fight despite losing import Nick Rakocevic to an ejection in the third quarter, with 21 points, two rebounds and two assists.
Aris Dionisio added 12 points and three rebounds, while Rakocevic, Ian Sangalang, and Calvin Abueva each made 10 markers with Abueva also grabbing 12 caroms. (PNA)