SMB, Ginebra set up PBA semis clash

By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

January 20, 2024, 7:36 am

MANILA – San Miguel and Ginebra set up a PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal clash after winning their quarterfinal games at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City Friday night.

The Beermen first clinched a semifinal seat after holding off the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters, 127-122.

With the game tied at 67 at halftime, SMB outscored ROS, 42-22, in the third quarter to open a 109-89 lead entering the fourth.

The Elasto Painters tried to rally back after holding the Beermen scoreless in the final three minutes of the game, coming to within eight, 127-119, with 1:49 to go. However, they got to score again on a Keith Datu three with only 11 seconds left.

Bennie Boatwright led SMB with 41 points on 17-of-28 field goals, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 block.

Jericho Cruz added 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including a perfect 5-for-5 on twos, 1 rebound, and 1 assist, while June Mar Fajardo chipped in 13 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, and 3 steals.

Tree Treadwell led ROS with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, and 1 block.

In the nightcap, the Gin Kings drubbed the NorthPort Batang Pier, 106-93.

Ginebra dominated the second quarter, outscoring NorthPort, 30-13, to open a 55-35 halftime lead.

The Batang Pier slowly crawled back in the third quarter and was within 10 points, 73-63, late in the period.

The Gin Kings regained their rhythm midway through the fourth quarter and stretched the gap to 20 points, 102-82, with three-and-a-half minutes left.

NorthPort went on a 9-0 run afterward to cut the lead down to 11, 102-91, with 1:41 remaining but it was their last gasp.

Tony Bishop led Ginebra with 31 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal.

Jamie Malonzo added 21 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal, while Christian Standhardinger chipped in 18 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1 block.

JM Calma and Joshua Munzon each scored 19 points with Calma also grabbing 10 rebounds for NorthPort, which conspicuously played without Arvin Tolentino.

Venky Jois added 18 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists, 4 blocks, and 2 steals.

Game 1 of the best-of-five series between the Beermen and the Gin Kings is scheduled at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Wednesday night. (PNA)