By Jonas Terrado
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel clinched the twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Governors’ Cup after pulling away in the fourth quarter to defeat Columbian 113-90 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jeff Chan dropped 10 of his 20 points in the payoff period as Ginebra was able to regain control after Columbian rallied from a double-digit to take the lead twice in the third.
Art dela Cruz scored six of his 16 in the fourth while import Justin Brownlee had 26 points, nine rebounds and nine assists to help the Kings improve to 7-3.
Ginebra also extended its unbeaten run over Columbian to 15 games since the latter began its pro stint in the 2014-15 season.
Cone was glad to see his team deliver a victory after getting stuck in traffic for almost four hours on Payday Friday. The two-time Grand Slam coach, who lives in Alabang, arrived shortly before tipoff.
Ginebra can finish as high as third if it can end the elims with a win over NorthPort on Sunday coupled with back-to-back losses by TNT KaTropa against Magnolia and San Miguel Beer.
Import Khapri Alston posted 34 points and 22 rebounds but the Dyip ended the eliminations with a 4-7 record.
Columbian is now hoping for NorthPort to drop its match against Ginebra in order to stay in the hunt for at least a playoff for the eighth and final quarterfinals berth.
Alston scored 13 in the third as the Dyip grabbed the lead on two occasions, the last at 78-77.
But Dela Cruz and Chan scored five straight points at the end of the quarter for 82-78 Ginebra before the two and Brownlee led the massive breakaway to seal the victory.
GINEBRA 113 — Brownlee 26, Pringle 20, Chan 20, Aguilar 19, Dela Cruz 16, Thompson 4, Caperal 4, Tenorio 2, Mariano 2, Dillinger 0, Sargent 0, Teodoro 0, Aguilar R. 0, Devance 0, Caguioa 0.
COLUMBIAN 90 — Alston 34, Perez 19, McCarthy 12, Tiongson 11, Camson 6, Corpuz 4, Gabriel 2, Agovida 2, Reyes 0, Cahilig 0, Khobuntin 0, Celda 0.
Quarters: 28-18; 58-44; 82-78; 113-90.