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Kings defuse Bolts in battle of old rivals

Games Wednesday
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3 p.m. – Blackwater vs San Miguel Beer
5:45 p.m. – Magnolia vs TNT

It didn’t take long for the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings to rediscover their championship pedigree.

With two-time Best Import Justin Brownlee and reigning Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson playing true to form, the Gin Kings outplayed their fierce rivals, the Meralco Bolts, 99-91, in an early collision of rivals Sunday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Brownlee, the yardstick among reinforcements seeing action in a tournament that has imports as big as 6-foot-10, stepped up big against a familiar opponent as he unloaded 34 points on 11-of-24 shooting from the field.

The five-time champion added five rebounds, picked up two steals and dished out four assists as his all-around play inspired the rest of the Gin Kings to bounce back strong from a mediocre showing in their debut game this conference.

Thompson had that sense of urgency to bounce back.

Held to just a point in their 93-71 beat down at the hands of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters a few days ago, the athletic 6-foot-1 guard/forward flirted with a triple-double performance. He ended up with 15 points, nine rebounds and nine assists and played with boundless of energy to spark the Gin Kings’ big fight back from their previous loss and put his squad to the win column.

The Bolts, who dropped a heartbreaking 109-105 loss at the hands of the NorthPort Batang Pier a few days ago, suffered their second loss in as many games.

The scores:

Barangay Ginebra (99) – Brownlee 34, Pringle 16, Thompson 15, Malonzo 10, Aguilar 10, Standhardinger 10, Tenorio 4, Pessumal 0.

Meralco (91) – O’Bryant 31, Maliksi 20, Black 14, Almazan 10, Pasaol 9, Quinto 3, Hodge 2, Banchero 2, Caram 0, Hugnatan 0.

Quarterscores: 26-22; 49-41; 73-65; 99-91.

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