In a highly anticipated matchup between Barangay Ginebra and Converge, the Kings emerged victorious with a final score of 120-101 at the Philsports Arena on Sunday.
With this win, Ginebra denied Converge a Top 4 finish in the PBA Governors’ Cup, while also securing their own spot in the Top 4.
Ginebra, who won for the third straight game, tied with San Miguel at second place as the reigning champions continue to climb up the standings in the homestretch of the eliminations.
The Kings dominated the game, with Jamie Malonzo leading the charge by firing a career-high 29 points. He was supported by the duo of Justin Brownlee and Christian Standhardinger, who added 28 markers each to make up for the absence of Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio.
“It’s really been a lot of guys contributing,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone following their 20-point domination.
Meanwhile, Converge’s explosive import Jamaal Franklin, who leads the league in scoring with 37.3 points per game average, was held to just four points and attempted just five times in 35 minutes of play. The figures were a far cry from Franklin’s season-high 57 points in the team’s 132-139 loss to Meralco just last Friday.
“Better ask them. It’s not me,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone when asked about the odd performance of the usually prolific Converge import.
Converge had some moments of brilliance in the second quarter, with Maverick Ahanmisi scoring 24 points. However, this was not enough to overcome the Kings in the end.
The Kings now sport a 7-2 record and have stepped closer to a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs. On the other hand, the FiberXers fell to their fifth defeat in 11 starts.
Ginebra’s dominant performance proved to be too much for Converge, who fell flat with Franklin’s poor showing. The Kings’ victory keeps them in the running for a top spot in the playoffs, while Converge’s chances of finishing in the Top 4 took a hit with this loss.