Sunday, 17 April 2011

Kings repeat over Gilas, inch closer to PBA best-of-seven finals

Posted by chardyboy on Sunday, April 17, 2011 0 comments


This time, Nate Brumfield showed that he's head and shoulders over Marcus Douthit.

The stocky import more than held his own against the foul-troubled 6-foot-11 naturalized player as he exploded for a season-high 45 points in powering Barangay Ginebra to a rousing 110-103 win over Pilipinas-Smart Gilas in Game 2 of their PBA Commisisoner’s Cup
best-of-five semifinals series on Palm Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Brumfield’s second consecutive solid game helped carry the Gin Kings within striking distance of clinching a finals seat. The league’s crowd darlings can score a remarkable sweep against the national squad with another win in Game 3.

Unlike in the opener of the best-of-five semifinals when they had to squeeze past the Nationals by the skin of their teeth, 97-96, the Kings were in control of Game 2 for the most part, with Brumfield leading the way behind near impeccable shooting from the foul line
where he went 23-of-27.

He was 11-of-24 from the floor, grabbed 11 rebounds, had four assists and three steals, while exploding for 16 points in the fourth period as the Kings kept the Nationals at bay.

“That was the plan. Get them (Nationals) to penalty and make the free throws," Brumfield said.
Holding a commanding 2-0 lead, the league’s most popular ball club can gain its first Finals stint in two years with a sweep of the embattled Nationals in Wednesday’s Game 3 at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Kings are seeking their 19th finals appearance.

Ginebra coach Jong Uichico, however, is not about to count out Smart Gilas.

“We have to keep our emotions down," he said. “We still have a job to do. There’s no reason to celebrate. Every point and every stop is going to be a grind. Hopefully, we get this series. It doesn’t matter when."

History is definitely on Ginebra’s side, as only three teams were able to pull through from an 0-2 deficit to win a best-of-five series in the league’s 36-year history.

The legendary Crispa Redmanizers in 1976 and Purefoods Hotdogs in the 1990 Third Conference were the first two teams to accomplish the feat, before Ginebra itself joined them when it beat Talk ‘N Text in the 2009-10 Philippine Cup quarterfinals.

Pilipinas-Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman said the discrepancy in free throw shooting definitely took its toll on the Nationals.

“I don’t know what kind of defense we can play when one player shoots 27 free throws," Toroman said, noting that Burmfield’s total attempts from the foul line already matched that of his squad’s as a whole. “I don’t know how to beat a team with more free throws. I’m not
complaining. We didn’t play good defensively. After the first quarter, we didn’t exist."

The Nationals appeared ready to pull away from the Kings when they raced to a 26-16 lead late in the opening quarter, but failed to hang on, and went to the locker room at the halftime break staring at a 51-55 deficit.

It was during that second quarter stretch when Brumfield began to assert himself, scoring 18 points, while repeatedly attacking the paint, especially after Douthit was whistled for his third foul with 9:30 to go in the period.

Chris Tiu, who missed a crucial free throw in the last 28 seconds of Game 1, paced the Nationals with 22 points, while Douthit added 20 points and 16 rebounds despite playing in foul trouble.

Brumfield’s total output erased the season-high of 43 points scored by Meralco import Champ Oguchi, and has been the highest since Tony Washam dropped 49 points for Purefoods on July 18 in the 2010 Fiesta Conference game against Ginebra. - KY, RCJ, GMA News


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