Nate Brumfield scored 45 points in a relentless show of impressive power that carried Barangay Ginebra to a 110-103 win over a young, tall but unseasoned Smart Gilas and on the threshold of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals at the Araneta Coliseum last night.
The win cut Smart Gilas down to size again and gave Ginebra a commanding two-game-to-nil lead in their best-of-five semifinal series.
The Kings, chasing a ninth finals stint, can end it in Game Three Wednesday also at the Big Dome.
“Every win is nice. It’s good to be 2-0 up but this series is not yet over. We have to keep our emotion down because we still have a job to do,” said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.
“Anything is still possible. We still have to come out and try to beat them,” said Brumfield.
In the nightcap, Talk n Text simply outclassed Air21 anew, fashioning out a 114-96 rout to also move a win shy of the finals.
“Our priority tonight is to play better than Game One offensively and defensively, and I think we achieved that,” said Talk n Text coach Chot Reyes.
“But celebrating is still the farthest thing in our minds. We have to stay committed to our game. That’s important,” Reyes added. Curiously, Uichico hit the referees in a TV interview at the start of the second period. Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman took his turn after the game.
“I’m beginning to wonder what’s a foul and what is not. We’re supposed to be bigger who could get more free throws. But they got double than what we had,” said Toroman.
Brumfield surpassed the previous season-high of 43 points made by Meralco’s Champ Oguchi on 11-of-24 from the field and 23-of-27 from the foul line.
Behind a fierce attacking game, the Kings drew 45 charities as against the Nationals’ 27.
“We wanted to attack, get them into foul trouble and hopefully make our free throws,” said Brumfield.
Playing a more aggressive game and cashing in on their free throws, the Kings led by four, 55-51, at the turn and held sway throughout the final half.
The Nationals took control in the first quarter, and the Ginebra coach fumed mad, feeling they’re getting the raw end of what he deemed as one-sided officiating.
Though he issued an apology during the post-game interview, Uichico was summoned to appear at the PBA office this morning for his action.
“I just have to let go what I felt during that time. I just felt that the refs were not calling what they should at that point,” said Uichico.
The Kings seized control in the second quarter and held on to the finish largely behind the efforts of Brumfield, Mark Caguioa and Ronald Tubid.
Brumfield set the season-high output with two free throws, 31.6 seconds left to play. He then sat out the remaining time.
Brumfield’s 45 was the best by any player since Purefoos import Tony Washam made 49 during the 2010 Fiesta Conference.
“He’s been given leeway. We allow him to read things and think where is his advantage in the offensive end. He can go in and out. It depends on what he feels,” said Uichico.
Brumfield did well looking for his shots, terribly outclassing Smart Gilas’ 6-foot-11 naturalized player Marcus Douthit.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Kings outsmart Gilas; Texters win
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