C-Stan plays big for Ginebra

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CHRISTIAN STANDHARDINGER again played big as expected in Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s 121-112 victory over San Miguel Beer in Game 1 of their Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup semifinals on Friday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.

Standhardinger almost had the shaded lane all to himself and finished with 33 points with 10 rebounds and five assists.

But Standhardinger downplayed his explosive performance that again certified his front-running position in the race for the Best Player of the Conference award.

“It’s just building the connection I have with my teammates—Scottie [Thompson] and Justin [Brownlee],” Standhardinger said. “We just have to keep pushing and playing the best defense all the time.”

Without six-time Season Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo who’s nursing a bad knee, Standhardinger feasted on the Beermen’s weakened inside defense.

He scored nine points in each of the first three quarters and six points in the closing period for a 13 of 19 shooting—7-of-10 from the foul line—performance.

Jamie Malonzo scattered 27 points with three steals while Justin Brownlee erupted with 24 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks for the Gin Kings.

Reigning Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson had 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and rookie Jeremiah Grey added 12 points.

Ginebra was in control at the half, 62-47, and widened the gap to 21 points, 90-69, late in the third quarter.

The Gin Kings weren’t threatened the rest of the way.

The Gin Kings played inspired ball with point guard  LA Tenorio—diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer—cheering the team from the bench.

“It is a great honor that LA is with us and doing things he wants to do while he’s doing the things he needs to do,” Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said. “So I feel honored that he is spending this time with us.”

“He is so valuable and he’s been our leader,” Cone added.

Cameron Clark scored 26 points and nine rebounds for San Miguel Beer.

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