BARANGAY Ginebra battled back from an early 18-point deficit to subdue NLEX, 83-75, and move up to solo second place behind San Miguel Beer in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay last Wednesday.
Japeth Aguilar finished with 20 points and four other players scored 10 points or more for the Gin Kings, who outscored the Road Warriors, 51-30, in the final two quarters to erase a double-digit deficit and roll to their third win in four starts.
Arvin Tolentino added 17 points, including four three-point shots in the payoff period, while Scottie Thompson contributed 15 points and eight rebounds for the Kings, who played relaxed despite their sorry 84-89 setback to Magnolia last Sunday.
Christian Standhardinger had 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists and LA Tenorio had 10 markers, eight assists and six boards for Ginebra, which will next meet San Miguel in the heavyweight battle for top spot on Friday
Ginebra coach Tim Cone is now hoping the win could provide the inspiration as they gird up for their tough battles ahead.
“The guys did a good job staying in the game and battling. They battled, giving as a chance to win in the end,” said Cone in an interview posted at the official PBA website
“It’s a big win as we face a super strong San Miguel Beer team Friday, and you don’t want to get there coming from two losses. The win gives us an opportunity to come in with some momentum and confidence,” added Cone, who was earlier tapped by Gilas national team coach Chot Reyes to be part of Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Kevin Alas paced NLEX with 16 points.
In the first game, Maverick Ahanmisi scored 14 of his 17 points and Mike Digregorio had 12 of his 19 points in the fourth period as Converge beat Terrafirma, 97-84.
The FiberXers also got new career highs from David Murrell (15 points), Taylor Browne (10 points) and Tyrus Hill (nine points) and a double double from Justin Arana (10 points, 12 rebounds)
to improve to 3-2
“With a game like this we wanted to come in understanding that they are a lot better than their record,” Converge coach Jeff Cariaso told sportswriters.
Converge (97) – DiGregorio 19, Ahanmisi 17, Murrell 15, Arana 10, Browne 10, Hill 9, AMbohot 8, Adamos 4, Ilagan 3, Stockton 1, Bulanadi 1, Lojera 0, Tolomia 0.
Terrafirma (84) – Gabayni 18, Ramos 15, Tiongson 13, Camson 13, Munzon 10, Balagasay 6, Calvo 4, Mina 3, Gomez de Liano 2, Cahilig 0.
Quarterscores: 17-21, 43-42, 63-62, 97-84
Ginebra (83) – J.Aguilar 20, Tolentino 17, Thompson 15, Standhardinger 10, Tenorio 10, Pinto 5, Caperal 2, Chan 2, Mariano 2, David 0.
NLEX (75) – Alas 16, Oftana 15, Trollano 12, Chua 8, Rosales 8, Paniamogan 5, Soyud 4, Fonacier 3, Magat 2, Quinahan 2, Ighalo 0, Semerad 0, Miranda 0.
Quarterscores: 17-28, 32-45, 58-63, 83-75.