Barangay Ginebra nullified Alaska’s twice-to-beat advantage beating the latter, 108-97, on Tuesday to advance to the semifinals of Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Playmaker LA Tenorio, a former Alaska player, posted 31 points on 13-of-13 shooting from the foul line while forward Aljon Mariano scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field plus eight rebounds to lead Ginebra.
Rookie Kevin Ferrer notched 15 points, guard Earl Scottie Thompson 10 points and nine rebounds while Chris Ellis contributed nine points also for the Gin Kings.
It was the fourth time that Ginebra overcame a twice-to-beat disadvantage in a playoff match. It was a feat that no other team has accomplished more than twice.
“We picked the right time to play our best game this conference,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone during the post game news conference. “These guys proved it, we’re pretty special last conference. Aljon (Mariano) and Kevin (Ferrer) stepped up tonight.”
Ginebra beat Alaska in the first quarterfinals game, 85-81, last Sunday to force a sudden death match for a semifinals slot.
Ginebra ended the elimination round with a 6-5 win-loss record to earn the No.7 spot while Alaska, with a 7-4 record, took the No. 2 spot and the twice-to-beat bonus.
“LA (Tenorio) was the leader of course. In any knockout game you gotta come out being the aggressor. We don’t have to be great now, we have to be good.”
Calvin Abueva led Alaska with 29 points, 13 rebounds, two steals, two assists and two blocks.
Just like in their first game, the Gin Kings started slow trailing 21-25 after the first quarter and 51-53 at halftime. But they outscored the Aces in the third frame, 31-18, behind Tenorio’s 13 points to seize the advantage, 82-71, at the start of fourth quarter.
The Gin Kings totally controlled the entire fourth quarter and were never threatened from thereon. Barangay Ginebra, with the second straight win over Alaska, will be facing the Star Hotshots in the best-of-seven semifinals this week.
Justin Brownlee, who led the Gin Kings into last year’s Governors’ Cup title, was in attendance during the game. The fans remember the import Brownlee for his epic buzzer-beating and game-winning three-point shot against Meralco in Game 6 of the Governors’ Cup finals.
It was Ginebra’s first Philippine Cup semifinals appearance since the 2013-2014 season.
GINEBRA 108 – Tenorio 31, Mariano 20, Ferrer 15, Thompson 10, Mercado 9, Ellis 9, Marcelo 7, Cruz 5, Aguilar 2, Helterbrand 0, Caguioa 0.
ALASKA 97 – Abueva 29, Manuel 23, Casio 10, Racal 8, Pascual 6, Galliguez 6, Exciminiano 5, Thoss 4, Cruz 3, Dela Cruz 3, Hontiveros 0, Jazul 0, Magat 0, Mendoza 0.
Quarter Scores: 21-25, 51-53, 82-71, 108-97