Barangay Ginebra won for the third straight game against Rain or Shine 99-91 to secure a semis appearance in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 43 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Even without Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar led the Gin Kings’ onslaught finishing with 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field on top of 12 rebounds, three steals and three blocks.
“Wow what a relief. The quarter series is the hardest thing to win,” said Ginebra grand slam coach Tim Cone after the game. “It is so much pressure on you to make to the semifinals all the time so it really feels hard. So when you finally get through it, there’s truly a relief.”
“I felt they really outplayed us in the first half and we were lucky to hang around and still be in striking distance.”
Jervy Cruz notched 18 points and seven rebounds while LA Tenorio had 17 points. Joe Devance and Solomon Mercado contributed 10 points each for the Gin Kings, who will be facing defending champion San Miguel Beer in the semifinals.
Earl Scottie Thompson missed to pull off a double-double posting nine points, 10 rebounds and six assists also for Ginebra.
Maverick Ahanmisi led Rain or Shine with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists, but his effort was not enough to force a do-or-die Game 3.
Ginebra beat Rain or Shine 100-92 in triple overtime last March 2 and 88-80 last Monday. The Elasto Painters missed the service of Slaughter who sprained his ankle during practice.
BARANGAY GINEBRA 99 – Aguilar 27, Cruz 18, Tenorio 17, Mercado 10, Devance 10, Thompson 9, Ferrer 6, Taha 2, Mariano 0, Manuel 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 91 – Ahanmisi 18, Daquioag 14, Almazan 14, Belga 13, Nambatac 8, Norwood 7, Ponferada 7, Washington 5, Onwubere 3, Borboran 2.
Quarters: 28-19, 43-46, 77-72, 99-91.