Barangay Ginebra San Miguel blasted reigning champion San Miguel Beer, 95-87, to trim the series gap to 1-2 in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 43 Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinals on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio joined forces down the stretch by hitting the big shots in crunch time as the Gin Kings finally nailed a victory and avoided falling into a tough 0-3 hole in the series.
“I’m really enjoying themselves to have a good time and we’re like bleeding for every possession. We have to play perfect to beat, and we played perfect tonight,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“We just have to play an A plus game to have a chance to beat them. So we’re happy to get one, but not yet satisfied.”
“They talked about the never say die and they really showed it tonight after that painful, painful game in Game 2,” added Cone, referring to that 102-104 overtime setback last Sunday. “It’s a great bounce back win tonight.”
Aguilar delivered 25 points and collared 12 rebounds, while Tenorio made 18 points to lead the Gin Kings.
Prince Caperal, who registered a career-high 26 points in Game 2 loss, stayed consistent in scoring as he tallied 12 points to effectively fill in the shoes left by injured seven-footer Greg Slaughter.
Jervy Cruz and Joe Devance contributed 12 points and 11 points, respectively, also for Ginebra.
June Mar Fajardo led the Beermen with 23 points and 16 rebounds.
Playmaker Chris Ross didn’t play in the entire second half due to a strained right thigh injury he suffered in the first half.
BARANGAY GINEBRA 95 – Aguilar 25, Tenorio 18, Caperal 12, Cruz 12, Devance 11, Thompson 9, Mercado 8, Ferrer 0, Manuel 0.
SAN MIGUEL 87 – Fajardo 23, Lassiter 14, Santos 13, Cabagnot 13, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Ross 6, Lanete 5, Heruela 3, Espinas 2, Mamaril 0, De Ocampo 0, Pessumal 0.
Quarters: 19-15, 45-39, 79-65, 95-87.