Ginebra survives SMB in OT to tie series


Barangay Ginebra San Miguel survived defending champion San Miguel Beer in overtime, 124-118, in Game 2 to equalize the series in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup finals on Sunday at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena.

Japeth Aguilar posted 23 points and 12 rebounds, while rookie Kevin Ferrer had 21 points to help Ginebra tie the series at 1-1 of their best-of-seven finals series.

Earl Scottie Thompson added 18 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists, while Joe Devance added 16 points and LA Tenorio had 15 points. Solomon Mercado contributed 11 points also for Ginebra.

Ginebra, riding on a strong first quarter performance, took a 27-16 cushion after Paolo Taha’s basket with 2:16 to go in the opening period.

Barangay Ginebra’s LA Tenorio drives to the basket against San Miguel Beer’s Chris Ross during Game 2 of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup finals in Lucena City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

After holding a 28-20 lead at the end of first frame, LA Tenorio sank one free throw off a technical foul by San Miguel Beer’s bench and the Gin Kings widened up the gap to as many as 26 points, 65-39, with only 1:10 left before the halftime break.

The Gin Kings outscored the Beermen in the second canto, 39-23, highlighted by Ferrer’s 18 second quarter points to build a 67-43 cushion after first half. Tenorio and Aguilar posted 13 and 10 points, respectively, in the first half.

No player for the Beermen who scored in double figures after the first two periods with Arwind Santos scoring only eight points.

But San Miguel Beer banked on a solid early second half assault by unleashing a 39-18 attack capped by Marcio Lassiter’s 16 points in the third quarter, including back-to-back triples, that closed out the gap to within 82-84 with still 1:04 to go before the last period.

Ferrer’s technical free throw with a minute left in the game provided the Gin Kings a slim 85-82 cushion after the third quarter.

The Beermen kept the game in a striking distance in the early part of fourth quarter before dropping an 8-0 bomb capped by Tubid’s six points and Espinas’ basket resulting in their first lead in the game, 98-95, with still 5:50 to go.

Santos fired a three-pointer to knot the game at 106-all with 48 ticks left before Aguilar’s two charities gave Ginebra a 108-106 cushion with still 34 ticks remaining.

San Miguel Beer’s power forward Gabby Espinas nailed the go-ahead three-pointer, 109-108, with only 21 seconds remaining and the Beermen’s lead even extended to 110-108 after Tubid’s split free throws with only two ticks left in the regulation.

But Ginebra’s Devance was on the right place and at the right time to score the last second game-tying putback, 110-all, that sent the game into overtime. The Gin Kings outscored the Beermen in the extension period, 14-8, to seal the win.

GINEBRA 124 – Aguilar 23, Ferrer 21, Thompson 18, Devance 16, Tenorio 15, Mercado 11, Ellis 8, Marcelo 6, Cruz 4, Taha 2.

SAN MIGUEL 118 – Santos 23, Lassiter 21, Ross 16, Tubid 16, Cabagnot 13, Espinas 13, Fajardo 10, Heruela 4, De Ocampo 2, Agovida 0, Reyes 0.

Quarterscores: 28-20, 67-43, 85-82, 110-110, 124-118


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