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PBA: Aguilar shines again

Greg Slaughter and Ginebra

by Waylon Galvez

Games Today (Mall of Asia Arena)
3 p.m. – Globalport vs Barako Bull
5:15 p.m. – San Mig vs Rain or Shine

Manila, Philippines – Japeth Aguilar has done it again.

For the second time this conference, Aguilar bailed Barangay Ginebra San Miguel out with a game-winning three-pointer as he nailed one at the final buzzer to help the Kings beat the Meralco Bolts, 83-82, in the 2014 PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.

The 6-foot-10 Aguilar got the leather from LA Tenorio with time winding down, and after one dribble, the high-leaping forward unleashed the game-winner against Meralco’s Reynel Hugnatan in another slambang Petron Saturday Special presentation.

Aguilar was mobbed by teammates and the mammoth die-hard Ginebra fans chanted “Ginebra! Ginebra! Ginebra!”

It was Aguilar’s second game-winning shot using the dagger trey as his weapon, similar to Ginebra’s 97-95 victory against defending three-time champion Talk ’N Text last December 8 when he buried a triple off a feed from Tenorio with 1.6 seconds to go.

It was only the fourth three-pointer this season for Aguilar, who finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and four shot blocks. Ginebra’s 7-foot rookie Greg Slaughter led the team with 17 points, 11 boards and three shot blocks.

“Same play (as with Talk ’N Text) but with a lot of options,” said Ginebra mentor Ato Agustin, who actually had no more timeouts left but was able to draw a play when the referees reviewed a play when the ball went outside after a rebound play.

“Swerte talaga,” added Agustin.

The win extended Ginebra’s win to six and it improved its record to 9-1. It also avenged the Kings’ setback to the Bolts (100-87) last December 3. The loss was Meralco’s fourth in a row as it dropped to eighth and ninth spots at 3-7 tied with the Barako Bull Energy Cola.

John Wilson split his free throws that gave Meralco a five-point lead, 82-77, with 15.1 seconds to go, but former Meralco player Jay-R Reyes also had a big triple when he buried one with 12.8 seconds play that trimmed the Bolts’ lead to two points, 80-82.

Wilson then muffed his two free throws in the next play, giving Ginebra back the possession.

Meanwhile, action continues today at the MOA Arena as Rain or Shine guns for its third straight win when it tackles San Mig Super Coffee while Globalport tries to end a two-game losing skid when it meets Barako Bull.

The game between the Elasto Painters (6-3) and the Mixers (3-6) is set at 5:15 p.m., right after the 3 p.m. encounter between the Batang Pier (4-5) and Energy Cola (3-7).

Fresh from back-to-back wins against the previously unbeaten Petron Blaze (99-95) in overtime and Barako Bull (99-95) last Friday, Rain or Shine hopes to repeat against San Mig, which it downed last December 6.

San Mig is nursing an 88-75 loss to Alaska also last Friday sans power forward Marc Pingris, who is expected to miss the game again with a knee injury. Rain or Shine is also without center Beau Belga, who has measles.