BINAN, Laguna – Barangay Ginebra San Miguel came here looking for answers but instead found even more questions.
Behind a dying-second defensive effort last night, Barako Bull denied Barangay Ginebra a magical comeback win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, 69-68, sending the Kings to their second straight loss at the Alonte Sports Arena.
Chico Lanete, who missed an open 3-point shot that could have put the game away earlier, redeemed himself by challenging Joseph Yeo’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer and preserving the Energy’s lead-sharing second win.
The heartbreaker crushed the thousands of Ginebra fans who erupted after Yeo scored 5 consecutive points, including a huge 3-pointer, to bring the Kings back from 6 points to within 69-68 with 26 seconds left.
With everybody on their feet cheering wildly, the bedlam rose to deafening level after Lanete went slightly right on a 3-pointer on the left side and the Kings called time with 9.0 seconds to go.
Ginebra coach Ato Agustin used successive timeouts to draw a game-winning play and then burned the Kings last T after Barako Bull guard RR Garcia gave up a penalty-sending foul on LA Tenorio.
Yeo, whose successive steals off Sol Mercado inside the final 1:26 resulted into a fast break layup and then a 3-point basket that razed a 69-63 Barako Bull advantage and triggered pandemonium, got the ball on the right side but was too far off on a desperation 3 with Lanete all over him.
And so as the Energy celebrated, the Kings returned to Manila still empty-handed after yet another futile search.
In the first game, Talk ‘N Text spoiled the Blackwater debut of Marcus Douthit, 88-78, and handed the Elite their 13th straight loss dating back from the Philippine Cup.
For a while, it looked like the 7-foot Douthit, standing in for injured Blackwater import Chris Charles, was going to play the role of a deliverer as the Elite took a 66-60 lead to the fourth quarter. That was until the Tropang Texters decided they were through humoring the Gilas Pilipinas center.
TALK N’ TEXT 88 – Howell 29, Castro 22, Washington 8, Alas 8, Miller 8, De Ocampo 7, Carey 2, Williams 2, Aban 2, Labagala 0, Fonacier 0, Espiritu 0, Reyes 0.
BLACKWATER 78 – Faundo 19, Douthit 14, Acuna 12, Heruela 10, Celiz 7, Timberlake 5, Gamalinda 5, Reyes 4, Erram 2, Austria 0, Laure 0, Ballesteros 0, Bulawan 0, Ciriacruz 0.
Quarters: 19-17, 41-39, 60-66, 88-78
BARAKO 69 – Lanete 17, Intal 14, Alabi 13, Marcelo 11, Mercado 7, Garcia 5, Lastimosa 1, Pascual 1, Pena 0, Hubalde 0, Salvador 0, Wilson 0, Salva 0, Paredes 0, Sorongon 0.
GINEBRA 68 – Slaughter 18, Dunigan 11, Caguioa 10, Baracael 8, Yeo 7, Urbiztondo 5, Tenorio 4, Mamaril 3, Aguilar 2, Monfort 0, Helterbrand 0, Ababou 0, Ellis 0, Brondial 0.
Quarters: 15-12, 28-34, 50-50, 69-68