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PBA: Ginebra stuns NLEX

Sol Mercado and Kevin Alas

Sol Mercado and Kevin Alas

Games Wednesday (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
5:15 p.m. – Meralco vs Rain or Shine
7 p.m. – San Miguel vs Alaska

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel came back from a 22-point deficit to score a nail-biting 91-90 win over NLEX to solidify its bid for a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinal playoffs of the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Rookie guard Earl Scottie Thompson ignited the Kings’ spirited comeback as he scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter – punctuated by a pair of free throws off a foul by fellow newcomer Simon Enciso that gave Ginebra the lead, 91-90, with 10.4 seconds left.

NLEX had a chance to win the game but forward Sean Anthony missed a shot off a supposed perfect baseline pass from Jonas Villanueva.

“I don’t feel I deserve to be here. Our guys just didn’t give up on the game,” said Ginebra mentor Tim Cone.

“We had a lot of heroes… Scottie, Dave (Marcelo), Jayjay (Helterbrand). It’s the first time I saw that ‘never say die’ that’s really created by the fans. We got to give credit to the fans, they did the work tonight for us,” said Cone.

Thompson though hurt his right shoulder in the waning seconds of the game and will be evaluated.

True enough, it was not just Thompson who rose to the occasion for the popular team, as he connived with Marcelo, former MVP Helterbrand and Chris Ellis in the uprising that started late in the third quarter when the Kings cut the deficit to 59-75 entering the final quarter.

The win of Ginebra improved its record to 6-4, giving them a chance of earning twice-to-beat in the quarterfinal that will be determined in a game against Talk ’N Text on Sunday at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.

The setback, on the other hand, gave the Road Warriors a 4-6 record, which extended the team’s losing skid to four games. NLEX will play Rain or Shine on Saturday for its final assignment.

Meantime, Barako Bull snapped its two game skid by beating Star Hotshots, 101-83, to stay in contention for a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinal playoffs.

Veteran guard Josh Urbiztondo led Barako Bull with 24 points on 5-of-18 shooting from three-point territory, while Wilson and JC Intal contributed 18 points apiece. Veteran Mic Pennisi had 14 points for the Energy.

The victory improved Barako Bull’s record to 5-5 which kept them in the twice-to-beat hunt in the crossover quarterfinals.

“Our obligation is to give our best every game and we failed to do that against Blackwater,” said Banal.


First Game
BARAKO BULL 101 – Urbiztondo 24, Intal 18, Wilson 18, Fortuna 14, Pennisi 14, Brondial 6, Monfort 5, Lanete 2, Baracael 0, Miranda 0.

STAR 83 – Barroca 17, Yap 12, Sangalang 11, Pingris 10, Mallari 9, Taha 7, Cruz 5, Melton 5, Pascual 4, Torres 3, Simon 0.

Quarters: 25-28, 45-45, 67-71, 101-83.

Second Game
GINEBRA 91 – Slaughter 18, Thompson 14, Aguilar 12, Ellis 11, Marcelo 10, Tenorio 7, Devance 6, Helterbrand 5, Caguioa 4, Cruz 4, Mercado 0, Salva 0.

NLEX 90 – Taulava 21, Anthony 16, Villanueva J. 11, Lanete 9, Alas 8, Camson 6, Enciso 6, Khobuntin 6, Borboran 5, Reyes 2, Villanueva E. 0.

Quarters: 22-22, 41-49, 75-59, 91-90.