Ginebra scores comeback win over GlobalPort


Saudi Gazette

MANILA — The Barangay Ginebra Kings came from behind to beat the gutsy GlobalPort Batang Pier, 104-97, Sunday night as the PBA Philippine Cup resumed hostilities after a two-week holiday break.

It was Ginebra’s second straight win in as many games while GlobalPort suffered its second straight defeat.

The Kings trailed for most parts of the game and only showed their devastating form at crunch time behind the heroics of LA Tenorio who orchestrated Ginebra’s fourth quarter resurgence.

The twin towers of Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter led the Kings with Aguilar finishing with a team-high 21 points along with nine rebounds, six blocks and four assists in almost 37 minutes. Slaughter added 18 points, nine caroms, and five blocks.

But it was the brilliant playmaking and timely baskets of Tenorio that bailed Ginebra out of trouble in the endgame. Tenorio tallied 17 points, including back-to-back three-pointers late in the final period that finally enabled Ginebra to grab the lead for good. The wily Ginebra point guard also had seven assists, five rebounds, and two steals in 38 minutes.

With three key players—Joe Devance, Sol Mercado, and Art dela Cruz—still on the injured list, Ginebra turned to its bench for additional firepower. Aljon Mariano and Jervy Cruz responded to the challenge. Mariano played one of his best games yet for the Kings, finishing with 11 points and five boards in 17 minutes while Cruz added 10 points and 11 boards.

Scottie Thompson also played a key role in the Ginebra victory, filling the stats sheets with nine points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and one steal in 37 minutes.

GlobalPort was in full command of the game and was still ahead, 96-95, after a three-pointer from Stanley Pringle with 2:47 left. But Aguilar scored on a layup to grab the lead for good for Ginebra.

Sean Anthony led GlobalPort with 29 points, nine boards, four steals, and three assists in almost 39 minutes. Pringle added 23 points while new recruit Kelly Nabong and rookie Julian Sargent finished with 12 points in a losing effort. The Batang Pier were still without their top gunner Terrence Romeo who is still recovering from a knee injury.

Phoenix 102, NLEX 95

Matthew Wright and Jeff Chan combined for 37 points as the Phoenix Fuel Masters brought down the NLEX Road Warriors, 102-95, for their second straight win after opening the season with a loss. NLEX suffered its first loss after starting the conference with two straight wins.

Wright started cold but came out blazing in the second half to lead Phoenix with 19 points including four three-pointers. Chan, on the other hand, was on fire from the get-go, firing a variety of highlight-reel shots to finish with 18 points all scored in the first three quarters of the game. Chan looked sharp even though he’s barely recovered from flu.

Four other Fuel Masters scored in double digits with RJ Jazul scoring 15 and rookie Jason Perkins adding 14 markers. Frontliners Justin Chua and Doug Kramer chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively.

The Fuel Masters led by as many as 17 points before turning back a furious charge by the Road Warriors late in the game.

The Fuel Masters sparkled in defense as well, shackling the Road Warriors’ high-scoring backcourt duo of rookie Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas. Ravena was limited to just eight points on 4-of-13 shooting after averaging 19 points in his first two games in the league. Kevin Alas, the son of the Phoenix coach Louie Alas, could only squeeze out six points in less than 17 minutes on the court as a starter.

Games Wednesday: KIA Picanto (0-2) vs. Magnolia Hotshots (1-1) and Alaska Aces (0-2) vs. Meralco Bolts (1-1).