Brgy. Ginebra got its title-retention bid back on track by pummeling Blackwater, 96-81, in the elimination round of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, Friday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Gin Kings barged into the win column after dropping their first assignment against the NLEX Road Warriors. The Bossing, on the other hand, dropped to 0-3 but not after giving the defending champions a big scare in the payoff period.
After the crowd darlings established a 9-point edge, 77-68, early in the 4th, the Bossings unleashed a 9-2 run capped by a layup by Baser Amer to cut the lead down to 2, 79-77, with 6:12 remaining on the game clock. The defending champions, however, countered with their own 7-0 run and then closed the match with 10-0 blast to secure their first win of the season.
“It wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure. We haven’t put together any pretty basketball yet. We’re still working to be more coherent and more together in our play right now. It’s been a little bit of a struggle,” said Brgy. Ginebra coach Tim Cone following the victory.
“We weren’t ready to play against NLEX, that’s for sure. We did a better job of coming in a little bit more focused. We’re just the kind of team that just believes we’re going to get better as the conference goes along,” he added.
Stanley Pringle paced Brgy. Ginebra with 19 points while LA Tenorio and Prince Caperal dropped 17 and 16 markers, respectively. Japeth Aguilar added 14 while Scottie Thompson and Christian Standhardinger chipped in 11 apiece.
It was a double celebration for Aguilar as the 34-year old high-flyer from Sasmuan, Pampanga became the 89th local & 93rd member overall of the PBA’s 5,000-point club. He is the 12th Brgy. Ginebra player to accomplish the feat.
The Gin Kings take a one-day break before returning to action on Sunday, July 25 against Manila Clasico rival Magnolia.
Brgy. Ginebra 96 – Pringle 19, Tenorio 17, Caperal 16, J. Aguilar 14, Thompson 11, Chan 5, Dillinger 2, Devance 1, Enriquez 0, Holmqvist 0, Ayaay 0.
Blackwater 81 – Tolomia 22, Enciso 16, Nabong 10, Magat 8, Daquioag 6, Desiderio 6, Amer 5, Paras 4, Semerad 2, Canaleta 2, Dennison 0, Torralba 0, Acuno 0, Escoto 0, Gabriel 0.
Quarterscores: 21-13, 45-32, 69-67, 96-81.