Japeth Aguilar drained a clutch mid-range jumper with 8.2 ticks left on the game clock to give Brgy. Ginebra the lead while Stanley Pringle canned two insurance freebies to seal the win over upset-seeking Blackwater, 85-82, in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup, Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The high-flying Aguilar along with reigning league MVP Scottie Thompson conspired to give the Gin Kings back the lead after Bossing sophomore guard Joshua Torralba scored 4 straight points to give his team a 3-point advantage with time down to 1:05.
“I looked really smart putting Japeth back out there on the floor, right, when he made that shot? I was really dumb not playing him earlier. He should’ve been out there earlier,” said Brgy. Ginebra head coach Tim Cone during the post-game press conference.
“We knew we had to battle, and it could end up being harder than we thought. That’s a team to reckon with. Coach Vanguardia has that team playing really well,” he added.
Christian Standhardinger paced the 2020 All-Filipino champs with 21 points to go with 7 boards and 4 assists in 38 minutes of action while Aguilar finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds, an assist plus a game-high 5 blocks.
Thompson narrowly missed a triple-double as the 2-time PBA Finals MVP contributed 14 points, 16 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. Arvin Tolentino added 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from long distance while Pringle marked his return to active duty with 9 points, 12 rebounds and an assist in 32 minutes of play.
Rey Suerte paced Blackwater with 15 points while Torralba, Baser Amer and Ato Ulad chipped in 14, 11 and 10 markers, respectively. Veteran center Yousef Taha had 9 points and a team-high 13 rebounds while fellow bigs James Sena and Barkley Ebona likewise finished with 9 points apiece.
The Gin Kings return to the hardcourt on Wednesday, June 15 and will take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at the MOA Arena.
Brgy. Ginebra 85 – Standhardinger 21, J.Aguilar 15, Thompson 14, Tolentino 12, Pringle 9, Mariano 6, Tenorio 5, Pinto 3, Chan 0, Caperal 0.
Blackwater 82 – Suerte 15, Torralba 14, Amer 11, Ular 10, McCarthy 9, Sena 9, Ebona 3, Ayonayon 2, Publico 0, Escoto 0, Melton 0, Casio 0.
Quarterscores: 22-16, 39-39, 61-67, 85-82.