Japeth Aguilar knocked down the buzzer-beater to cap a roller-coaster Game 3 and secure Barangay Ginebra’s 97-96 win over San Miguel Beer in their best-of-five semifinals in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday night.
It was a neck-and-neck affair between the two squads in the last three quarters, until LA Tenorio sank a triple that pushed the Gin Kings ahead, 95-94 with 1:28 to go.
Arwind Santos, however, pumped in a jumper that gave the Beermen a 96-95 lead and an imminent victory with 36 seconds to go.
Ginebra scrambled to recover, but Justin Brownlee and Scottie Thompson missed their attempts. Fortunately, Solomon Mercado found Aguilar waiting near the baseline and fed the power forward the winning assist.
With the time ticking away, Aguilar fired the go-ahead that rolled into the basket.
“It was a hard game, well-fought, both teams played at just about the highest of their abilities. I mean they shot the ball really well, this is what they do and we just kind of stayed in the game with our character,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said in the post-game presser.