Down 18 with 10 minutes remaining on Friday at the MOA Arena, no one – not their opponents, not the crowd, and definitely not themselves – had it on their mind that Ginebra was out of it just yet.
Once again proving that they will “Never day die,” the Barangay came back from the dead against the Star Hotshots in overtime, 92-89, on the back of Sol Mercado and LA Tenorio who shot them right into the next round of the playoffs in the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup.
An astonished coach Tim Cone said in his post-game conference, “I’m just in awe as the fans are. You feel so lousy as a coach and your team makes you look good at the end of the game.”
He also added, “I just feel bad for (Star coach) Jason (Webb). He coached a whole game tonight.”
Indeed, the multi-titled mentor’s former squad and apprentice was giving him fits and built a 72-54 lead with 9:42 left. However, no one was at all surprised when Ginebra clawed their way back via a 26-8 rally that knotted the game at 80 with 3.4 ticks on the clock.
An inbounding error by Star even gave the crowd favorites a chance to win it outright, but Mercado’s wide open layup rolled out of the ring to force overtime. Still, “The Sol Train” remained focused and buried two treys in the extra period that again had both teams neck-and-neck at 89-all.