In front of the largest crowd in the pandemic era so far, beleaguered Barangay Ginebra took care of business and picked up a crucial 104-93 victory over Rain or Shine in its last assignment of the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations.
The winning game witnessed by 6,502 roaring fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum gave the Gin Kings a 6-5 win-loss record, which kept them in the thick of the fight for the quarterfinals.
The defending champions sat at sixth and seventh in a logjam with Alaska, one-win up against three teams with five victories – Tnt (5-4), Phoenix (5-5) and NorthPort (5-5) – going to next week’s elims windup.
“This was the first time we’re able to grind out a win the whole conference, relying more on our defense than our offense,” said Coach Tim Cone.
“I’m real proud of my guys for grinding it out. This is the way you gotta play going to the playoffs and this is what we’re preparing for, try to get to the playoffs and make some noise,” he added.
The Elasto Painters threatened to throw a wrench on Ginebra’s plans and wrested control in the third period. Jewel Ponferada’s triple even gave ROS an 89-83 upperhand early in the fourth.
But to chants of “Gi-ne-bra! Gi-ne-bra!” Jeff Chan, Justin Brownlee and Scottie Thompson spearheaded a 21-4 windup to swing momentum back to the crowd darlings and get them back on track after a 103-115 loss to second-running NLEX last Friday.