Brgy. Ginebra stamped its class on a Matthew Wright-less Phoenix Super LPG, 100-93, to secure for itself No. 3 or No. 4 spot in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals Thursday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Japeth Aguilar, just days after his bout with dengue fever, banged in 17 points, four rebounds and two assists in close to 20 minutes of action to lead the Gin Kings to the warm-up victory ahead of the Last-8.
Tim Cone’s charges ended their eliminations card with 8-3 and will know their final seeding after Friday’s double-header.
Magnolia (7-3) can seize the No. 3 and relegate Ginebra to No. 4 with a final-day victory against Blackwater. Under such scenario, the Gin Kings will face the fifth-seeded squad, Meralco (7-4), in a best-of-three contest.
“We always think of every game in the eliminations as our preparation for the playoffs. Today was especially important because it’s the one before we actually go so we wanna be playing at a high level,” said Cone, whose charges ended the elims with two consecutive wins.
Aguilar, who was hit by dengue prior to their last game against Meralco, said he’s getting better in time for the playoffs.
“Much better now, getting my energy,” said the high-flier, who capped his sizzling outing with a highlight alley-oop dunk off Stanley Pringle’s assist that gave Ginebra a 100-88 cushion.