Brgy. Ginebra’s mission of retaining its All-Filipino crown is still alive after the Gin Kings manhandled the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, 95-85, in a do-or-die game for the last playoff ticket of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The defending champs will take on league-leading TNT in the quarterfinal round with the Tropang Giga needing to win just 1 game to advance to the semi-finals.
Prince Caperal led the way for the crowd darlings with 19 points on 8-of-19 shooting spiked by 3 three-pointers while Stanley Pringle racked up 17 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Christian Standhardinger posted a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds.
“We just need to get back to keeping things simple. That was really our game to keep things simple.” said Gin Kings coach Tim Cone during the post-game presser.
“We started Prince (Caperal) for the first time. I told him yesterday that I was going to give him a start. I told him ‘We need to find a way to get your confidence going.’ We made some adjustments offensively. With just guys coming out and really focusing on the defensive side. I thought we played a really good defensive game until we got tired,” he added.
Phoenix, a semifinalist in last year’s edition of the same conference, won’t be able to improve on its finish after failing to overcome an undermanned but determined Brgy. Ginebra squad.
Jason Perkins paced the Topex Robinson-mentored squad with 15 points on 35% from the field while Matthew Wright scored 14 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals. Chris Banchero contributed 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson did not suit up of for Brgy. Ginebra while Phoenix missed the services of Vic Manuel and Justin Chua.