Gin Kings bounce back, humble Bossing

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
Gin Kings bounce back, humble Bossing
Stanley Pringle of Ginebra drives against Blackwater's Simon Enciso during their game in the 46th PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City Friday.
PBA Images

John Bryan Ulanday
Games Saturday (Ynares Sports Arena)
2 p.m. – Meralco vs Rain or Shine
4:35 p.m. – Alaska vs Phoenix

MANILA, Philippines – Defending titlist Barangay Ginebra turned to its championship experience down the stretch, weathering Blackwater’s repeated rallies for a huge 96-81 rebound win in the 46th PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City Friday.

On cusp of squandering a 17-point lead, seasoned bets Stanley Pringle and LA Tenorio steadied the ship for the Gin Kings with timely baskets and dimes to finish with 19 and 17 markers, respectively, on top of a combined 13 assists.

Supersub Prince Caperal added 16 and 11 boards in a near perfect 7-of-8 shooting, Scottie Thompson threw in 11 while new anchor Christian Standhardinger was finally unleashed with a strong 11-19 double-double.

Japeth Aguilar also fired in 14 points and two blocks including a basket in the 4:15 mark of the first period to enter the elite 5,000-point PBA club as the 93rd overall member and only the 12th Ginebra player in history.

The Gin Kings thus avenged their flat 94-75 debut loss to NLEX but not without numerous scares from the gritty Bossing to barge into the win column.

“It wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure. We haven’t put together any pretty basketball yet. We’re still working to be more coherent and more together in our play now. It’s been a little bit of struggle,” said coach Tim Cone.

“We came out, we weren’t ready to play against NLEX but we did a better job of coming in a little bit more focused. We’re just the kind of a team that believes we’re going to get better as the conference goes along,” he added.

Ginebra zoomed to an early 45-28 lead on the hot hands of Caperal and Aguilar before Blackwater unleashed a Mike Tolomia-led avalanche in the third period to strike within 67-69 heading into final canto.

The Gin Kings answered with a 7-1 run to restore order at 76-68 but Blackwater, with Simon Enciso and Kelly Nabong also finding their grooves, stormed back anew and threatened to within 77-79 in the last six minutes.

Tenorio, however, picked up a crucial looseball and nailed a big triple at the shot clock buzzer to ignite Ginebra’s 17-4 closeout that included back-to-back and-ones from Standhardinger off Pringle’s passes.

Tolomia scored 13 of his 22 points in the second half while Enciso (16) and Nabong (10) also contributed for Blackwater, which absorbed its third straight loss in three starts.

Note: Action in the PBA will continue amid the new status in the NCR, which has been placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions until July 31 due to the threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

The PBA said it has secured a special clearance from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) built on strict health and safety protocols to assure the safe and successful staging of the games amid the still ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

The scores:

Ginebra – Pringle 19, Tenorio 17, Caperal 16, J.Aguilar 14, Thompson 11, Standhardinger 11, Chan 5, Dillinger 2, Devance 1, Ayaay 0, Enriquez 0, Holmqvist 0.

Blackwater 81 – Tolomia 22, Enciso 16, Nabong 10, Magat 8, Daquioag 6, Desiderio 6, Amer 5, Paras 4, Semerad 2, Canaleta 2, Gabriel 0, Dennison 0, Escoto 0, Acuno 0.

Quarterscores: 21-13, 45-32, 69-67, 96-81.

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