MANILA - Crowd-favorite Barangay Ginebra survived repeated rallies of Talk ‘N Text enroute for a 110-102 victory to clinch the remaining quarterfinals slot of the PBA Governor’s Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City last night.
The Gin Kings scored only two field goals in the final six minutes but came out with steady hands from the foul line to escape the win that sealed the eight-team quarterfinals cast.
Mark Caguiao completed a four-point play and import Dior Lowhorn added two from LA Tenorio’s pass to give Ginebra it’s biggest lead, 70-49, early in the third quarter.
TNT coach Norman Black called for a ceasefire and his Tropang Texters responded, cutting down lead to just single digit, 87-78, going into the fourth quarter.
The Tropang Texters pursued the Kings in the fourth and moved within only three-point deficit on split free throws of Larry Fonacier off the last foul of Caguiao but Lowhorn finally hit a jumper while TNT import Courney Fells missed a trey in the return play.
Tenorio scored seven of his 24 points in the final two minutes including a completed three-point play and the Gin Kings advanced to the quarterfinals against top seed Petron Blaze which holds a twice-to-beat advantage.
The TNT, on the other, will join Air21 for an early vacation despite Fonacier’s 31 poits and Fells’ 26 markers including 20 in the second half.
”We’re able to adjust from their zone defense. We’re able to control the tempo of the game. My players give their 101 percent effort and energy,” Ginebra coach Ato Agustin said.
The quarterfinals will start on Wednesday with twice-to-beat San Mig Coffee facing Alaska at 5:15p.m first game and Meralco, also twice-to-beat, taking on Barako Bull at the 7:30 main game at the Araneta Coliseum.
Ginebra tries to live another as it takes on Petron while Rain or Shine against GlobalPort on Thursday in the next double header of the quarterfinals.*PNA
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