The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel needed three extension periods to beat the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and formally enter the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup Quarterfinals.
Japeth Aguilar got a monster game with his 30 points and 17 rebounds output despite of having some pain in his back. According to Coach Tim Cone, the top pick of the 2009 PBA draft made a call before the game saying that he’s having a back problem.
“One hour before report time, Japeth called to say that he has a bad back. With Greg Slaughter out, we forced him (Japeth) to play. Big credit to Japeth he fought through with his injury,” said Cone.
“We persevered all the way through. We’re developing character and trying to find a way. Tonight, we found a way,” Cone also said.
LA Tenorio who can’t find the bottom of the rim against the Meralco Bolts found his shooting touches versus the Elasto Painters. Tenorio dropped 20 points and six assists but struggled heavily against his defenders as he also registered an eight turnovers.
Scottie Thompson who always get cheers from “Never-Say-Die” fans each time he grabbed a rebound chipped in 10 points, 17 rebounds.
However, the biggest plays came from Sol Mercado and Jervy Cruz in the last minutes of the third overtime. At 92-all, Mercado found an opening and took the opportunity as he drove strong to the basket. That play gave Ginebra a two-point lead.
Then on next positions, Rain or Shine’s Maverick Ahanmisi and Raymond Almazan missed their pair free-throws. Then Mercado once again setup Jervy Cruz for him to take his favorite side-basket jump-shot and gave the Gin Kings more breathing room as they increased their lead to four.
LA Tenorio then sealed the deal with his pair free-throws as Rain or Shine looks exhausted at that point.
The Elasto Painters had two oppurtunities to win the game. In the first OT it was the three-point attempt of Beau Belga and in the second OT it was the alley-oop pass of Gabe Norwood to Raymond Almazan plus the missed tip-in attempt of Maverick Ahanmisi.
“That’s the first good thing that happened to us this conference. And it took us three overtimes to that,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, gaining a big relief after all the bad breaks they suffered in the tourney.
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters will meet again in the Quarterfinals round for their best-of-three series.
Ginebra vs Rain or Shine Score Box
Quarters: 26-20 | 45-34 | 67-62 | 80-80 | 85-85 | 87-87 | 100-92
Gin Kings (100) – Aguilar J. 30, Tenorio 20, Devance 15, Mercado 10, Thompson 10, Cruz 6, Caguioa 3, Ferrer 3, Mariano 3
Elasto Painters (92) – Belga 17, Norwood 13, Daquioag 11, Ahanmisi 11, Washington 9, Trollano 8, Almazan 8, Borboran 6, Ponferada 4, Nambatac 3, Maiquez 2