Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings’ dominance in the PBA Philippine Cup bubble remains imminent as the Tim Cone-coached team notched their fourth straight victory by blowing past the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, 86-71, on Wednesday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center.
Continuing to be a revelation for the Gin Kings in the bubble, Stanley Pringle and Prince Caperal led the way for Ginebra with 20 points and 14 points, respectively, with the latter tallying 10 rebounds and five assists. Both players also knocked down four shots from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson chipped in 13 and 11 points, respectively.
“We just wanted to get to a good start. We’re just taking it game by game, focusing on getting better and improving every day. Honestly, we didn’t expect to go 4-0, but we’ll take it,” said Pringle.
Leading by 10 at the beginning of the 4th quarter, 65-54, the Gin Kings were able to stretch their lead to as many as 21 points, 86-65, late in the quarter that proved too much for the Fuel Masters to overcome.
After averaging 30 points in his first 3 outings, Phoenix star Matthew Wright was limited to just 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting. Jason Perkins top-scored for the Fuel Masters with 15 points along with 8 rebounds.
“Obviously, we played really good defense. I thought we played really well against Matthew Wright, especially,” said coach Tim Cone after limiting Wright and the Fuel Masters to just 71 points the whole ball game.
Japeth Aguilar With The Jam
With this victory, Gin Kings stayed unbeaten to share the lead with TNT (4-0), heading to their ‘Bubble Clasico’ match-up against Magnolia on Sunday.
The 4-0 start matched the franchise-best start to a conference set during the 1986 Open Conference, where Billy Ray Bates and Michael Hackett teamed up with playing coach Robert Jaworski to lead the ballclub to its first-ever title.
After a fiery 2-0 start in the bubble, the Fuel Masters can’t seem to return to the winning column as they tallied their second straight loss for an even 2-2 mark.
Ginebra vs Phoenix Box Score
Quarters: 20-19, 47-36, 64-54, 86-71
Gin Kings (86) – Pringle 20, Caperal 14, Aguilar 13, Thompson 11, Tenorio 9, Devance 8, Tolentino 5, Mariano 4, Dillinger 2, Chan 0, Balanza 0, Salado 0
Fuelmasters (71) – Perkins 15, Wright 12, Chua 11, Intal 9, Heruela 7, Garcia 5, Jazul 5, Rios 3, Marcelo 2, Napoles 2, Reyes 0, Gamboa 0