PETRON Blaze put Barangay Ginebra’s run-and-gun game in check in the stretch and pulled out a 101-95 decision of the Gin Kings last night in the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations before a sizeable crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum that braved nonstop rains in Metro Manila.
The Boosters held the Kings scoreless for a 2:20 span in the stretch and broke out of a 93-all tie to bounce back from a conference-opening loss and join a big bunch of teams at 1-1.
Ginebra fielded national team standouts LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar but its offense later conked out as the Gin Kings missed several shots both from close range and from the outside when they needed them the most.
“I think we played well defensively,” new Petron coach Gee Abanilla said. “Slowly, we’re trying to build the (defensive) system we want to instill in the players.”
Doug Kramer stood out from among the stars on the Petron roster, shooting 17 points that went with 10 rebounds in a splendid job coming off the bench. His last basket—off an Elijah Millsap miss—gave the Boosters a 98-93 lead heading into the final 1:31.
“Doug did a good job on (Dion) Lowhorn (the Ginebra import), who is also a big boy and a tough inside player,” Abanilla said.
Millsap went on to pace the Boosters with 24 points, all but one coming in the first three quarters, before the rest of the team got into the scoring act in the stretch run.
Marcio Lassiter finished with 23 points capped by a three-point play off Mark Caguioa with 1:20 left that opened up a 101-93 lead.
Ginebra pulled level at 93 with 2:22 remaining after two Tenorio free throws before going scoreless.
Petron actually suffered a scoring drought earlier to throw away an 85-80 lead and allow the Kings to forge ahead at 87-85 after a three-point play by Lowhorn off Kramer’s fifth foul.
Alex Cabagnot then pushed the Boosters ahead again with a rare four-point play off Tenorio with 4:35 left.
Lowhorn finished with 29 points and 11 boards for the Kings, the losing finalists to Alaska in the Commissioner’s Cup, with Caguioa shooting 15 and Chris Ellis 12.
Tenorio and Aguilar, vital cogs of the Gilas Pilipinas team that finished with the silver medal in the recent 27th Fiba Asia Championship, combined for 17 points.
PETRON 101— Millsap 24, Lassiter 23, Cabagnot 18, Kramer 17, Santos 12, Tubid 5, Fajardo 2, Deutchman 0, Lutz 0, Lanete 0.
GINEBRA 95—Lowhorn 29, Caguioa 15, Ellis 12, Tenorio 9, Aguilar 8, Wilson 7, Mamaril 6, Helterbrand 5, Baracael 4, Urbiztondo 0.
Quarters: 26-29, 45-52, 79-71, 101-95