MANILA, Philippines—Firing blanks late in the game, Barangay Ginebra survived a desperate closing rally by Rain Or Shine and escaped with an 89-88 victory Saturday night in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup duel at the Al Shabab Club in Dubai.
Duke Crews missed the trying free throw for the Elasto Painters, who clipped the Barako Bull Energy the night before, and Gabe Norwood missed his attempt at the buzzer as the Gin Kings improved to 2-1.
Mark Caguioa had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who took an 89-83 lead on a Kerby Raymundo basket with still 2:33 to go before the E-Painters mounted a final surge.
“It’s an ugly win but we’ll take it,” said Barangay Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen after the Kings bounced back from a heartbreaking loss to Alaska last week.
“At least, we’re happy to be going home with a win.”
Crews led all scorers with 28 points but went 12 of 20 from the line as the Elasto Painters absorbed their third defeat in four games.
One more setback and the E-Painters, tied in the cellar with the Energy, will be on their way out since only six of the 10 teams will move to the playoffs after the nine-game eliminations.
Chris Alexander wound up with double-double figures of 14 points and 13 rebounds but hardly made an impact for the Kings.
Jayjay Helterbrand finished with 18 points, with his fourth three-pointer of the night boosting Ginebra to an 11-point cushion early in the third.
Raymundo blew a corner jumper after Crews split his game-tying charities.
Norwood, grabbed the rebound, but instead of calling a quick timeout, dribbled the length of the floor and launched an off-balanced shot at the horn.
Jeffrey Chan banged in 14 points, Paul Lee had 13 and Norwood contributed 11 for the E-Painters, who clobbered the Kings off the boards, 65-57, and split their two games in the Gulf state.
Meanwhile, action shifts back to the Smart Araneta Coliseum with Philippine Cup finalists Talk ‘N Text and Powerade going for a second straight win against separate rivals Sunday.
The Tropang Texters will tangle with the resurgent Alaska Aces at 6:30 p.m. while the Tigers clash with the Meralco Bolts in the
The Tigers repulsed the E-Painters, 122-120, and will be coming off fresh from a week’s rest against the Meralco Bolts in the 4:15 p.m. curtain raiser. June Navarro
BRGY. GINEBRA 89—Caguioa 19, Helterbrand 18, Alexander 14, Raymundo 10, Cortez 10, Hatfield 6, Canaleta 6, J. Wilson 3, W. Wilson 2, Menk 1, Ababou 0, Mamaril 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 88—Crews 28, Chan 14, Lee 13, Norwood 10, Matias 6, Buenafe 5, Belga 3, Ibanes 3, Cruz 3, Quiñahan 2, Araña 0.
Quarters: 21-18; 42-40; 68-63; 89-88