Gin Kings repulse Aces
Ginebra rallies from 17 downBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
BARANGAY Ginebra woke up in the second half to complete a comeback from 17 points down last night and post an emphatic 90-81 decision of Alaska, moving the Gin Kings within a win of a semifinal berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Mark Caguioa spearheaded the fightback before a lean Friday crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum, shooting 15 of his 22 points in the final two quarters as the Kings climbed to 4-3 overall and remained in the upper half of the draw.
The Aces, who held a 44-27 lead with 2:03 left before the half, dropped a tournament-high sixth straight loss and fell to 1-7.
“I think we need to just have a flow (offensively),” Caguioa told reporters when asked what went wrong in the first half for the Kings, who were held to just 10 first-quarter points.
“Like tonight, pangit umpisa (we had an ugly start), but the next half, super ganda (we played super).”
Jason Forte scored 13 points in the first two periods and Cyrus Baguio had 10 of his 11 as the Aces seemed poised to end a long winless spell and play spoiler for the Kings.
But everything seemed to implode in the third quarter after the Aces took a 46-33 lead. The Gins caught up at 58-all after an Enrico Villanueva basket with still 1:45 left.
A defense specialist, Villanueva went on to hit all his 12 points in the final two frames and was the unlikely offensive anchor in several instances for the Kings.
Nino Canaleta also scored all nine points in the last two periods and, along with Villanueva and Willy Wilson, drew praise from coach Siot Tanquingcen for helping give the Kings the lift they needed.
“The first half was ugly, we couldn’t make shots,” Tanquingcen said. “Good thing that our bench came in and gave us a big lift.”
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine tries to improve its league-leading record today when the Elasto Painters, winners of their last two games, battle Petron Blaze in a road game presented by Phoenix Fuel in Dumaguete City.
Game time is 6:45 p.m. with the Painters looking for win No. 7 against a Boosters’ side looking forward to the next round.
Import Cedric Bozeman scored 15 points that went with 13 rebounds, six assists and two steals for the Kings, who have yet to win back-to-back games in this tournament and will be facing Talk ‘N Text tomorrow.
GINEBRA 90—Caguioa 22, Bozeman 15, Villanueva 12, Cortez 12, Canaleta 9, Ababou 6, Hatfield 6, Wilson W. 4, Maierhofer 2, Raymundo 2, Maliksi 0, Wilson J. 0, Mamaril 0, Helterbrand 0.
ALASKA 81—Forte 20, Tenorio 12, Espinas 12, Baguio 11, Thoss 9, Baracael 7, Jazul 6, Eman 2, Gelig 2, Thiele 0, Custodio 0, Sotto 0, Cablay 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Quarters: 10-23, 33-46, 65-65, 90-81