MANILA, Philippines—There could not have been a better ending to Ginebra’s Sunday night.
With big shots after the other, Ginebra pulled off an escape act over Petron, 87-85, in the semifinals of the 2012 PBA Governor’s Cup, on the same night that its most iconic player was being celebrated.
Import Cedric Bozeman delivered the game-clinching floater with three tenths of a second left in the clock after forward Dylan Ababou scored a crucial and-one as the Gin Kings nabbed a crucial victory, which puts them by a full game over Petron.
“God couldn’t have written it better, on the night we’re celebrating the foundation of Ginebra which is coach Sonny,” said head coach Siot Tangquincen, whose squad is now at 7-4.
Tangquingcen admitted, on the other hand, that the final shot wasn’t supposed to go to Bozeman as it was for Caguioa.
But although he didn’t get the leather on the last play, Caguioa–expected to lead Ginebra like Robert “Sonny” Jaworski did–was still the best player of the court with 25 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Bozeman and Ababou chipped in 13 points apiece.
It was a game of runs, solid ‘playoff fouls’, and buzzer beater shots–one per each ending to a quarter–which was only fitting after a momentous ceremony for the PBA living legend Jaworksi.
No team gave an inch in the deciding period, especially the Gin Kings who had just wrestled the lead to their favor after playing catch up for most of the night.
Ginebra overhauled an 11-point deficit at the end of third and turned to Caguioa to give them the lead, 81-80, with his own four-point swing.
That lead was quickly neutralized by the Boosters in the final two minutes, and once again leaned on Alex Cabaganot to bail them out with a game-tying shot with 15.9 seconds left.
But Petron left enough time and room for Bozeman to score than final basket which led to its fifth setback with six victories, and now at the back of Ginebra.
The Boosters had the upperhand for the most part, as they weathered through all of the Gin Kings scoring burst–except for the last run–behind Dondon Hontiveros, Chriz Lutz and new import Marcus Faison.
Faison finished with 19 points but just scored two points in the fourth quarter, Lutz added 17 points while Hontiveros poured eight of his 11 markers in the third quarter.