MANILA, Philippines – Barako Bull head coach Bong Ramos reminded his team to play with heart heading into a crucial tiff with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
The Energy Cola responded to the challenge as they stunned the Kings 83-79 Sunday in the 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I told them kapag dalawa sa inyo half-hearted tapos yung tatlo 100 percent, the boat will rock. We have to play all the time with heart,” said Ramos.
Ronald Tubid came up with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds while Roger Yap and Leo Najorda added 14 points each.
All day to shoot, Yap drilled in a dagger of a triple off a kick out pass from Tubid, who attracted a double team, to stretch Barako Bull’s lead to eight 79-71 with only 48.4 seconds left.
“Siguro yung napakagandang laro ng Ginebra last time, their tendency is to go down but I don’t want to take away anything from our team, we played heck of a defense. They really executed the defense we wanted,” added Ramos, whose defensive plan held Mark Caguioa to just 13 points on six-of-16 shooting.
The win put Barako Bull, which snapped Ginebra’s five-game winning streak, in a tie with Air21 in ninth place at 4-9 with both teams only have a game left.
The Kings mounted a comeback late as they pulled to within five 69-74 with 1:57 left.
Tubid answered back with a leaner that stopped Ginebra’s 8-0 run.
Jayjay Helterbrand paced the Kings, who dropped to 7-6, with 18 points.