Air21 blows lead anew, edges Ginebra, 97-95 | Inquirer Sports

Air21 blows lead anew, edges Ginebra, 97-95

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 10:53 PM March 26, 2014

Wesley Witherspoon of Air21 (dark) vs Mac Baracael of Ginebra (light). PBA IMAGE by Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines — Having blown a commanding lead just three days ago, Air21 managed to survive this time with a 97-95 win over Barangay Ginebra in the 2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Express saw their 13-point lead dwindle down to a point, 96-95, with 18.7 seconds left before making a defensive stop in the game’s final possession to seal their third win in six games.


“We survived the run. Good thing we were able to regroup when they made the run. Hopefully this will be a good takeoff point for the next few games,” Air21 coach Franz Pumaren told reporters.


Import Wesley Witherspoon led all scorers with 25 points while Joseph Yeo added 18 for Air21, which rebounded from a heartbreaking 98-109 loss to Meralco last Sunday despite leading by 20 points late.

“It’s nice to beat a star studded team like Ginebra and it’s a collective effort on our part. With this win, it’s a testament for us. If this is our old team before we will just go into our shell but with this one we were able to bounce back,” Pumaren added.

The Kings had one last crack to at least force overtime but import Leon Rodgers, who was benched the whole fourth quarter before being fielded back in the final 4.8 ticks of the game missed a well-contested attempt near the rim as time ran out.

Rodgers wound up with 18 points in 28 minutes. Japeth Aguilar finally made his presence felt with 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocks for Ginebra, which slid closer to the bottom of the standings with a 2-4 record.

Guard Joseph Yeo tallied 18 points and nine assists for the Express, who missed three of their final four free throws in the last 12.2 seconds left.



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TAGS: Air21, Barangay Ginebra, Franz Pumaren, PBA, PBA Commissioner's Cup, Wesley Witherspoon

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