Ginebra outlasts Rain or Shine in 3OT, clinches fourth spot
Barangay Ginebra had to trudge through three overtime periods to beat Rain or Shine, 100-92, and secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Despite both teams ending up with identical 6-5 cards, the victory propelled the Gin Kings to the fourth seed in the standings because of quotient advantage and set up a best-of-three series against, incidentally, the fifth place Elasto Painters starting on Monday.
The Ginebra win also eliminated Blackwater in the process and allowed TNT to get a crack at the final playoff berth against Phoenix on Sunday.
With Ginebra leading 94-92, Rain or Shine had four chances to either force the tie or the lead but Maverick Ahanmisi and Raymond Almazan bricked their free throws with 55 seconds left in the game.
Jervy Cruz then promptly punished the Elasto Painters with a dagger of a baseline jumper that gave the Gin Kings a 96-92 buffer with 34 seconds left.
After the grinding victory, Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said the victory was a Godsend for them.
Ginebra had parts in the conference where they played without Joe Devance, Sol Mercado, and Greg Slaughter due to injuries and the victory symbolized a huge sigh of relief for Ginebra.
“This is the first good thing that happened to us all conference long and it took us a triple overtime game to do it against a team that really didn’t have much to play for,” said Cone.
“We lost Joe and Sol earlier and they’re struggling to come back from their injuries, and we lost Greg in some key games.”
Japeth Aguilar led Ginebra with 30 points, 17 boards, and five assists while LA Tenorio added 20 points.
Beau Belga had 17 points, six boards, and five assists to lead the Elasto Painters while Gabe Norwood finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.
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