Ginebra shows spunk of old in second PH Cup game | Inquirer Sports
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Ginebra shows spunk of old in second PH Cup game

/ 05:25 AM July 24, 2021

Christian Standhardinger (with ball) works his way past the defense of Kelly Nabong. —PBA IMAGES

Barangay Ginebra displayed the form of the defending champion that it is on Friday and notched its first win in the PBA Philippine Cup after breaking away from Blackwater in the stretch to pull out a 96-81 victory at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

And it didn’t come as a surprise for coach Tim Cone.

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“We started slow, we didn’t panic. We know we’re gonna pick it up and we feel we’ll be there at the end when it counts,” he said shortly after dropping the Bossing to their third straight loss.

Stanley Pringle led Ginebra with 19 points, while LA Tenorio added 17 as both shone down the stretch, just when Blackwater crept to within 79-77.

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“Oh man, it was pretty rough,” said Pringle. “I think we’re trying to get back on how we were playing. We’re really right now focusing on our defense—to step up, improve on defense—especially on the ball.”

Better play

Christian Standhardinger looked to be getting into the Ginebra groove, finishing with 11 points and 19 rebounds to help the Gin Kings bounce back from a surprise loss to NLEX in their debut.

While it was far from the prettiest basketball Ginebra could play, Cone still lauded his troops for getting their bearings back when it mattered—something that should come in handy especially in Sunday’s battle with sister team Magnolia.

“We know we have a really tough opponent coming in against Magnolia,” he said. “They’re obviously one of the top teams in the league, especially with (Calvin) Abueva on that team now and Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang and Mark Barroca in that old group.”

Blackwater threatened twice in the final period, all thanks to Mike Tolomia’s 22 points off the bench.

But it didn’t help that most of the Bossing’s veterans—including KG Canaleta and Baser Amer—were frosty all night. The pair accounted for just a combined seven points.

Notching that first win seems even bleaker now for Nash Racela and his wards, who play San Miguel Beer next.

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Parks gets green light

In related news, Ray Parks Jr., the two-way guard who last played for the TNT franchise, is set to join a growing crop of Filipino cagers in Japan.

No less than Rick Vargas, the Tropang Giga’s team governor, said that they have given the Filipino American the go-signal to ply his trade in the Land of the Rising Sun, ending an ugly spat that started months ago when Parks held out in signing a renewal for the maximum amount.

“TNT has sent a letter to PBA clearing Rayray, subject to the policy of the PBA,” he told the Inquirer on Friday, confirming an earlier media report.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, for his part, also gave his assurance that the league won’t stand in the way, fully allowing Parks to join four other Filipinos in the B.League. With the PBA releasing Parks, it would be interesting to see now how Asia’s pioneering professional league intends to navigate the situation around Thirdy Ravena’s older brother Kiefer, the NLEX playmaker who in June signed with a B.League team and was even included in the Shiga Lakestars’ final roster for its upcoming season.

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TAGS: Barangay Ginebra, Blackwater, PBA Philippine Cup
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