PBA: Ginebra ends skid, beats Northport as Tim Cone returns
MANILA, Philippines–With its decorated coach back in its fold, Barangay Ginebra played with the spunk of a champion on Sunday night to take down desperate NorthPort, 100-93, in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
The crowd drawers overhauled an 11-point deficit in the first half, and then played with steely nerves in the payoff frame to keep the Batang Pier at bay, get out of a two-game slump and then assure themselves of the second-best thing in the playoffs: a best-of-three series.
“There are times where our effort wasn’t there but we picked it up,” said head coach Tim Cone whose charges improved to 7-3 which also secured the club’s spot in the top half of the draw.
“I thought our effort kind of fell again in the fourth quarter but that’s the way the game’s played nowadays. There’s always big swings,” he went on.
Scottie Thompson, the Most Valuable Player, was brilliant all night long, putting up 23 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists spiked with three steals and three blocks.
Nard Pinto chipped in 18 and Jeff Chan 11 more off the bench as to backstop Japeth Aguilar’s 14 and LA Tenorio’s 13 as Ginebra takes aim at Phoenix for their final elimination round contest.
Robert Bolick had 29 points, while Jamie Malonzo added 19. Arwind Santos tossed in 14 more while Kevin Ferrer 13 for NorthPort which dropped to 3-7, its playoff hope getting bleaker.
The Batang Pier will try to do their share in the game against NLEX as half of their playoff fate rests in the other clubs jockeying for the bottom spots of the Top 8.
Ginebra’s win formalized 5-4 Blackwater’s entry into the next phase, also leaving a door open for 5-5 NLEX, 4-6 Rain or Shine, 4-6 Converge, and even 3-7 Phoenix Super LPG.
GINEBRA 100 – Thompson 23, Pinto 18, J.Aguilar 14, Tenorio 13, Chan 11, Standhardinger 9, Pringle 8, Mariano 4, Dillinger 0.
NORTHPORT 93 – Bolick 29, Malonzo 19, Santos 14, Ferrer 13, Balanza 6, Taha 6, Sumang 4, Calma 2, Dela Cruz 0, Ayaay 0.
QUARTERS: 20-26, 47-42, 80-60, 100-93.