PBA: Ginebra forces decider for semis spot, turns back Meralco | Inquirer Sports
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PBA: Ginebra forces decider for semis spot, turns back Meralco

Barangay Ginebra's Japeth Aguilar.

Barangay Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–Barangay Ginebra San Miguel made the big plays down the stretch to stave off Meralco, 94-87, on Friday and send their 2022 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal series to a deciding third game.

The Gin Kings shrugged off the physical nature of the contest, with LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Christian Standhardinger and Stanley Pringle putting the Bolts away in the final minutes to take the victory at Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

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Ginebra pushed the best-of-three affair to a rubber match slated on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

“It wasn’t for boys today, it was a man’s game today,” Cone said, referring to the match that saw a lot of bodies hitting the floor since tipoff.

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Scoreless in the 93-82 loss in the opener last Sunday, Tenorio bounced back with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals, playing with a desire to keep Ginebra alive at least for another game.

His playmaking duties resulted in baskets from Standhardinger, who wound up having 15 points, and Pringle, who scored the Gin Kings’ last five points to seal the deal.

Before Pringle’s late flurry, Aguilar’s alley-oop dunk with barely two minutes left made it 89-82 after Ginebra spent most of the fourth quarter trying to prevent Meralco from sweeping the series.

Ginebra led 56-45 at the half behind a hot shooting of Jeff Chan late in the second quarter but saw Meralco rally courtesy of Cliff Hodge and seldom-used Alvin Pasaol.

The Bolts took a 71-69 edge into the fourth after Hodge’s three but the Gin Kings didn’t budge.

Hodge’s 25 points were for naught as Meralco failed in its first crack to finally beat Ginebra in a series.

The scores:

GINEBRA 94 — Aguilar J. 25, Standhardinger 15, Tenorio 13, Thompson 11, Pringle 9, Chan 8, Pinto 7, Caperal 4, Mariano 2.

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MERALCO 87 — Hodge 25, Maliksi 14, Pasaol 14, Black 9, Newsome 8, Pascual 3, Banchero 2, Quinto 2.

Quarters: 25-25, 56-45, 69-71, 94-87.

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TAGS: Ginebra Gin Kings, Meralco Bolts, PBA Philippine Cup
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