Barangay Ginebra dug deep from its bag of tricks to beat Star in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday night, needing heroic performances from LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter and Othyus Jeffers to pull off the escape.
What went right for the Gin Kings? Let’s find out.
1. The Twin Towers went to work
Japeth and Greg had the size advantage over the Hotshots and they used that all-game long on both sides of the court. Greg Slaughter finished with a double-double, 14 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks while Japeth Aguilar chipped in 15 points, 5 boards and 2 blocks.
Greg was crucial during the last 2 minutes as he tipped in a basket while Aguilar played excellent defense on Bowles, even blocking the import’s shot. Overall, Ginebra won the rebounding battle 48-43 and they dominated points in the paint 56-34.
2. LA Tenorio stepped up
The Lieutenant started the game strong with 10 points during the first half. However, he became quiet during the 2nd half. Still, that did not stop Tenorio from helping his team win.
Tenorio hit the go-ahead jumper with 32 seconds left to give BGSM an 89-87 lead which they did not relinquish up to the final buzzer. Tenorio managed to hold his own against the more explosive back court of the Hotshots. Simon and Barroca combined for zero points in the 4th quarter.
3. NSD for real
This will sound corny but the “never say-die” attitude of the Gin Kings was evident in this game. They trailed most of the 4th quarter and they were down 6 with about 5 minutes left but they just kept hustling and they never stopped competing.
Their energy and intensity were obvious during the last few minutes as they fought for offensive rebounds and they increased their defensive pressure. If Ginebra could muster this type of effort every time, they would be championship contenders.
Barangay Ginebra should use this win as a catapult to greater things because if they lose their next 2 games (Mahindra, Alaska), then their comeback win in the Manila Clasico will be long forgotten. — By Rolly Mendoza