Never-say-die Ginebra survives San Mig Coffee, forces Manila Clasico Game Seven · Monday, February 10, 2014 · 10:42 pm
PBA/Nuki Sabio
PBA/Nuki Sabio

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel pulled through with a 94-91 thriller over the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers in Game Six of their PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup semifinals series on Monday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The win forced a do-or-die Game Seven in their Manila Clasico semifinals series on Wednesday for the right to face Rain or Shine in the championship round.

Ginebra rallied in the final two quarters after listening to a halftime speech from former playing-coach Robert Jaworski, who attended the game in support of his old squad.

“Malaking bagay si Jawo, it inspired the players,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin.

The Mixers controlled the first half, opening up a 50-41 spread behind their energetic second unit of Mark Barroca and Justin Melton.

But Ginebra, led by stars Mark Caguioa and LA Tenorio, came roaring back, even taking a 78-77 lead.

Instead of panicking, Pingris took over for San Mig Coffee, repeatedly scoring inside over Ginebra’s taller defenders.

San Mig Coffee still led, 84-79, before the Gin Kings unleashed a 9-2 run to take an 88-86 advantage.

Peter June Simon responded with a three-point play over Greg Slaughter to give the Mixers back the edge with two minutes remaining.

LA Tenorio missed an open three-point attempt in the ensuing possession. James Yap missed his own shot from long distance on the other end, but Simon recovered possession for a putback jumper for a 91-88 lead.

The Gin Kings were in trouble in their next play, before Slaughter hit a tough jumper while drawing a foul from Rafi Reavis.

Slaughter missed the bonus free throw, but Ginebra was able to recover the offensive rebound.

Barroca missed an open three-pointer in San Mig Coffee’s next play, and Yap was called for a foul on Caguioa on the rebound.

The 2012 PBA Most Valuable Player nailed both free throws for a 92-91 Ginebra lead with 16.2 seconds remaining.

Simon missed a shot to tie the game, and Slaughter nailed two more free throws for a three-point lead with two seconds left.

James Yap missed a desperation attempt at the buzzer, allowing Ginebra to escape with the win.

Caguioa led Ginebra with 21 points, while Slaughter finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Gin Kings.

Pingris finished with 20 points, six rebounds, and five assists, while Simon added 17 points.
Agustin believes the Game Six win provides a template for Ginebra coming into the ultimate match of the series.

“Game Seven, nakita namin ang formula. We need to pressure, we need to be aggressive. Kailangan na namin ibigay lahat,” said Agustin.

“Don’t save your energy, pag pagod kayo papalitan namin kayo. Trust each other, teamwork.”

The scores:

GINEBRA 94 – Caguioa 21, Slaughter 20, Tenorio 16, Aguilar 13, Baracael 9, Helterbrand 5, Ellis 4, Reyes 4, Mamaril 2, Monfort 0, Urbiztondo 0.

SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 91 – Pingris 20, Simon 17, Barroca 14, Sangalang 12, Reavis 9, Yap 9, Melton 5, Devance 3, Mallari 2, De Ocampo 0.
Quarters: 22-24, 41-50, 73-74, 94-91


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