Barangay Ginebra fends off Rain or Shine for second straight win

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THE Barangay Ginebra Kings stood firm in the face of numerous rallies from Rain or Shine to prevail, 90-85, in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Athletic big man Japeth Aguilar paced Ginebra with 23 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks as the Kings now hold a 2-0 card in the all-Filipino tournament. The victory, though, was hardly easy as Rain or Shine tried to storm back from 21 points down and at one time, was just down five, 82-87, after a triple by Cebuano forward Leonard Santillan with 36 seconds to go.

However, LA Tenorio and Aguilar made three free-throws down the stretch to secure the victory for Ginebra.

Reigning MVP Scottie Thompson added 16 points, eight assists, and six rebounds, while versatile big man Christian Standhardinger chipped in 13 points, 14 boards, four assists, and three steals.

“I just thought that honestly, we were playing the swings of the game. We’d get up to a big lead, and then we’d soften up a little bit, and they’d come back. We gotta clean that up,” said head coach Tim Cone after the game.

“We played Rain or Shine who has a lot of young guards, and who played without their star, and so, we should have dictated the game a little bit better than we did. Obviously, we’re happy that we did,” he added.

Mike Nieto came off the bench for the E-Painters and scored 15 points while Beau Belga nearly had a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists.

Rain or Shine’s young guards also had superb performances as Andrei Caracut pitched in 12 markers, while rookie Gian Mamuyac piled on 10.

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