The Barangay Ginebra Kings rode the game-long brilliance of Aljon Mariano to defeat the NLEX Road Warriors, 102-92, in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup on Sunday night, October 11, 2020, at the Angeles University Foundation gym in Pampanga.
Playing without their vaunted sixth-man — the crowd — with the league playing in a historic “bubble,” the Kings got a much-needed boost from Mariano who tallied 20 points, five rebounds and four assists to spark the Ginebra to the victory.
Up by as much as 15, Ginebra struggled early in the fourth and NLEX capitalized to pull to within three, 82-85, after a triple by Anthony Semerad. However, Mariano refused to let the Kings buckle and scored seven of the team’s next 10 points to give Ginebra a 95-82 lead with just 4:48 to go.
Six other players scored in double-figures for Ginebra with Scottie Thompson, Stanley Pringle and Jared Dillinger scoring 12 points each. Thompson also stuffed the stat-sheet with 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block.
Prince Caperal, Jeff Chan and Joe Devance added 11 markers apiece.
Cebuano big man JR Quiñahan led the way for NLEX with 26 points but the University of the Visayas product was ejected in the third for incurring a technical foul. Quiñahan had already been called for a flagrant foul in the first canto.
The Road Warriors, however, sorely missed the usual production of ace guard Kiefer Ravena, who was held down to just six points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field.
Barangay Ginebra 102 - Mariano 20, Pringle 12, Thompson 12, Caperal 11, Chan 11, Devance 11, Aguilar 7, Tolentino 5, Tenorio 1, R. Aguilar 0, Balanza 0
NLEX 92 - Quinahan 26, Alas 16, Cruz 11, Porter 9, Soyud 7, Ravena 6, Semerad 5, Miranda 4, Ighalo 3, Galanza 3, Ayonayon 2, Paniamogan 0
Quarters: 31-22, 48-48, 83-75, 102-92.