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The Barangay Ginebra Kings once again showcased their trademark “never say die” attitude, rallying from 19 points down to derail the NLEX Road Warriors, 83-75, in the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Still reeling from the loss they received at the hands of Magnolia last weekend, Ginebra was on wobbly legs as they trailed 39-58, early in the third. However, Japeth Aguilar and Arvin Tolentino got going and pulled the Kings to within five, 58-63, heading to the last canto.
The fourth saw the two teams claw and scratch with NLEX seizing a 73-71 lead after a triple by Don Trollano with 4:29 to go. But that proved to be the Road Warriors’ last hurrah as Tolentino canned the last of his four three-pointers to put the Kings in front, 74-73.
Reigning MVP Scottie Thompson the made two straight layups to give Ginebra an 81-75 lead with just 1:37 left in the ballgame.
Aguilar led the way for the Kings with 20 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. Tolentino added 17 points as all five Ginebra starters scored in double-figures to push the Kings to their third win in four games.
Thompson was his usual stat-stuffing self, coming up with 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks. LA Tenorio and Christian Standhardinger added 10 markers apiece, the former adding eight assists, and six boards.
“I just felt we did a really good job of staying in the game and battling,” said Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.
“It gave us a chance. I struggled mentally in that first half trying to figure out what we can do. We made some pretty huge adjustments that we usually made and we ran stuff that we really don’t even practice. The guys did a great job of turning things around mentally,” Cone added.
NLEX got 16 points from Kevin Alas and 15 from Calvin Oftana. However, NLEX dropped to an even 2-2.