Working extra hard against an enemy that has made turns in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Barangay Ginebra on Friday night got the perfect reward for its effort and got ready for a bigger battle that’s just around the corner.
“It was important to get this win because we turn around and play San Miguel Beer,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said, minutes after rallying for a 98-81 decision of Blackwater, which the Gin Kings ground out the entire night at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. “The final score doesn’t give justice to the difficulty of this game.”
Ginebra trailed early and needed one big spurt in the fourth period to put the Elite away and extend the tournament’s longest winning streak to seven after opening up with a loss and remain at No. 1.
“You don’t want to play San Miguel coming off a loss, you need to have high energy coming into that game to have a chance,” Cone went on, referring to their 6:45 p.m. clash with the powerhouse Beermen on Sunday which could ultimately mean No. 1 seeding for his Kings.
Blackwater dropped to 4-5, losing for just the second time in six games since Henry Walker arrived. The Elite would need to sweep their remaining two games to advance to the quarterfinals outright.
GINEBRA 98 – Slaughter 22, Brownlee 17, Tenorio 16, Devance 15, Aguilar 10, Ferrer 7, Caguioa 6, Thompson 4, Mercado 1.
BLACKWATER 81 – Walker 26, Digregorio 12, Sumang 12, Pinto 8, Erram 6, Canaleta 6, Gamalinda 5, Marcelo 4, Sena 2, Belo 0.
Quarters: 23-24, 45-48, 69-71, 98-81.