Barangay Ginebra drew crucial baskets from Japeth Aguilar to hold off NorthPort, 104-98, and remain undefeated in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Aguilar delivered in the endgame, scoring the last six points for Ginebra in the final one minute and 23 seconds, including back-to-back jumpers that sealed the game, 104-97, with 24.5 seconds left.
“We’re just kind of been in survivor mode. We need to be a lot better than we’re playing,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone after his side improved to 3-0. “We’re not staying to our character at this point. We’re just doing what we can to survive. We need to find our discipline a little bit more, we need to find better flow and focus on defense.”
“Japeth hit some key shots down the stretch and got us over the hump but the game could’ve gone either way.”
Aguilar finished with 23 points, 12 coming in the final frame, on 11-of-16 shooting from the field and nine rebounds off the bench.
The Gin Kings took an 18-point lead early in the third quarter before the Batang Pier (0-4), who welcomed Stanley Pringle and Sean Anthony back, came back spearheaded by Pringle.
Pringle fired 27 of his game-high 34 points in the second half, including a beeline drive off a timeout that pulled NorthPort within three, 100-97, with still 1:10 remaining.
“He (Pringle) played like an import tonight,” Cone said.
Justin Brownlee collected 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists while Scottie Thompson added four points, 14 rebounds and six assists for the Kings.
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