MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – For the second straight year, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel defeated its rival Star on Christmas Day, this time with a final score of 86-79 on Sunday, December 25, at the Philippine Arena.
A close contest entering the final period, it was the Gin Kings who came up with the stops and clutch baskets late to escape with the victory.
Japeth Aguilar had his best game of the season with 32 points – including a 5-of-5 display from downtown – plus 12 rebounds and two blocks, while Joe Devance went off for 17 points and 6 rebounds.
Star was led by the 20 points and 5 boards of Paul Lee, while Marc Pingris registered 14 points and 16 rebounds.
Ginebra began to pull away after Aljon Mariano hit a basket to put his team up 6, 79-73, with 1:07 to go. After Lee missed a 3-pointer, Aguilar was then fouled and made both charities to put his team up 8, enough to cruise the rest of the way.
The win improved the record of Ginebra to 3-3, while Star’s 3-game winning streak was snapped and dropped to the same record.
Ginebra (86): Aguilar 32, Devance 17, Tenorio 7, Mariano 7, Thompson 5, Taha 5, Caguioa 4, Marcelo 4, Ellis 3, Mercado 2, Ferrer 0, Helterbrand 0, Cruz 0
Star (79): Lee 20, Pingris 14, Maliksi 13, Ramos 7, Dela Rosa 6, Barroca 6, Melton 5, Reavis 4, Simon 4, Sangalang 0, Brondial 0
Quarter scores: 25-16, 45-35, 62-61, 86-79 – Rappler.com