Ginebra lives to fight another day in Commissioner’s Cup semis

Nimrod Miaco
Ginebra showed their never say die spirit and avoided elimination with a do-or-die victory against B-Meg

MANILA, Philppines – Never say die. 

The Barangay Ginebra Kings, playing with their backs against the wall, responded with an 88-79 victory over the B-Meg Llamados to stave off elimination.

KG Canaleta sizzled in the 4th quarter hitting four from beyond the arc to extend Ginebra’s lead, 78-65, in the fourth quarter which sat only at four points when the quarter began. 

B-Meg clawed their way back into the game firing nine unanswered points until the game’s Best Player, Mike Cortez made five straight points. Jayjay Helterbrand put the finishing touches scoring two consecutive layups late in the game.

‘The Cool Cat’ Mike Cortez finished the game with a triple-double scoring 17 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists. This is Cortez’ first career triple-double and the first by any local player in six conferences according to PBA statistician Fidel Mangonon III. Last player to accomplish the feat is 2-time MVP Willie Miller. 

Jayjay Helterbrand also played well filling up the stat sheet with 12 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. 

B-Meg lost a key player in Marc Pingris as he has ejected early in the 2nd quarter after being called for a flagrant foul on Canaleta and a technical foul in an earlier play.

Import from both squads did not play particularly well. Ginebra’s Jackson Vroman finished the game with only 8 points but hauled down 10 rebounds. B-Meg’s Denzel Bowles ended up with a low double-double, 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The GinKings will be fighting for survival again in Game 4 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals when they face The B-Meg Llamados on Tuesday at the Big Dome. –

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