Ginebra overcomes rival Star in Game 7 for PH Cup Finals berth
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Before a massive, rowdy crowd of 20, 221 people, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel took care of business against rival Star Hotshots, 89-76, in Game 7 of the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Tuesday, February 21 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
With the win, the Gin Kings are back in the finals just 4 months since winning their first title in 8 years. They will clash with two-time defending champion San Miguel Beermen in an all-San Miguel Corp. best-of-7 series starting Friday, February 24.
Four players finished in double figures for Ginebra with guard Sol Mercado sizzling with 23 points on 4-of-6 three-pointers, including a crucial trey in the third that extended his team's lead to 6 after Star came to within 3.
Star got to within 3 and Sol Mercado comes to the rescue with this big 3! He was literally limping (appeared to hurt ankle) 30 sec earlier pic.twitter.com/JqcHqnfRmi— Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) February 21, 2017
Mercado, who has also done a commendable job defending Paul Lee in the series, added 3 rebounds and 5 assists.
Japeth Aguilar had 19 points and 5 rebounds while LA Tenorio sustained his offensive fire from Game 6 with 21 markers, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Scottie Thompson chipped in 10 points and 9 rebounds, including 4 on the offensive glass.
Ginebra came out the gates fired up and quickly set the tone of the contest in two-time Grand Slam champion coach Tim Cone's 15th Game 7 appearance. He upped his record to 9-6 in Game 7s, battling against an inexperienced rookie coach Chito Victolero.
The Gin Kings safely maintained double-digit deficits through the second half as the Hotshots lacked offensive firepower save for Allein Maliksi, who tallied 22 points on 3-of-4 triples off the bench.
Marc Pingris, who has had a consistently productive series, wrapped up the Philippine Cup with a 17-point, 8-rebound, 6-assist, and two-block effort.
Aldrech Ramos was the only other Hotshots in double digits with 14 points and 8 boards.
Guard Lee had another quiet night of just 4 points on two-of-8 shooting while rookie playmaker Jio Jalalon also settled for 4 markers as he battled foul trouble as early as the second quarter.
The Gin Kings shot more effectively from long range at 52% compared to the Hotshots' 31% or 7-of-22 shooting.
But the big difference was in free throws, where Star was 3-of-10 while Ginebra made good with 22-of-27 charities.
Ginebra (89): Mercado 23, Tenorio 21, Aguilar 19, Thompson 10, Devance 7, Cruz 6, Ferrer 2, Marcelo 1, Caguioa 0, Ellis 0.
Star (76): Maliksi 22, Pingris 17, Ramos 14, Barroca 8, Reavis 5, Lee 4, Jalalon 4, Melton 2, Simon 0, Sangalang 0, Dela Rosa 0.
Quarter scores: 26-16, 45-36, 65-61, 89-76.
In these changing times, courage and clarity become even more important.
Take discussions to the next level with Rappler PLUS — your platform for deeper insights, closer collaboration, and meaningful action.
Sign up today and access exclusive content, events, and workshops curated especially for those who crave clarity and collaboration in an intelligent, action-oriented community.
As an added bonus, we’re also giving a free 1-year Booky Prime membership for the next 200 subscribers.
You can also support Rappler without a PLUS membership. Help us stay free and independent by making a donation: https://www.rappler.com/crowdfunding. Every contribution counts.