PBA Philippine Cup

Ginebra downs Phoenix for back-to-back wins, builds quarterfinal momentum

JR Isaga
Ginebra downs Phoenix for back-to-back wins, builds quarterfinal momentum

Japeth Aguilar powers Ginebra's bench scoring in limited time as the Gin Kings down Phoenix in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup

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Ginebra leans on a Japeth Aguilar-led attack against Phoenix as the Gin Kings create momentum for their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal push

MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra marched on to the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals with a much-needed momentum boost after downing the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 100-93, at the Araneta Coliseum on Thursday, July 21.

Coming off a late two-game skid, the Gin Kings are now winners of two straight as they ended the elimination round with an 8-3 record, tied with second-place TNT.

However, by way of the quotient system, top-seeded San Miguel and the Tropang Giga are already assured of the two twice-to-beat berths a few days before Ginebra and 7-3 Magnolia even got a chance to catch up.

Still, Ginebra gave its all against a Phoenix side only playing for pride as Japeth Aguilar led the balanced attack with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting in just 19 minutes off the bench, while reigning league MVP Scottie Thompson muscled his way to a 14-point, 14-rebound double-double.

Aljon Mariano sparked the bench alongside Aguilar with a 13-point effort in 19 minutes, while guards Stanley Pringle and Nard Pinto scored 10 apiece.

Coming off a slim 45-47 halftime deficit, Phoenix stayed within 51-55 early in the third, but Ginebra shifted to a higher gear and broke away with a 9-2 run to mount an 11-point gap, 64-53, off a Pringle three at the 5:35 mark.

Despite the Fuel Masters’ best efforts, they never got closer than 6 points down the stretch as the Kings led by as many as 13, 86-73, halfway through the final frame off a Prince Caperal short jumper.

Jason Perkins paced the conference-ending loss with 17 points on 7-of-21 shooting, while Sean Anthony powered the second-quarter charge with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists off the bench on 6-of-12 shooting and 4-of-6 from deep.

Phoenix missed the services of veteran Matthew Wright, who has since left for the US to marry his longtime partner, and new signee Javee Mocon, who was a late scratch due to a knee issue.

Ginebra now awaits its first-round opponent depending on the final game results of 7-3 Magnolia, 5-5 Converge, and 5-5 NLEX on Friday, July 22.

The Scores

Ginebra 100 – J. Aguilar 17, Thompson 14, Mariano 13, Pinto 10, Pringle 10, Chan 9, Standhardinger 8, Onwubere 7, Tenorio 4, Caperal 4, David 4.

Phoenix 93 – Perkins 17, Anthony 16, Tio 13, Muyang 12, Serrano 7, Melecio 6, Garcia 5, Jazul 5, Porter 5, Lalata 3, Rios 2, Robles 2.

Quarters: 22-14, 47-45, 76-66, 100-93.

– Rappler.com

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