LA Tenorio bounced back from a rare scoreless game and helped Barangay Ginebra earn a much-needed 94-87 comeback win against the Phoenix Fuel Masters at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Wednesday, September 15.
Off an early 19-point deficit in the first quarter, 14-33, Ginebra stayed composed even without veteran star Japeth Aguilar, and chipped away at the gap until a Christian Standhardinger layup gave the Kings back the lead midway through the fourth, 83-81.
Both teams went back and forth until Ginebra made crucial stops that led to Tenorio’s huge triple, his sixth of the game, with exactly a minute left in regulation for a 92-87 lead. He finished with 23 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds.
Stanley Pringle then capped a monster scoring night with a wide-open mid-range dagger off a handoff from Standhardinger for a 94-87 edge with just 31 ticks left. He led all scorers with 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting and 4-of-6 from downtown.
Standhardinger also came up big in Aguilar’s absence with a 21-marker, 12-rebound double-double, while Scottie Thompson also had a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 11 boards.
“It was a great comeback game. It was a game that our fans would have really loved,” said head coach Tim Cone in the postgame presser.
“This is a typical Ginebra game. We battled, and we came back, and found a way to win.”
With the crucial win in the bag, defending conference champion Ginebra rose to a 4-5 record, and temporarily settled in the last playoff spot at eighth place. Meanwhile, Phoenix slid out of the playoff picture for now with a 4-6 slate.
Jason Perkins came one point shy of tying his career-high with 30 points in the sorry loss. Matthew Wright followed up with 18 markers, 5 boards, and 5 assists, while RJ Jazul powered the bench mob with 15 points off 6-of-12 shooting.
Ginebra looks to keep its momentum high in the home stretch of the elimination round with a win against the returning Alaska Aces on Friday, September 17 at 6 pm.
Meanwhile, Phoenix will try to keep its postseason hopes alive with an upset victory against the streaking San Miguel Beermen that same day at 3 pm.
Barangay Ginebra 94 - Pringle 31, Tenorio 23, Standhardinger 21, Thompson 12, Mariano 3, Tolentino 2, Dillinger 2, Devance 0, Caperal 0.
Phoenix 87 - Perkins 30, Wright 18, Jazul 15, Chua 12, Calisaan 3, Melecio 3, Banchero 2, Pascual 2, Demusis 2, Muyang 0, Garcia 0, Manuel 0, Tamsi 0.
Quarters: 16-33, 46-52, 69-76, 94-87.