PBA Philippine Cup

Amer turnovers cost Blackwater as Ginebra avoids upset ax

Delfin Dioquino
Amer turnovers cost Blackwater as Ginebra avoids upset ax

ALL-AROUND. Scottie Thompson falls short of a triple-double in his first game since being crowned MVP.

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Scottie Thompson and Christian Standhardinger star as Barangay Ginebra inadvertently gets help from Baser Amer to open its PBA campaign on a winning note

ANTIPOLO, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra avoided the upset ax against Blackwater thanks to some costly Baser Amer errors and eked out an 85-82 win in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center here on Sunday, June 12.

Japeth Aguilar hit the go-ahead bucket and Stanley Pringle sank the win-sealing free throws as the Gin Kings inadvertently got help from Amer to open their campaign on a winning note.

The Bossing led 82-81 with under a minute remaining before Amer threw an errant pass that went out of bounds, paving the way for LA Tenorio to locate Aguilar for the jumper that put Ginebra ahead.

Amer then dribbled the ball off his foot in the next play and the Gin Kings regained possession, with Pringle draining his foul shots to secure the victory.

Newly crowned MVP Scottie Thompson powered Ginebra with a near-triple-double of 14 points, 16 rebounds, 9 assists, and 2 steals as he and Christian Standhardinger led their comeback from a 10-point deficit.

Standhardinger scored 15 of his game-high 21 points, including 6 straight in the middle of the fourth quarter that gave the Gin Kings a 79-76 lead with three minutes left.

Blackwater answered with a 6-0 run highlighted by back-to-back Joshua Torralba buckets to take the upper hand, but the Bossing shot themselves in the foot with those Amer turnovers.

Heaving a huge sigh of relief, Ginebra coach Tim Cone admitted they were wary of Blackwater after it pulled off a massive shocker against defending champion TNT in its conference opener.

“Just watching them on video, they’re playing really, really good basketball. You cannot get anything easy from them and they really execute offensively,” Cone said.

“We knew we had to battle and it could end up being harder than we thought. That is a team to reckon with.”

But the Gin Kings’ experience trumped the momentum of the Bossing as Ginebra banked on its old reliables in the win.

Aguilar finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 blocks, while the returning Stanley Pringle – who missed almost the entire Governors’ Cup last season due to a knee injury – tallied 9 points and 12 rebounds.

Tenorio also made his presence felt with 5 points and 4 assists as he notched a new personal milestone by playing in his 700th consecutive PBA game.

Rey Suerte delivered 15 points on top of 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals to lead Blackwater, which fell short of a rare 2-0 start.

Torralba fired 14 points and Amer had 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists.

The Scores

Barangay Ginebra 85 – Standhardinger 21, J. Aguilar 15, Thompson 14, Tolentino 12, Pringle 9, Mariano 6, Tenorio 5, Pinto 3, Caperal 0, Chan 0. 

Blackwater 82 – Suerte 15, Torralba 14, Amer 11, Ular 10, Taha 9, McCarthy 9, Sena 9, Ebona 3, Ayonayon 2, Casio 0, Melton 0, Escoto 0, Publico 0.

Quarters: 22-16, 39-39, 61-67, 85-82. 

– Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.