Barangay Ginebra sent Rain or Shine packing out of the PBA bubble with an 81-73 win in their Philippine Cup quarterfinals clash at the Angeles University Foundation in Pampanga on Friday, November 13.
Enjoying a twice-to-beat bonus, the top seed Gin Kings needed only one game to punch their semifinals ticket as they pulled away in the final 3 minutes behind Stanley Pringle.
Quiet throughout the first 3 quarters, Pringle broke out of his shooting slump and scored 4 straight points in the win-clinching 9-2 run Ginebra used to advance to the Final Four for the third straight conference.
Pringle, who finished with 10 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals, sank a fadeaway jumper and a floater in back-to-back possessions to give the Gin Kings a 76-71 lead with 2:10 minutes left.
Aljon Mariano and LA Tenorio then buried a runner and a triple, respectively, as Ginebra stretched its lead to 10 and never looked back.
Japeth Aguilar led the win with 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting and 11 rebounds, Mariano had 11 points and 9 rebounds, while Tenorio chimed in 8 points and 8 assists.
“We came into this game expecting to grind it out and that was exactly what we got,” said Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone.
“[The Elasto Painters] handled Stanley very well, and luckily, Japeth got free and got some things done and we were able to pull it out.”
Prince Caperal made his presence felt for Ginebra with 11 points off the bench, while Scottie Thompson added 7 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Mark Borboran put up 13 points to lead Rain or Shine, which could still be alive by now if not for its collapse against Phoenix in its final elimination round match where it squandered a 14-point lead.
Needing to win then by at least 4 points to secure a top 4 finish and nail a twice-to-beat incentive, the Elasto Painters crumbled down the stretch as they settled for the No. 8 seed.
Young guns Javee Mocon and Rey Nambatac had 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the losing effort.
Ginebra 81 – Aguilar 23, Mariano 11, Caperal 11, Pringle 10, Tenorio 8, Thompson 7, Dillinger 4, Devance 4, Chan 3, Tolentino 0.
Rain or Shine 73 – Borboran 13, Mocon 12, Nambatac 10, Belga 9, Yap 8, Wong 6, Onwubere 6, Ponferada 5, Arana 2, Rosales 2, Norwood 0, Torres 0.
Quarters: 20-22, 40-37, 59-55, 81-73.