San Miguel bucked a furious fourth quarter push by Barangay Ginebra to bounce back from a tough opening day loss with a 99-91 win in their PBA Philippine Cup clash on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen almost saw a 23-point third quarter lead disappear into thin air as the Gin Kings stood behind their old reliables to bring them back in the game.
Down by 16, 91-75, after two made free throws by Christian Stanhardinger with 4:34 to go, Ginebra strung together 14 straight points—including four straight triples from Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson and LA Tenorio—to bring them to within five, 94-89, with under two minutes left.
A three-ball from Marcio Lassiter later restored order for SMB, who then managed to hold their foes scoreless until the dying seconds for the win.
“I’m so happy for this win because of the sleepless night namin because of our loss in that first game namin. I keep on telling the players na there’s no easy team in this league. That’s an indication na lahat ng teams ay nag-build up. It’s a good thing nakabawi kami ngayon. Isang malaking isda. Mabuti nakabawi kami ngayon,” head coach Leo Austria said after the game.
Five players scored in double figures for the Beermen, who were led by Christian Standhardinger’s 26 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. Chris Ross added 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds while knocking down six threes.
Seldom-utilized guard Von Pessumal also impressed in a starting role after scoring 13 points built around three threes in 26 minutes of action.
LA Tenirio, meanwhile, spearheaded Ginebra’s attack with 24 points—including a 6-for-8 clip from downtown—six rebounds and five assists. Japeth Aguilar added 20 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
Ginebra slid to a 1-1 for the conference.
San Miguel 99 – Standhardinger 26, Ross 22, Lassiter 16, Pessumal 13, Fajardo 10, Santos 6, Nabong 6, Tubid 0, Zamar 0.
Ginebra 91 – Tenorio 24, Aguilar 20, Slaughter 11, Thompson 9, Devance 6, Teodoro 6, Dela Cruz 4, Ferrer 4, Caguioa 3, Mariano 2, Mercado 2.
Quarters: 20-17, 44-35, 78-57, 99-91.
(Photo credit: PBA Media Group)