Greg Slaughter was named the game’s Best Player after finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds for Ginebra in the win over Meralco. Photo by Jerome Ascano
ALMOST everybody’s attention was on new Ginebra import Josh Powell – that is, until Chris Ellis stole the show in the end.
The high-flying sophomore put on a show while a winded Powell dragged his feet in the endgame, putting together a blazing scoring run that carried Ginebra past Meralco, 88-78, on Wednesday night in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup clash at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ellis was all over the floor in the endgame of a match that was supposed to be a showcase for Powell, the two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers who raised hopes for a Ginebra resurgence when he came in for a misfiring Leon Rodgers.
However, Powell, who arrived on Tuesday morning, looked in no shape to carry the fight for the Gin Kings, who instead turned to Ellis and Greg Slaughter to end a two-game skid and raise their record to 3-4 (win-loss).
The game was still very much in the balance when Ellis finished off a fastbreak, hit two free throws, then made back-to-back three-pointers from both sides of the court to hand Ginebra an 86-73 lead with 46 seconds to go.
Slaughter, on the other hand, held his own against debuting Meralco import Darnell Jackson inside the paint, scoring 11 of his 15 points in the second half to go along with seven rebounds in what his best performance for the conference thus far.
Powell shook off jet lag to finish with 16 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in his PBA debut.
“We did a good job especially on defense. We were able to stop their second chance points and fastbreak. Saka target namin was to limit them to 78 points, maganda talaga defense namin,” said a beaming Ginebra coach Ato Agustin after the game.
Prior to this game, Ginebra was giving up an average of 100.6 points against opponents. But with Slaughter and Powell patrolling the shaded lane, the Kings held the Bolts to 22 points less that total.
Jackson, a former NBA veteran, debuted with 25 points and 18 rebounds, but the 28-year-old former Kansas standout eventually tired out in the end.
Ellis added 16 for the Gin KIngs, while Mark Caguioa had 13. LA Tenorio and Josh Urbiztondo chipped in 10 points apiece in a balanced scoring attack for the Gin KIngs.
Ginebra’s win also booted GlobalPort (0-7) from the playoff picture.
Ginebra 88 – Powell 16, Ellis 16, Slaughter 15, Saguioa 13, Urbiztondo 10, Tenorio 10, Aguilar 3, Helterbrand 3, Baracael 2, Mamaril 0.
Meralco 78 – Jackson 25, David 18, Dillinger 11, Hugnatan 9, Hodge 9, Caram 3, Al-Hussaini 2, Artadi 1, Ildefonso 0, Sena 0, Guevarra 0, Wilson 0, Mandani 0.
Quarterscores: 27-21; 44-40; 63-60; 88-78
Photo by Nuki Sabio
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel pulled through with a 94-91 thriller over the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers in Game Six of their PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup semifinals series on Monday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The win forced a do-or-die Game Seven in their Manila Clasico semifinals series on Wednesday for the right to face Rain or Shine in the championship round.
The Mixers controlled the first half, opening up a 50-41 spread behind their energetic second unit of Mark Barroca and Justin Melton.
But Ginebra, led by stars Mark Caguioa and LA Tenorio, came roaring back, even taking a 78-77 lead.
Instead of panicking, Pingris took over for San Mig Coffee, repeatedly scoring inside over Ginebra’s taller defenders.
San Mig Coffee still led, 84-79, before the Gin Kings unleashed a 9-2 run to take an 88-86 advantage.
Peter June Simon responded with a three-point play over Greg Slaughter to give the Mixers back the edge with two minutes remaining.
LA Tenorio missed an open three-point attempt in the ensuing possession. James Yap missed his own shot from long distance on the other end, but Simon recovered possession for a putback jumper for a 91-88 lead.
The Gin Kings were in trouble in their next play, before Slaughter hit a tough jumper while drawing a foul from Rafi Reavis.
Slaughter missed the bonus free throw, but Ginebra was able to recover the offensive rebound.
Barroca missed an open three-pointer in San Mig Coffee’s next play, and Yap was called for a foul on Caguioa on the rebound.
The 2012 PBA Most Valuable Player nailed both free throws for a 92-91 Ginebra lead with 16.2 seconds remaining.
Simon missed a shot to tie the game, and Slaughter nailed two more free throws for a three-point lead with two seconds left.
Slaughter finished with 20 point and 11 rebounds for the Gin Kings.
Photo by PBA | Nuki Sabio
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel squandered a 16-point third quarter lead before eking out an 85-82 over the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
“At the start of the game, we did a good job on our defense. We were able to control the tempo, but when they started pressuring us, marami kaming mistakes,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin.
“The breaks went on our side that’s why we won the game.”
The Gin Kings looked on pace for the easy victory after opening up a 70-54 spread after a Jayjay Helterbrand three-pointer near the end of the third period.
But the Mixers came roaring back, scoring the next 18 points of the game behind James Yap, Mark Barroca, and Justin Melton to take a 72-70 edge.
San Mig Coffee continued the onslaught, taking a 76-72 advantage. But a banked three-pointer by Emman Monfort sparked an 8-4 run that gave Ginebra back the advantage, 80-78.
Ginebra still led by four points before Joe Devance’s three-pointer cut the Mixers’ deficit, 83-82. LA Tenorio sank two free throws to give the Gin Kings more breathing room with 5.4 seconds left.
San Mig Coffee had one final shot to tie the game, but Yap’s three-point attempt failed to hit the target, allowing Ginebra to tie the PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup semifinals series at 2-all.
“The players didn’t lose their composure, veterans namin nagdala, tapos nag-contribute lahat,” said Agustin.
Mac Baracael led Ginebra with 20 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting, bouncing back strong after being ejected in Game Three.
Yap led San Mig Coffee with 20 points, but usual suspects Barroca (10 points) and Peter June Simon (five points) were less effective than usual.
“Na-contain namin nang konti, na-limit namin yung guards nila, PJ and Barroca,” said Agustin.
GINEBRA 85 – Baracael 20, Tenorio 16, Slaughter 11, Ellis 9, Aguilar 7, Caguioa 7, Helterbrand 5, Monfort 5, Reyes 3, Mamaril 2.
SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 82 – Yap 20, Devance 13, Barroca 10, Melton 9, Pingris 7, Sangalang 7, Mallari 6, Simon 5, Reavis 5, De Ocampo 0.
Quarters: 21-20, 46-43, 70-56, 85-82