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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.

The scores:

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

According to Ginebra coach Ato Agustin, there is no definitely timetable for the return of guard Josh Urbiztondo. (Jerome Ascano)

BARANGAY Ginebra backup playmaker Josh Urbiztondo remains out of commission three games into the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series as he’s still in the US attending to his ailing mother.

In the absence of Urbiztondo, Ginebra coach Ato Agustin had to work on a guard rotation of LA Tenorio and Eman Monfort, with Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand playing the two-guard spots.

But the Kings were obviously outhustled by San Mig in Game Three of the best-of-seven series, getting just two points off fastbreaks compared to the 19 points scored off the transition by their opponents.

The Mixers went on to win the game, 97-89, to regain control of the best-of-seven series, 2-1.

Tenorio said the experience of the 6-foot Urbiztondo could have been a plus factor for the Kings, especially in trying to keep pace with a fastbreaking San Mig backcourt led by Mark Barroca and rookie guard Justin Melton, whose quickness helped the Mixers score on several fastbreak opportunities in the payoff period.

“Unang una, dagdag din sa rotation ng guards si Josh. With his experience, subok na rin siya sa playoffs. Malaking bagay din talaga, kaya nami-miss namin siya,” Tenorio said after the game, which saw him play 38 extended minutes.

Without Urbiztondo, Tenorio said the rest of his backcourt mates need to step up their game as they try to counter their San Mig counterparts in Game Four.

Coach Ato Agustin said there is no definite timetable for the return of the former Fresno Pacific stalwart, which is why he’ll have to stick with the point guard tandem of Tenorio and Monfort at the moment.

The pint-sized Monfort though sprained his right ankle late in the third period of Sunday’s game at the Mall of Asia Arena and may have to play through the injury for the rest of the series.

Urbiztondo is averaging just 3.1 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 12 minutes of play this conference, but remains a scoring threat due to his ability to shoot three-point shots in bunches.


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