Barangay Ginebra sustained its hot streak and muddled up the fight for the PBA Governors Cup finals with a key 95-86 win over tournament leader Rain or Shine at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Thursday night. Season MVP contender Mark Caguioa came through with yet another heckuva job, leading the Kings to a third win in as many games in the semifinal round and four straight overall dating back to the eliminations.
Ginebra made it a tight, three-cornered fight for the finals as it closed in on Rain or Shine (9-3) and B-Meg (8-3) with an 8-4 carryover win-loss record. One more win, and the Kings avail themselves of the outright playoff incentive of the “4-of-5” rule in the semis. They can even gain outright finals entry with a sweep of their two remaining games versus B-Meg and Talk n Text.
“I’m so thankful for this win. Honestly, I don’t know how many wins more do we need. Hindi na namin isipin yon. We’ll just stay focused on what’s ahead of us. We’ll prepare hard against B-Meg Sunday,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen. Falling by the wayside as a result of Ginebra’s win was reining champion Petron Blaze (6-6). Kerby Raymundo, Jayjay Helterbrand and Rudy Hatfield provided big help as the Kings stalled the Elasto Painters’ title drive. Raymundo logged 15 points, Helterbrand contributed 11 points while Hatfield got away with 12 rebounds and eight markers in the tense game marred by technical fouls incurred by Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, Ginebra assistant coach Alfrancis Chua and RoS stalwart Gabe Norwood. Hatfield became the 36th player to have collected at least 2,000 career defensive rebounds.
Ginebra kept its unbeaten run in the semifinal round, avenging its elims lost to Rain or Shine. The Kings pulled off the feat by shrugging off a flat start and outmaneuvering the Elasto Painters in the second half. With Tanquingcen making the right adjustments after their sluggish start, the Kings wiped out a 10-point first-quarter deficit, pulling even at the half, 45-all, and seizing control in the third quarter.
Ginebra import Cedric Bozeman scored only 19 points but made his presence felt on the defensive end. “Give and take yun. Di sya gaanong umiskor pero evident ang effort nyo sa depensa,” said Tanquingcen of his import
(SB) The scores: GINEBRA 95 - Caguioa 29, Bozeman 19, Raymundo 15, Helterbrand 11, Hatfield 8, W. Wilson 5, Villanueva 4, Maliksi 2, Cortez 2, Wilson 0, Ababou 0, Maierhofer 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 86 - Lee 19, Chan 14, Cornley 13, Norwood 11, Ibanes 9, Cruz 6, Quinahan 5, Arana 4, Belga 3, Buenafe 2. Quarters: 18-28, 45-45, 70-65, 95-86
source : http://www.pba.ph