By Adrian Stewart Co
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel came from behind to beat the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters, 100-97, in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup last Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Two free throws each from Jervy Cruz and Aljon Mariano within the final minute of the match made the difference for Barangay Ginebra after trailing by double-digits early in the match.
Trailing by as much as 10 points late in the second period, Barangay Ginebra started strong in the third behind Gregory Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, and LA Tenorio to seize a 58-57 lead.
Phoenix created distance anew early in the fourth after a triple by Jason Perkins gave them an 84-76 lead. Barangay Ginebra then relied on inside conversions by Mariano and triples by Tenorio to take a 94-93 lead.
Phoenix regained the advantage on hits from Matthew Wright and Justin Chua but a Slaughter hit followed by free throws by Cruz and Mariano gave the Kings the 100-97 edge before Wright misfired a three-point attempt.
Tenorio led Barangay Ginebra with 23 points, while Mariano finished with 20 points and nine rebounds./ASC, WDJ