MANILA – Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings rallied back from an early deficit to score a 105-96 victory over the NLEX Road Warriors in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup last night at the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Pampanga.
Japeth Aguilar led the way for the Kings with 27 points and nine rebounds cruising to its third straight victory and boosting the twice-to-beat bid for the quarterfinals incentive.
LA Tenorio chipped in 17 markers, Earl Scottie Thompson had a near-triple-double of 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Kevin Ferrer contributed 14 markers for Ginebra.
The Road Warriors surged to a 30-19 opening quarter start with JR Quinahan’s four early triples but the Kings battled back in the second frame behind Aguilar and Tenorio to inch closer within 46-51 at the half.
The Kings continued its run in the third period to take a 57-56 lead but the Road Warriors surged ahead at 62-57 but the Kings banked on baskets by Thompson to seize a 74-72 edge.
Ginebra went on to increase its lead to 81-76 on two freebies by Gregory Slaughter but the NLEX rallied back to tie the score at 83-all before the Kings created distance anew at 90-86 on back-to-back hits by Arthur dela Cruz.
The Road Warriors were at its closest for the last time at 92-94 after a Kenneth Ighalo triple before the Kings banked on consecutive points from Aguilar for its largest lead at 105-96.
John Paul Erram topscored with 16 points, Quinahan added 15 markers, while Pedrito Galanza and Juan Miguel Tiongson have 12 markers each for the Road Warriors, which dropped to 4-6./PN