Jervy Cruz came big for Barangay Big Dome, reducing the Clasico into a virtual best of three.
QUEZON CITY--Despite allegations of bad officiating, Barangay Ginebra kept their nerve to seal a 93-86 triumph against the Star Hotshots last Wednesday evening at the Big Dome.
Jervy Cruz stood as the leading scorer of the Gin Kings as they tied their semifinal Clasico with Star at two games apiece.
The former King Tiger tallied his season-high of 21 points including 11/13 from the free throw line and the dagger three-point play off Japeth Aguilar's assist with 20.2 ticks left.
Aguilar also shined with 18 points.
On the other hand, the sharpshooting Allein Maliksi led the Hotshots with 18 points. Veteran bigman Rafi Reavis also produced 13 markers. But guards Mark Barroca and Paul Lee weren't in form that night due to foul-trouble, with the latter fouling out just with 8:46 left in the game.
The Hotshots exchanged buckets and trailed most of the game. Their off-shooting from the trifecta zone capped their loss.
Coach Tim Cone credited their win on his team's defense, “I thought our guys had great resolve today.”
Ginebra held the number-one three-point shooting team in the league to only one triple in the final frame.
Both teams will be facing each other again this Friday night to break the tie at the Mall of Asia Arena.
GINEBRA 93 - Cruz 21, Aguilar 18, Ellis 10, Ferrer 9, Mercado 9, Tenorio 8, Marcelo 5, Caguioa 5, Thompson 4, Devance 4
STAR 86 - Maliksi 18, Jalalon 16, Reavis 13, Lee 9, Pingris 9, Melton 7, Barroca 4, Ramos 4, Sangalang 4, Dela Rosa 2, Simon 0.
Quarter scores: 21-23, 48-41, 65-62, 93-86