Ginebra stays in playoff hunt with romping of skidding Barako

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--With its back against the wall, Ginebra showed might in the late moments of its PBA Governors' Cup win against Barako Bull by turning a close battle to a 120-98 rout at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Playing to a 49-all deadlock against the Energy at halftime and an 81-77 lead after the third period, the Gin Kings pulled away in the final quarter after scoring 39 points led by Sol Mercado and Rodney Brondial while limiting their opponents to only 21.

Mercado finished with 14 points, two rebounds, and five assists, while Brondial made a perfect 5-of-5 from the field for ten markers along with six rebounds and one block. Orlando Johnson sizzled for 41 points, nine rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block to lead Ginebra, which remained in contention for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Liam McMorrow tallied 33 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and a steal for Barako Bull, which has now lost three straight games.

Box Scores:

Ginebra 120-Johnson 41, Mercado 14, Monfort 12, Aguilar 12, Kim 12, Brondial 10, Slaughter 9, Marcelo 5, Tenorio 3, Pena 2, Baracael 0

Barako Bull 98-McMorrow 32, Yeo 18, Pascual 14, Intal 13, Garcia 10, Lanete 8, Hubalde 2, Sorongon 1, Forrester 0, Ababou 0, Salvador 0, Salva 0, Chua 0, Wilson 0, Maierhofer 0

Quarterscores: 31-28, 49-49, 81-77, 120-98