Ginebra sends Clasico semis against Star to sudden death

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Both the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals are heading to the limit!

Ginebra forced a Game 7 in its semifinal showdown against Star with a 91-65 blowout in front of 18,062 people at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.

The Barangay bucked a slow start and pulled away late to send their showdown against the Hotshots to a rubber match on Tuesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Star went on a tear early on, opening a 20-9 lead with 4:18 left in the first quarter.

But it was all Ginebra the rest of the period, ending the first 12 minutes with 14 unanswered points to take a 25-22 lead. The team even started the second with five straight markers to stretch the lead to eight, 30-22.

The Hotshots sizzled later in the second, going on a 13-0 run to regain the lead, 37-33, before settling for a 39-38 advantage at halftime.

The game remained tight for most of the third quarter before the Barangay unleashed an 8-0 run to take the lead for good, 60-52.

They eventually shut down the Hotshots in the fourth, outscoring them, 29-13, in the period, capping it off with a 20-5 run.

Sol Mercado led Ginebra's final hurrah, scoring 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, while LA Tenorio provided the early spark, scoring 15 of his 19 points in the first half.

Joe Devance came up with a third quarter barrage, making all of his 14 points in the period.

Marc Pingris led Star with 14 markers, 10 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and one steal.

Box Scores:

Ginebra 91-Mercado 21, Tenorio 19, Devance 14, Aguilar 11, Cruz 11, Ferrer 6, Taha 3, Jamito 2, Thompson 2, Helterbrand 1, Ellis 1, Caguioa 0, Mariano 0, Marcelo 0

Star 67-Pingris 14, Barroca 13, Maliksi 9, Lee 8, Ramos 6, Melton 4, Jalalon 4, Reavis 4, Sangalang 3, Brondial 2, Abundo 0, Dela Rosa 0, Simon 0

Quarterscores: 25-22, 38-39, 62-54, 91-67

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