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Ginebra weathers Blackwater storm, stays atop leaderboard

Ginebra slotman Greg Slaughter dunks over Blackwater defenders on his way to 22 points in the win over the Elite.
By Ricky Manliguis and Aljon Clemente

MANILA—Ginebra leaned on a solid endgame push as it thwarted Blackwater, 98-81, in thefeatured game of 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Friday at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Against a team full of confidence and youth, the crowd darlings outscored the Elite 29-10 in the fourth quarter while putting some key defensive stops for its seventh straight win in eight games.

The Kings actually had the hot start, unloading a 15-2 opening before the Elite sizzled from downtown to even snatch the lead at the end of the third quarter, 71-69.

It was an all-Ginebra show afterwards.

Japeth Aguilar’s monster block against Blackwater import Henry Walker proved to be decisive in the shift of momentum in the match.

"The game could've gone either way, until that Japeth block on Walker, I think that changed the game," echoed winning coach Tim Cone in a post-game chat.

Greg Slaughter imposed his will inside with his 22 points highlighted with monster dunks along with eight rebounds in a reliever’s role.

Justin Brownlee played an all-around game of 17 points, 13 boards, six assists, four blocks, and a steal, even as LA Tenorio registered 16 points, five assists, three boards, two steals, and a shot block.

Joe Devance also stepped up with 15 and eight boards for Ginebra.

The Elite fell to a 4-5 record as Walker issued a double-double of 26 points and 17 rebounds, while Mike DiGregorio and Roi Sumang pinched in 12 each.

Ginebra will next meet Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel in a marquee match-up on Sunday at the Big Dome.

Box Scores:

Ginebra 98–Slaughter 22, Brownlee 17, Tenorio 16, Devance 15, Aguilar 10, Ferrer 7, Caguioa 6, Thompson 4, Mercado 1

Blackwater 81–Walker 26, Digregorio 12, Sumang 12, Pinto 8, Erram 6, Canaleta 6, Gamalinda 5, Marcelo 4, Sena 2, Belo 0

Quarterscores: 23-24, 45-48, 69-71, 98-81

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