Ginebra hands SMB first loss in bizarre finish

Ginebra hands SMB first loss in bizarre finish

LA Tenorio sank a technical free throw that eventually iced the game for Ginebra following a late game drama. PBA Media Bureau

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Ginebra survived a late San Miguel run and walked away with a 100-96 win in their PBA Philippine Cup clash at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Sunday night.

Coming alive in the third quarter, the Barangay avoided an endgame collapse in a very awkward manner as a late game confusion marred the Beermen's chances.

With SMB down three, 95-98, with 4.5 seconds left, Chico Lanete was fouled while going for a putback after winning the loose ball battle following an airballed triple from Arwind Santos.

Curiously, the referees gave the ball to Chris Ross, who was standing at the top of the key, and made him shoot the charities. Ross missed one free throw.

With Coach Leo Austria calling a timeout to map out an offensive rebound play, the officials got some time to review the play and eventually acknowledged the error. In the process, they gave Ross a technical foul for the said sequence with LA Tenorio sinking the technical free throw.

The right charity taker, Lanete, made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second free throw.

Junemar Fajardo, however, failed to secure the carom, and the ball hit Ross's body before sailing out of the baseline, giving the ball back to Ginebra with 2.8 seconds to go.

Japeth Aguilar sealed the win for the Barangay with a split from the line.

Aguilar and Tenorio each tallied 23 points for Ginebra, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

Jervy Cruz and Raymond Aguilar, on the other hand, had breakout outings, tallying 17 and 16 markers respectively.

Junemar Fajardo's monster statline of 33 points, 11 caroms, four assists, four blocks, and one steal went for naught as SMB lost for the first time in the conference following a 5-0 start.

Box Scores:

Ginebra 100-Tenorio 23, J. Aguilar 23, Cruz 17, R. Aguilar 16, Ferrer 11, Thompson 6, Mercado 2, Caguioa 2, Wilson 0

San Miguel 96-Fajardo 33, Ross 16, Lassiter 16, Santos 12, Lanete 7, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Pessumal 4, Heruela 2, Mamaril 0, De Ocampo 0.

Quarterscores: 19-33, 44-52, 75-66, 100-96

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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