|Japeth Aguilar waxed hot in the second half as Barangay Ginebra keeps unbeaten record with win over NorthPort Wednesday night. PBA Media Bureau.|
By Ricky Manliguis
QUEZON CITY—Barangay Ginebra kept its winning streak intact, but not after surviving a gallant stand put up by NorthPort to score a 104-98 win in the main game of Wednesday action of the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Nearly squandering a 19-point second-half advantage, the crowd darlings showed composure down the stretch for its third win in a row and solo top spot while keeping the Batang Pier winless in four outings.
Justin Brownlee issued usual number of 27 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists, while Japeth Aguilar came in with 23 points, 12 coming in the fourth period where NorthPort issued an uprising.
LA Tenorio and Greg Slaughter each had 18 points for Ginebra.
"We're just kind of in survival mode to see if we can survive games at this point," said Coach Tim Cone of his wards, playing its third game in just six days."We need to get a lot better than the way we're playing."
The multi-titled mentor had high praises for the 6-foot-9 Aguilar, who picked off the slack in the pivotal moments of the game.
"Japeth hit some key shots down the stretch and that got us over the hump," Cone added.
Stanley Pringle returned for duty for NorthPort with 34 points while keeping the Batang Pier in striking distance for most of the fourth period. Rashad Woods issued 28, while Mo Tautuaa was the other double-digit scorer with 11.
Barangay Ginebra 104 - Brownlee 27, Aguilar 23, Tenorio 18, Slaughter 18, Ferrer 6, Thompson 4, Mariano 4, Chan 2, Caguioa 2.
NorthPort 98 - Pringle 34, Woods 28, Tautuaa 11, Anthony 9, Taha 6, Fortuna 5, Guinto 3, Grey 2, Espinas 0, Arana, Gabayni 0.
Quarterscores: 33-15; 57-41; 79-73; 104-98