Ginebra stalls Phoenix's twice-to-beat bid with close win

Ginebra stalls Phoenix's twice-to-beat bid with close win

LA Tenorio remained stellar in his 596th consecutive game. PBA Media Group
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Ginebra derailed Phoenix's chance to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals with a 100-97 win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Sunday night.

Japeth Aguilar's huge block helped save the day for the Barangay as their own bid for a quarterfinal spot got a huge boost.

The Fuel Masters were looking to hold on after taking a 91-86 lead with 5:10 left.

Ginebra, however, went on an 8-2 run capped by back-to-back triples from LA Tenorio to take a 94-93 lead with 3:02 to go.

After an exchange of baskets, Aguilar swatted away Calvin Abueva's layup attempt that could have put Phoenix back in the lead, and Aljon Mariano added more pressure by making two free throws off Abueva's foul with four seconds remaining.

With no timeout left, Matt Wright had no choice but to pull a desperation heave from way out, but the shot still provided a scare as the ball rolled onto the rim before going out as time expired.

Tenorio, who has now played for a PBA-record tying 596th straight time, finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals for the Barangay, who went up to 4-3, taking solo fifth place.

Mariano, on the other hand, added 20 points, nine rebounds, and two assists in a starting role.

Abueva put up 15 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block for the Fuel Masters in a game where Wright was held to only 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting, although he also had a double-double with 10 assists.

The scores:

Ginebra 100 - Tenorio 23, Mariano 20, Slaughter 18, Chan 13, Aguilar 11, Thompson 5, Cruz 4, Dela Cruz 4, Mercado 2, Caperal 0, Ferrer 0.

Phoenix 97 - Abueva 15, Kramer 14, Jazul 13, Chua 13, Wright 10, Marcelo 10, Perkins 9, Mallari 9, Revilla 2, Mendoza 2.

Quarters: 18-24, 40-46, 72-76, 100-97.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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