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Ginebra blasts Phoenix in endgame to steal victory

Stanley Pringle prevailed in his scoring battle against Jason Perkins. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Entering Wednesday night, Ginebra is in danger of becoming the first team in 21 years to be eliminated early into the PBA Philippine Cup after winning the championship the previous year.

To add more problems, Japeth Aguilar has been ruled out for the team's crucial showdown with Phoenix with an MCL injury.

The Fuel Masters quickly exposed that after racing to a 33-16 first-quarter lead.

But the Gin Kings came alive just in time.

Ginebra rallied back from the sluggish start and used a fourth-quarter blast to beat Phoenix, 94-87, at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

The Gin Kings actually tried to crawl back in the second quarter after outscoring the Fuel Masters, 30-19, to cut the lead down to six, 52-46, at halftime.

Phoenix somehow steadied the ship after getting some control back by keeping a 76-69 cushion at the end of the third quarter, but Ginebra went on a 25-11 romp in the final frame to complete the comeback.

Stanley Pringle sizzled for 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting including 4-for-6 from three-point range, seven rebounds, two assists, and one steal for the Gin Kings, who overtook their victims at 4-5, tying the NLEX Road Warriors for seventh place.

LA Tenorio, who was held scoreless against San Miguel last week, chipped in 23 markers on 6-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc, four rebounds, and five assists.

Christian Standhardinger put up 21 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, and two steals in what might be his best game with Ginebra.

Scottie Thompson had his own double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds off the bench with one assist, one steal, and one block.

Jason Perkins put up 30 points of his own on 13-of-22 shooting, eight rebounds, one assist, and one steal to lead Phoenix, which fell to ninth place at 4-6.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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