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Ginebra banks on late run to hand SMB 1st loss

Christian Standhardinger came up huge in the end for the Gin Kings. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Down goes the last remaining unbeaten team in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Ginebra sent SMB down crashing to its first loss of the 47th season after walking away with a 75-72 win on Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

In a game that saw the second lowest-scoring first half of the season with a 33-all halftime deadlock, the Gin Kings threatened to pull away after a 25-point third quarter put them on top, 58-50, entering the fourth.

The Beermen, however, slowly crawled back and took a 72-70 lead with 2:35 left in the game.

Christian Standhardinger then went to work, assisting on Japeth Aguilar's dunk that tied the game at 72-all before scoring a layup that gave Ginebra the lead, 74-72.

LA Tenorio capped the game-ending 5-0 run with a split from the line with 2.9 seconds remaining even as CJ Perez was forced to take a desperation heave from way out as time expired that did not hit anything.

Standhardinger finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and four steals to lead the Gin Kings, who have now taken the top spot in the team standings at 4-1.

Scottie Thompson and Japeth Aguilar each added 15 points with the latter grabbing 14 rebounds for the double-double and the former getting a clutch steal that helped save the game for the Gin Kings, who gave Coach Tim Cone a fitting sendoff as he flies to the United States to join the Miami Heat in their NBA Summer League campaign.

Simon Enciso's best game as a Beerman, in which he tallied 18 points, three rebounds, and two assists, went down the drain as his team fell to a tie with the Meralco Bolts in second place at 3-1.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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