|Christian Standhardinger is slowly becoming a key figure for the Gin Kings. PBA Images|
MANILA--Ginebra took over right at the last minute of its Sunday night game against Blackwater to walk away with an 85-82 victory to start its campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The Gin Kings preserved a comeback win after countering the Bossing's rally in the endgame.
Ginebra first made a comeback bid, going on a 10-0 run to take a 79-76 lead with 2:47 left in the game.
Blackwater responded with a 6-0 run of its own to go back up, 82-79, with 1:02 to go.
However, turnovers from Baser Amer opened a chance for the Gin Kings to steal the win.
After two free throws from Scottie Thompson that cut the lead to one, Amer threw a bad pass intended supposedly for Yousef Taha, paving the way for Japeth Aguilar's go-ahead jumper with 8.6 seconds left.
Amer tried to drive his way to the hoop, but he dribbled the ball off his foot, giving the ball back to Ginebra, which resulted in Stanley Pringle's two free throws for the final score.
Christian Standhardinger led Ginebra with 21 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, while Aguilar added 15 points, six rebounds, one assist, and five blocks.
In his first game since being crowned the 46th Season MVP last week, Scottie Thompson began his bid for back-to-back top player honors with a near triple-double of 14 points, 16 rebounds, and nine assists with two steals.
In a rare off-the-bench appearance, LA Tenorio played his 700th career PBA game on Sunday night and chipped in five points, one rebound, and four assists.
Rey Suerte put up 15 markers, seven boards, three dimes, and two steals for Blackwater, which fell to 1-1.
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