Crowd favorites Barangay Ginebra San Miguel marched to their third win in the PBA Philippine Cup, after dismantling a second half comeback from the still winless newcomers Blackwater Elite, 100-91, Tuesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
Ginebra opened the second game with hot shooting, sinking three straight three-pointers in the opening minutes. The league newcomers Blackwater would be unable to find away to stifle Ginebra’s seamless offensive flow, and the crowd favorites Ginebra would go on to close out the quarter with a convincing 33-20 lead.
Bolstered by fleet-footed bigman JP Erram, Blackwater entered the second quarter with better shooting, and trimmed the lead to single digits, 31-39, with seven minutes left on the clock. However, Ginebra, after a couple of big baskets from the duo of Japeth Aguilar and Mac Baracael, pulled away once and extend the lead. Following a buzzer-beating jumper from Jay-R Reyes, Ginebra entered halftime with the 59-43 edge.
A 7-0 run sparked veteran Paul Artadi saw Blackwater trim the deficit to double digits to nine points in opening two minutes of the third quarter. After trading baskets for most of the quarter, a lay-in from Brian Faundo gave Blackwater the means to inch closer to striking distance, 63-69, with little more than two minutes on the clock. At the end of the third, the lead stood at single digits, 75-68.
Though Blackwater sustained the momentum from the previous quarter, Ginebra would manage to fire back at every basket sunk by the league newcomers. Unable to rise up defensively, Blackwater would have to watch as Ginebra built up another double-digit lead. Entering the final two minutes, Ginebra had the 96-86 edge. Mark Caguioa, the Ginebra oldtimer, seemingly put the final nail in the coffin after a fastbreak lay-in with 52.1 left on the clock put Ginebra up by twelve, but a five-point blitz in the next twenty seconds that featured a Brian Faundo lay-up and a breakaway three from JR Cawaling pushed Blackwater to 98-91, with 26.2 left on the clock. Ginebra however managed to sink the next couple of free throw baskets to seal the win.
Former FEU standout Mac Baracael led Ginebra in scoring with 19 points along with 8 rebounds. Ginebra star Mark Caguioa chipped 18 points and 4 rebounds. Paul Artadi, who once suited up for Ginebra, led Blackwater with 21 points and 6 assists. Ginebra rise to 3-1, while Blackwater fall deeper into the pit at 0-4.