The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel are back above the .500 mark, after bagging their fourth victory of the season at the expense of the struggling Blackwater Elite, 89-82, Wednesday afternoon at the Araneta Coliseum.
Blackwater and Ginebra traded baskets and leads for most of the early first quarter, with Blackwater import Marcus Douthit taking charge for his team and Ginebra import Michael Dunigan leading his. Big baskets from bigman Greg Slaughter gave Ginebra a 14-10 lead at the halfway point of the period, but the next six minutes saw Blackwater take control of the game. At the end of the quarter, the Elite led 25-20.
The second quarter opened to a heated shootout between the two squads, with each team drilling trey after trey in the first few minutes of play. Five straight points from Bambam Gamalinda however, helped Blackwater pull away for a 35-27 lead approaching the halfway mark. Greg Slaughter and Mark Caguioa answered with back-to-back buckets to cut the lead to four before the Elite could extend their advantage. A jumper from Joseph Yeo later gave them a 37-all deadlock, which was followed by a fastbreak from Caguioa to give Ginebra a two-point lead with three minutes left on the clock. Ginebra sustained momentum and at halftime they led 49-43.
Ginebra opened the second half with a 6-2 run to build the first double-digit lead of the game, 55-45, less than two minutes into the quarter. Dunigan’s dominance at the rim, pushed the Gin Kings to lead by as much as thirteen in the quarter. Ginebra managed to escape a late Blackwater flurry to take a 71-60 at the end of another twelve minutes of the game.
A succession of baskets from JP Erram helped Blackwater trim the deficit to seven, 66-73. Later on, a three-point play by Erram put them within six, 69-75, but his fellow former Blue Eagle LA Tenorio answered back to extend Ginebra’s lead. Erram came up big for his team once again a minute later, sinking a tough shot that put Blackwater within 4, 73-77. This was followed by Robbie Celiz nailing a layup on the fastbreak to come within two, 75-77, with less than five minutes to play in the quarter. Tenorio however doused the fire with a three to extend the lead back to five.
With Blackwater’s momentum shaken, the Gin Kings led by ten with three minutes left on the clock, 85-75. The Elite however refused to falter, and were able to come within five, 82-87, with a minute and a half left on the clock. But Ginebra would get the right stops, keeping the explosive Erram at bay in the next few possessions. Two free throws from Mac Baracael after drawing the intentional foul, extended the lead to seven, 89-82, and hammering in the first nails in the coffin. At the buzzer, Ginebra walked away with the victory.
LA Tenoria was named Best Player of the Game with 17 points and 2 assists. Marcus Douthit led Blackwater with 16 points. Ginebra improve to 4-3, finally above the .500 mark. Blackwater slide to 1-6.
Ginebra: Dunigan 27, Tenorio 17, Slaughter 17, Caguioa 15, Yeo 7, Baracael 4, Aguilar 2
Blackwater: Douthit 16, Erram 11, Gamalinda 11, Celiz 9, Heruela 8, Salvacion 8, Ballesteros 6, Faundo 3, Timberlake 3, Laure 1
Quarters: 20-25, 49-43, 71-60, 89-82