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Ginebra escapes Mahindra for first win streak



Down for the two middle periods of the game, the Barangay Ginebra Kings used a huge fourth quarter surge to take an 80-76 win over the Mahindra Enforcers in the second game of Sunday’s double header at the Ynares Center on Sunday.

Ginebra’s twin towers provided the first 13 points for the Kings, as early inside presence dictated the offense for the team. Mahindra struggled with their perimeter shooting, as their lone triple in the period sliced Ginebra’s seven point lead, courtesy of Hyram Bagatsing. Despite having five turnovers in the first 12 minutes, an LA Tenorio basket in the dying seconds gave the Kings a 21-15 advantage.

An active Greg Slaughter initiated Ginebra’s surge in the second period, while the Enforcers could not find rhythm with blanks from the field. By the 5:34 mark of the quarter, Ginebra had installed an 11-point cushion at 35-24 capped by a Japeth Aguilar inside stab. However, Mahindra owned the remainder of the first half as they closed it out on an 18-3 run. During the stretch, Aldrech Ramos, Mark Yee, and Paolo Hubalde combined offensively to give the Enforcers the edge.

Mahindra maintained their lead for the next 12 minutes as they kept Ginebra at bay for the entire third frame. The Enforcers led by as much as eight, on and off in the middle of the quarter, despite three early turnovers. Ginebra slowly took momentum behind two key baskets by Jervy Cruz and Joe Devance.

Taking advantage of missed shots by Mahindra, the crowd slowly got into the game in favor of Ginebra as Scottie Thompson and Joe Devance took charge for the team’s fourth quarter run. By the 10:52 mark, Devance knocked down a triple off a dish by Sol Mercado to take the lead again at 61-60. From that point, Mahindra were unable to take the driver’s seat, sitting on the losing end of a frantic Ginebra rally. Minutes later, the Kings were up by 10, as late turnovers haunted Mahindra’s comeback hopes.

Greg Slaughter led Ginebra with 16 points and eight boards. Joe Devance complemented the offense off the bench, scoring 14 markers that included two triples. Japeth Aguilar added 12 points on an efficient 5/6 shooting clip.

Karl Dehesa was the high point man for the Enforcers with 17 points. He was 6/11 from the field but committed five costly turnovers. Aldrech Ramos notched a double-double with 17 points and 11 boards in the loss.

As a team, Ginebra shot at a high clip at 48% compared to just 38% by Mahindra. Despite committing a tad more turnovers, Ginebra was able to take advantage of Mahindra’s 19 turnovers in scoring 22 points off of them.

Ginebra’s (3-3) next outing will be up against the GlobalPort Batang Pier on Wednesday, November 25, 7:00pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. On the other hand, Mahindra 1-5) faces Meralco next on Saturday, November 27, 3:00pm at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:
Ginebra (80) – Slaughter 16, Devance 14, Aguilar 12, Cruz 10, Caguioa 7, Ellis 6, Mercado 4, Salva 4, Marcelo 3, Tenorio 2, Thompson 2.
Mahindra (76) – Dehesa 17, Ramos 13, Pascual 12, Yee 10, Bagatsing 8, Revilla 6, Guinto 6, Hubalde 2, Pinto 2, Canaleta 0, Alvarez 0
Quarterscores: 21-15, 38-42, 57-60, 80-76.