Lady Luck sided with the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel as they managed to survive the Phoenix Fuel Masters’ end-game fury, 101-99, to halt the latter’s three-game winning streak, Saturday evening at the Xavier University Gym, Cagayan De Oro.
The reigning two-time conference champions have now dethroned the Fuel Masters on top of the 2018 Governors’ Cup standings with a 5-1 win-loss record. Phoenix, on the other hand, have slid down to number two with a 5-2 card.
Justin Brownlee led the crowd favorites with 34 points, 15 rebounds, and six assists. Joe Devance had 15 points, while Scottie Thompson flirted with a triple-double to the tune of 14 rebounds, 12 points, and six assists as well.
The Gin Kings, who led by as much as 10 points with 2:19 remaining in the third quarter, already held a two-possession lead, 100-96, after Aljon Mariano sank a point-blank shot with 37.5 seconds left in the final frame.
But the Fuel Masters still managed yo give a huge scare, as Matthew Wright trickled in a three-pointer from the left corner to cut Ginebra’s lead down to just one with 17.3 ticks left – that, even if he missed two jumpers prior.
Phoenix then played the fouling game and hoped for a few misses. They somehow got what they wanted, as Brownlee only split his charities with 10.2 seconds to go, 101-99, which left the door wide open for the Fuel Masters.
Wright took matters in his own hands as he looked to tie the game up and force overtime, but he lost hold of the ball when he attacked Ginebra’s defense. The Barangay got the loose ball, and LA Tenorio ran it down to preserve the win.
Tenorio supplied 10 markers, five assists, four steals, and three caroms.
Wright paced Phoenix with 27 points. Eugene Phelps provided 23 points and 13 rebounds, while Calvin Abueva – who left the game in the closing moments due to cramps – made 17 markers and nine boards with three feeds.
Both teams will next take turns facing the NLEX Road Warriors. The Gin Kings will play them first on October 5, Friday, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, and the Fuel Masters will follow on October 10, Wednesday, at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Ginebra 101 – Brownlee 34, Devance 15, Thompson 12, Tenorio 10, Caperal 8, Ferrer 8, Mariano 6, Caguioa 4, Chan 4.
Phoenix 99 – Wright 27, Phelps 23, Abueva 17, Perkins 13, Jazul 6, Chua 5, Intal 4, Wilson 2, Alolino 2, Revilla 0.
Quarterscores: 19-22, 49-52, 78-72, 101-99.
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