Barangay Ginebra San Miguel denied upset-hungry Barako Bull Energey their first win in the Philippine
Cup, erasing a thirteen-point deficit in the first half and building a twenty-point lead of their own in the
fourth quarter to march to their fifth win, 93-75, Wednesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
Barako Bull led for most of the first half, but saw their tables turned in the third quarter, after explosive
performances from veteran Mark Caguioa and youngsters Chris Ellis and Rodney Brondial gave Ginebra
the means to overtake.
Win-hungry Barako Bull entered the court looking geared for the upset, taking control of the game early
in the quarter. Ginebra found themselves unable to put up the easy shot against Barako Bull, who had
no trouble clogging up Ginebra’s offense. Powered by nine points guard Denok Miranda, Barako Bull
closed out the first quarter with an impressive 23-13 edge.
Ginebra continued to trail for most of the second quarter, finding themselves down by as many as
thirteen points more than once. The crowd favorites were finally kicked to life with only three minutes
left in the quarter, ignited by veteran Mark Caguioa, who had 11 first half points. Ginebra found
themselves finally closing in on Barako Bull after a 9-0 rally that saw the double digit margin trimmed to
a four points, 35-39, but JC Intal immediately put an end to his former team’s salvo, sinking a breakaway
triple to put Barako Bull up by 42-35. Japeth Aguilar managed to sink one in for Ginebra, trimming
the lead to 42-37 shortly before the halftime break.
Barako Bull managed to extend the lead anew early in the third period, 51-41, following a couple
of big baskets from longtime Barako Bull enforcer Mic Pennisi. Veteran Mark Caguioa and rookie Rodney Brondial kicked off a 12-0 run in the final two minutes that saw Chris Ellis steal the lead for Ginebra, following four straight baskets for a 58-55 lead. Five more points from Ellis in the dying minutes powered Ginebra to 64-61 lead at the end of the quarter.
The fourth quarter saw a massive 16-3 rally by Ginebra to build a twenty-one point lead by the halfway
point of the final period, 85-64, with twelve points coming from four triples courtesy of Joseph Yeo.
Barako Bull, however, was unable to recover. Ginebra entered the final two minutes of the ball game with a 93-73 lead, assured of the W.
Joseph Yeo led Ginebra with 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists, all while going five-of-eight from the
three-point line. Mark Caguioa added 15 points, while Greg Slaughter and Mac Baracael had 14 and 12
respectively. Denok Miranda led Barako Bull with 19 points. Ginebra improve to 5-1 for, solo second in
the standings, while Barako Bull slide to 0-5, a spot shared with expansion team Blackwater Elite.