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PBA: Ginebra secures playoff incentive with thrilling victory over NLEX

Ginebra aced the NLEX test, 103-99, to secure the remaining playoff incentive in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup, Saturday night at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Legazpi City.

Maverick Ahanmisi nailed the all-important triple for the 96-94 lead with 2:46 to go in the game.

Then Christian Standhardinger and Tony Bishop chipped in to make sure that the Kings would remain ahead the rest of the way.

Free throws by Stanley Pringle off a Jhan Nermal foul with about five seconds left to play enabled the reigning conference champions to lock a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals projected to start next week.

Bishop led the pack with 27 points and 13 rebounds as Ginebra finished the eliminations with an 8-3 card.

The crowd darlings’ win, witnessed live by approximately 6,500 fans, crushed the top four hopes of Meralco.

Their last chance of finishing at no. 4 was their rivals losing to the Road Warriors in the out-of-town tiff in Albay.

Standhardinger finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Jamie Malonzo produced 16 points on a 4-of-7 clip from beyond the arc. The backcourt tandem of Pringle and Ahanmisi supplied 13 apiece for the Barangay.

DeAndre Williams-Baldwin, meanwhile, had 27 points and 14 rebounds to lead NLEX, who dropped to ninth in the standings with a 4-7 card.

The Road Warriors will need TNT to lose versus Phoenix on Sunday to set up a playoff for no. 8.

Enoch Valdez had 17 points and five rebounds. Nermal had 15 points, while Tony Semerad supplied 14. Sean Anthony had 12.

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Meanwhile, Robert Bolick added 10 markers, eight rebounds, and 11 assists for a side that mismanaged a 79-68 lead.

They did try to save themselves when Semerad got them to within one through a triple, but Ginebra could no longer be neutralized.

Bishop nailed a trey of his own to give his team the 101-97 lead with 1:07 left in the match.

The Scores:

Ginebra 103 – Bishop 27, Standhardinger 18, Malonzo 16, Ahanmisi 13, Pringle 13, J.Aguilar 6, Thompson 4, Pinto 3, Pessumal 3, Tenorio 0

NLEX 99 – Williams-Baldwin 27, Valdez 17, Nermal 15, Semerad 14, Anthony 12, Bolick 8, Rodger 4, Miranda 0.

Quarterscores: 31-23, 53-54, 77-82, 103-99.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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