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Tiebreaker Times


PBA: Ralph Cu delivers career-best performance, carries Ginebra past Northport

Ralph Cu turned in his best performance to date as Ginebra pulled away late to beat NorthPort, 95-88, for back-to-back wins in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup, Sunday night at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The rookie forward finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists as he triggered the Kings’ 10-3 run to finish the game and collect their fifth win of the conference, moving a win away from securing a quarterfinal ticket.

“I’m just trying to make the most out of the opportunity na binibigay sa akin ni Coach Tim [Cone] and ng coaching staff,” said Cu.

Cu shot 6-of-11 from beyond the arc, none bigger than the triple that broke the 85-all deadlock with 2:54 left to play as it swung the momentum in the crowd darlings’ favor — and completed the comeback after trailing by 10 at the half.

Christian Standhardinger, Jamie Malonzo, and Scottie Thompson applied the finishing touches to secure the win that hiked their card to 5-3.

“We talked about having to grind that win heading into the playoffs and I thought they did a good job of grinding it out,” said head coach Tim Cone.

Standhardinger top-scored for Ginebra with 25 points, 17 rebounds, and five assists. Malonzo had 14 points, six boards, and four dimes. Maverick Ahanmisi had 13 points while Thompson supplied a 10-12-5-2-1 line.

But the Kings could not celebrate the win after Malonzo fell on his own with only 5.3 seconds to spare in the game as his left leg gave way, filling the venue with anxiety as he had to be carried out on the way to the locker room.

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“You never know the severity of injuries until you can see the next day. I think tomorrow we’ll find out. He’s got a lot of pain and such,” Cone said.

Ginebra will next face rivals TNT on Friday, April 19, at the Philsports Arena in Pasig, hoping of course that Malonzo is all well by that time.

Arvin Tolentino, meanwhile, had 19 points and nine rebounds to lead NorthPort, who lost its second game in a row and fell to 4-3.

William Navarro and Joshua Munzon had 12 apiece while Allyn Bulanadi added 11 for a Batang Pier side that had to go through the night without JM Calma, who suffered an apparent knee injury at the 6:25-mark of the first quarter.

NorthPort will try to arrest its skid against the surging Rain or Shine, winners of four straight, on Wednesday, April 17, 4:30 p.m. also at NAS.

The Scores:

Ginebra 95 – Standhardinger 25, Cu 24, malonzo 14, Ahanmisi 13, Thompson 10, J.Aguilar 4, David 3, Pringle 2, Tenorio 0, Pinto 0, Onwubere 0.

NorthPort 88 – Tolentino 19, Munzon 12, Navarro 12, Bulanadi 11, Yu 8, Amores 7, Zamar 6, Calma 4, Lucero 4, Cuntapay 3, Flores 2, Rosales 0, Paraiso 0.

Quarterscores: 30-21, 43-53, 73-70, 95-88.

Written By

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

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