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Staying alive: Ginebra makes it rain against Barako Bull

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With the game still tied at 77 late in the third period, Ginebra flipped on the switch and erupted to a fourth quarter run and made it splashing from downtown as they scored a 120-98 win against the Barako Bull Energy at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.

More importantly, Ginebra was able to pull off the big win to keep their quarters hopes alive and avoid sliding to the third spot from the bottom. In addition, the win pushed them to a 4-6 record, now tied with the Tropang Texters and only a half a game behind Kia and Purefoods (both 4-5). Meanwhile, Energy drops to a 6-4 slate.

The backcourt of Ginebra had a tough time handling the possession that led to Barako’s early 4-0 edge in the first minutes. It became a tightly-contested start with the two teams only combining for eight points for the first eight minutes of action. At that point, Joseph Yeo started to make noise from beyond the arc as he hit two straight to break their offensive drought. Yeo and his big import, Liam McMorrow made the damage and extended their lead to 10. However, Ginebra closed the opening frame strong with a 19-6 run with Orlando Johnson manning the spurt.

Eman Monfort opened up the second frame with a triple to make it a 34-28 game as that six-point lead served to be the largest lead by either teams in the quarter. Yeo was still firing hot from the perimeter that forced some deadlocks in the quarter. With no team having a distinct edge in the momentum, the first half ended with the score tied at 49. The imports were still going at it in their exchange of offensive baskets.

The close game extended until the third quarter with the usual scorers providing the offense for their respective squads. Barako kept on feeding their import in the post while Ginebra’s free throws were dropping as well. The number of lead changes also piled up during the third until Johnson tied it up at 77 with an and-one play.

Up by four entering the last quarter, Ginebra opened up the payoff period with Sol Mercado and Emman Monfort combining for three jumpers. Despite McMorrow still providing the offense in the paint for Barako, their closest margin to pull through was within 89-85. Afterwards, Jiwan Kim jump started the berserk with three straight jumpers to build on a double-digit separation for his team.

By the last eight minutes of the game, Ginebra cruised to a big lead and left the stunned Energy team with their impressive shooting from the perimeter. They limited Barako to 12 points during the stretch as Energy’s shooting went cold that halted their comeback hopes. With Ginebra’s crowd in the game, the Kings went on with their oozing momentum to pounce on and eventually end the game with the 22-point blowout.

Ginebra had more assists, 27-19 and were +18 from downtown. They also ended up shooting 53% compared to Barako’s 44% clip. Orlando Johnson finished with a whopping 41-point exertion on an efficient 15-of-29 shooting. Five other locals tallied double digits for Ginebra led by Mercado’s 14 markers.

Barako Bull will face the Star Hotshots to round up their elimination round games on June 21, 5:15pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Ginebra, on the other hand, plays NLEX on the last game day of eliminations on June 24, 7pm also at the Big Dome.

The Scores:

Ginebra(120) – Johnson 41, Mercado 14, Kim 12, Aguilar 12, Monfort 12, Brondial 10, Slaughter 9, Marcelo 5, Tenorio 3, Pena 2, Urbiztondo 0, Baracael 0

Barako Bull(98) – McMorrow 32, Yeo 18, Pascual 14, Intal 13, Garcia 10, Lanete 8, Hubalde 2, Sorongon 1, Forrester 0, Salva 0, Chua 0, Wilson 0, Ababou 0, Maierhofer 0, Salvador 0

Quarters: 31-28, 49-49, 81-77, 120-98

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