Ginebra completed the cast of the upper-seeded teams enjoying twice-to-beat advantages, who advanced by beating their counterparts in just a single game. The Kings got back at the GlobalPort Batang Pier, who dealt them a 21-point drubbing back in the elimination round. They returned the favor via a 17-point, 95-78, walloping to eliminate the Batang Pier in the conference.
At the end of the opening canto, GlobalPort looked poised to pull off another upset against the crowd favorites as they led by eight, 23-15. This was behind Terrence Romeo’s perfect opening quarter with 12 markers on 6-of-6 shooting. Ginebra then stepped on the gas in the second quarter to take the lead from the Batang Pier.
In total, 64 of Batang Pier’s 78 points came from the guard combos of GlobalPort with Romeo and Stanley Pringle responsible for 47. Romeo though slowed down after a hot opening period. Ginebra’s confidence also took the game away from GlobalPort as they became tentative in the shots they took after the first quarter.
Through offensive boards and second chance opportunities, the Kings took control of the game and took it away from GlobalPort. They amassed 22 offensive rebounds to put up a 19-point output off second servings.
Midway through the third period, GlobalPort interim head coach Eric Gonzales reminded his wards to finish their defensive schemes through defensive rebounds. However, his team lost the battle of the boards, 61-41, as they only grabbed 14 offensive rebounds for nine second chance points.
Twin tower combo
After seeing a dip in their numbers in the middle of the conference, Ginebra’s twin towers were in full throttle for their quarterfinal appearance. Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar combined for 30 markers and 18 boards to lead the Kings towards the final phase of the quarterfinals.
The Spark provided a much-needed backup as he scored 15 markers while Mac Baracael chipped in with 12. LA Tenorio, Billy Mamaril, and Joseph Yeo scored nine of their own.
Full confidence display
After a shaky start, the Kings regained confidence and looked like they could shoot every ball they had and defended every Batang Pier possession with full belief in themselves.
Surviving multiple comebacks from a hard-fighting Batang Pier side, Ginebra held on and now moves on to face Talk N’ Text on Tuesday in a knockout match for the right to face the San Miguel Beermen in the semifinals.
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