BARAKO BULL finally snapped out of a losing slump, defeating Barangay Ginebra, 83-79, on Sunday for its first win under new head coach Bong Ramos in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Five players scored in double digits for the Energy Cola but their defense proved to be the key to breaking their four-game slide and catching Air21 for the eighth and final quarterfinal spot with a 4-9 win-loss record.
In gifting Ramos his first victory three games since he replaced Junel Baculi, the Energy Cola also stopped Barangay Ginebra’s five-game winning run.
“We played a hell of a defense tonight,” said Ramos. “When my friend Junel left Barako, I injected the team with defense.”
Former Ginebra cager Ronald Tubid had 18 points and 10 rebounds including a running shot that killed the momentum of an 8-0 Kings run with one minute and 35 seconds to play in the fourth period.
Roger Yap had 14 points and hit a crucial three-pointer that sealed the win for the Energy Cola.
Ginebra dropped to 7-6 for fourth place in a three-way tie with Alaska and Meralco.
The Energy Cola posted their biggest lead at 70-55 on two free throws by Celino Cruz halfway through the fourth, but Ginebra got as close as five points on back-to-back hits by Jay-Jay Helterbrand with 1:57 left to play.
Helterbrand had 18 points while Mark Caguioa added 13 markers for the Kings.
Chris Ellis had 12 points including a thunderous slam dunk over Mick Pennisi early in the third period but even that could not break Barako Bull's momentum.
Barako Bull's Doug Kramer pulled down 22 rebounds, one short of his career high.
Barako Bull (83) – Tubid 18, Najorda 14, Yap 14, Cruz 10, Seigle 10, Kramer 6, Pennisi 6, Anthony 4, Ballesteros 1.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (79) – Helterbrand 18, Caguioa 13, Ellis 12, Mamaril 12, Maierhofer 8, Tenorio 8, Raymundo 6, Wilson 2, Taha 0, Maliksi 0, Espiritu 0, Hatfield 0.
Quarterscores: 16-17, 29-26, 52-45, 83-79.