BARANGAY Ginebra gave NLEX false hopes of ending its disappointing campaign on a positive note as it rolled to a 90-80 victory on Sunday night to book a ticket to the quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup.
The Gin Kings saw the cellar-dwelling Road Warriors make an early stand before turning the game around late in the second quarter to pull away for good.
LA Tenorio fired 30 points, nine boards, and four assists, while Scottie Thompson again flirted with a triple-double, tallying 11 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds as the backcourt tandem sparked the turnaround for the Gin Kings, who finished the eliminations with a 6-5 win-loss mark.
The Road Warriors suffered a fourth straight setback and ninth overall in 11 games.
“It looked for a while we forgot how to play basketball,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone admitted. “We looked like high school kids trying to play against pros early in the game.”
“But LA and Scottie got us right towards the end of the first half, and that kind propelled us into halftime and gave us a lot of confidence,” the champion coach added.
Tenorio scored 11 of his output in the second quarter where the Gin Kings rallied from a 17-point deficit that was reduced to just four points at the half, then sustained his vintage showing after the break as he added 15 points in the second half.
Thompson poured in all but one of his 11 points in the second half as he turned aggressive after being a facilitator in the first two quarters.
Joe Devance also put up an all-around performance with 19 points, eight boards, and six assists, on top of one block in 33 minutes as he anchored the middle with Japeth Aguilar still yet in tip-top shape.
In his first game back from an elbow injury, Aguilar focused on the defensive end of the floor, finishing with seven points, nine boards, and six blocks in 36 minutes.
Kevin Alas and Rico Villanueva paced the Road Warriors with 14 points apiece in a losing effort.
GINEBRA 90 – Tenorio 30, Devance 19, Mercado 13, Thompson 11, Aguilar 7, Marcelo 4, Ellis 2, Taha 2, Cruz 2, Ferrer 0, Caguioa 0
NLEX 80 – Alas 14, E. Villanueva 14, Guinto 10, Lanete 8, Lastimosa 7, J. Villanueva 7, Khobuntin 7, Taulava 6, Rios 5, Camson 2, Gotladera 0, Baracael 0
Quarterscores: 20-28, 42-46, 72-64, 90-80