A YOUNG, audacious GlobalPort held its ground in overtime to pull off an 84-83 victory over Barangay Ginebra and book a spot in the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Stanley Pringle and Romeo, GlobalPort's one-two punch in the backcourt, combined for seven of the team's 10 points in the extra period when the Batang Pier barely held off another comeback by the Gin Kings to reach the semifinals for the first time in its three-year history.
The game, however, ended on a controversial note when Ginebra pleaded for a ball-hugging violation on Pringle in the final eight seconds and the game still very much up in the air.
Television replays clearly showed Pringle held on to the ball longer than the five seconds allowed, but league rules do not allow violations of this sort to be reviewed.
Head coach Tim Cone and his team lingered on the court long after the buzzer sounded pleading for a ruling, before league officials made the GlobalPort victory official.
The Ginebra coach later signed the official scorebook, giving the team the option to put the result under protest until 12 noon of Monday.
Pringle scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Romeo added 23, combining for more than half of GlobalPort's output against a Ginebra team that was riding the high of an epic 92-89 win over Star in the first stage of the knockout quarterfinals.
But it was not entirely a two-man show for GlobalPort which got a big game from former Ginebra player Billy Mamaril, who banked in the basket that tied the game, 74-all, with 4.1 seconds left in regulation before blocking a jumper by LA Tenorio on the other end.
Greg Slaughter led Ginebra with 25 points while Tenorio added 18. Japeth Aguilar scored just six points but four came in overtime, including the basket that cut GlobalPort's lead to 83-84 with eight seconds left.
That was when things got awry.
Pringle was trapped near the halfcourt line by two Ginebra defenders after the inbound, forcing him to hold on to the ball longer than the five-second leeway. No calls were made by the referees.
GlobalPort 84 - Pringle 25, Romeo 23, Washington 13, Yeo 11, Mamaril 4, Kramer 3, Semerad 3, Jensen 2, Maierhofer 0, Pena 0, Sumang 0.
Ginebra 83 - Slaughter 25, Tenorio 18, Devance 12, Caguioa 9, Mercado 9, Aguilar 6, Cruz 4, Ellis 0, Marcelo 0, Thompson 0.
Quarterscores: 18-16, 33-32, 53-53, 74-74, 84-83