JAPETH Aguilar nailed a cold-blooded triple in the final 1.1 second, and then rejected Ranidel de Ocampo’s last-second attempt to help Barangay Ginebra complete a pulsating 97-95 come-from-behind win over three-time champion Talk ‘N Text in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-9 Aguilar bucked a slow start by dropping 19 of his team-high 21 points in the second half to lead Ginebra’s magnificent fightback from as much as a 14-point deficit.
The fourth quarter saw Aguilar unveil his newest repertoire in the game when he nailed a pair of booming three-pointers.
The former Ateneo and Western Kentucky Hilltopper product, who was never known for knocking down three-pointers, nailed his first from beyond the arc at the 6:01 mark of the final period to give Ginebra the lead, 87-86.
But it was his second three-point shot that proved to be dramatic which came with the game-clock winding and the outcome of the match on the line.
He made the shot off a broken pick and roll play called by coach Ato Agustin.
“Ang last play namin talaga pick and roll na lang para kay Japeth talaga kasi I told them, kailangan hard sila to the basket. Eh swerte lang, pumasok `yung three-points ni Japeth,” said an obviously relieved Agustin after the game watched by a crowd of 13,476.
The win shoved Ginebra to solo second at 4-1, a fitting bounce back after falling to Meralco, 87-100, last Tuesday.
Aguilar also had 12 rebounds and seven block shots, while Chris Ellis and rookie Greg Slaughter added 17 and 16 apiece.
Agustin said he was happy to see Aguilar and frontline partner Slaughter get a good bounce back performance against the Texters, who seemed poised for a win after dominating the game three-fourths of the way.
Making matters worse was Ginebra’s backcourt duo of Mark Caguioa and LA Tenorio were both under the weather, forcing Agustin to field in seldom-used guards Josh Urbiztondo and Emman Monfort to play for the huge part of the second half.
“Galing actually ng ospital si LA kanina (Sunday afternoon) bago siya dumiretso sa laro. Si Mark din galing ospital yan kahapon (Saturday). Pero naglaro pa rin sila,” said the Ginebra coach.
Jason Castro led the Texters (3-2) with 27 points, three rebounds, and six assists, while Larry Fonacier added 23, including a jump shot off a pair of picks in the final 22 seconds that gave Talk `N Text its last taste of the lead at 95-94.
Ginebra (97) -- Aguilar 21, Ellis 17, Slaughter 16, Baracael 12, Ababou 7, Helterbrand 7, Reyes 6, Urbiztondo 6, Caguioa 3, Tenorio 2, Monfort 0.
Talk `N Text (95) -- Castro 27, Fonacier 23, Anthony 12, De Ocampo 8, Williams 8, Alapag 7, Seigle 5, Baclao 4, Carey 1, Ferriols 0, Poligrates 0.
Quarterscores: 19-25; 40-43; 68-80; 97-95.