Barangay Ginebra's never-say-die attitude once again came to the fore in a 90-81 victory over Alaska on Friday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Kings went on a furious fightback in the second half to wipe out a 17-point deficit as they boosted their chances of making the next round by improving to 4-3 (win-loss).
“We’re far from safe,” Kings coach Siot Tanquingcen said. “Knowing na carry over (ang records sa semis), gusto namin makakuha ng as many wins as possible.”
Mark Caguioa fired 22 points, including 15 in the first half, as the Kings not only erased a 17-point deficit but also built their own double-digit lead.
It was the biggest comeback win this conference, eclipsing the 16-point deficit Powerade overhauled against Ginebra in their last meeting.
The Kings went up by as many as 14 points, after a KG Canaleta slam halfway through the fourth quarter.
“First half was ugly. We couldn’t hit our shots,” Tanquingcen said. “Good thing our bench came in and gave us a big lift.”
Enrico Villanueva, who turns 32 on Saturday, gave himself an early birthday present by coming off the bench score all of his 12 points in the last two quarters.
Import Cedric Bozeman added 15 markers for Ginebra.
Alaska counterpart Jason Forte, who gave his squad its biggest lead after his basket a few minutes before intermission, had 20 points and 18 rebounds for the hapless Aces, which fell further to 1-7.
GINEBRA 90 - Caguioa 22, Bozeman 15, Villanueva 12, Cortez 12, Canaleta 9, Ababou 6, Hatfield 6, Wilson W. 4, Maierhofer 2, Raymundo 2, Maliksi 0, Wilson J. 0, Mamaril 0, Helterbrand 0
ALASKA 81 - Forte 20, Tenorio 12, Espinas 12, Baguio 11, Thoss 9, Baracael 7, Jazul 6, Eman 2, Gelig 2, Thiele 0, Custodio 0, Sotto 0, Cablay 0, Dela Cruz 0
Quarterscores: 10-23, 33-46, 65-65, 90-81