BARANGAY Ginebra turned to LA Tenorio and Greg Slaughter in the clutch as it survived Star, 92-87, on Sunday to get on a winning streak in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup before a huge crowd at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Tenorio replicated his heroics in their last meeting against the Hotshots, burying the go-ahead jumper, while Slaughter scored five points in the last minute, spelling the biggest difference in a thrilling battle that lived up to its billing in front of over 16,000 fans.
The Gin Kings thus notched a second straight win that evened their win-loss record to 2-2 as they spoiled the Hotshots’ comeback, absorbing a fourth loss in five games.
“It’s really fun when the game lives up to the hype,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said. “We settled, we didn’t panic, and we worked our way back in the game. and that means we’re growing up a little bit.
Rafi Reavis put the Hotshots up, 87-85, with two free throws, but Slaughter retaliated with a putback that knotted the count and set the stage for the heroics of Tenorio, who also hit the game-winner in Ginebra’s overtime win over Star in the Philippine Cup quarterfinals on Christmas.
Tenorio finished with 12 points, four boards, and three assists in 28 minutes, while Slaughter registered a double-double of 14 points and 12 boards.
Othyus Jeffers sustained his fine, all-around play as the Ginebra import finished with 23 points, 15 boards, seven assists, and one steal in 42 minutes, while Japeth Aguilar provided the energy and scattered 15 markers and five rebounds.
The result spoiled Mark Barroca’s offensive outburst in the third quarter, where the Hotshots point guard caught fire and scored all but two of his 16 points to lead his team in turning the game around after trailing at the half.
GINEBRA 92 – Jeffers 23, Aguilar 15, Slaughter 14, Tenorio 12, Caguioa 8, Ellis 8, Mercado 7, Thompson 3, Devance 2, Marcelo 0
STAR 87 – Barroca 16, Bowles 15, Simon 14, Pingris 13, Yap 10, Maliksi 9, Pascual 6, Reavis 2, Sangalang 2, Melton 0
Quarterscores: 29-24, 56-48, 66-74, 92-87