CALL them the comeback kings – of the road.
Barangay Ginebra lived up to its never-say-die reputation once again, frustrating Phoenix with a 102-101 squeaker in Panabo on Saturday to stay in step with the leaders of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
LA Tenorio came through in the clutch, knocking down the go-ahead jumper off a second-chance possession that completed the Gin Kings’ comeback from 19 points down early in the second half of the Petron Saturday Special at the Panabo Multi-Purpose Tourism, Sports and Cutural Center.
By winning their second successive game and fifth overall in eight outings, the Gin Kings gained solo third spot, just a half-game behind Alaska.
Ginebra also remained unbeaten on the road this season.
The Fuel Masters, on the other hand, failed to make their team owner, Dennis Uy, who hails from Panabo, proud, as they wasted a 58-39 lead and suffered a fifth loss in seven games to get stuck in second to last in the 12-team standings.
Tenorio finished with 17 points, nine assists, six boards, and two steals in 32 minutes as the veteran playmaker had the last laugh in a virtual duel with RR Garcia, who scattered 23 points and had the same number of rebounds and assists as Tenorio.
Greg Slaughter paced the Gin Kings with 28 points and 13 boards, while Othyus Jeffers added 24 markers and 14 boards.
Kevinn Pinkney led the Fuel Masters with 24 points and 14 boards, and scored four straight points that put his team up, 101-96, before Joe Devance retaliated with a triple and grabbed an offensive rebound off missed charity by Jeffers that set the stage for Tenorio’s heroics.
GIN 102 – Slaughter 28, Jeffers 24, Tenorio 17, Devance 9, Aguilar 6, Mercado 6, Thompson 6, Caguioa 4, Cruz 2, Ellis 0, Helterbrand 0, Marcelo 0, Salva 0
PHX 101 – Pinkney 24, Garcia 23, Monfort 10, Urbiztondo 10, Lanete 9, Intal 8, Baracael 7, Wilson 6, Brondial 2, Pennisi 2
Quarterscores: 17-31, 39-56, 75-80, 102-101