Barangay Ginebra San Miguel atoned for its disappointing performance the other night and clobbered Terrafirma 102-80 Monday to clinch the top spot and twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, Aljon Mariano and Stanley Pringle led the charge as the Kings put up a major recovery after the team came under fire for their 81-66 loss to the San Miguel Beermen.
Coach Tim Cone, who had to explain his reason for opting to rest his best players during the second half after a grueling stretch of games through his Twitter account Monday afternoon, said the decision turned out to be a good one for Ginebra.
“It’s a difficult decision and that was a call that we had to make,” said Cone. “As it turned out — if I may say it now — it’s the right call.”
Aguilar finished with 21 points after converting all 10 attempts, Thompson nearly had a triple-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, Mariano put up 17 points and 11 rebounds while Pringle put up 14 points and six rebounds.
LA Tenorio came back from having no points and no assists against SMB by posting eight points, four rebounds and six assists in 32 minutes.
Ginebra turned the game into a rout when it scored 17 straight points to turn a 30-28 deficit into a 47-30 lead midway in the second period. The margin swelled by halftime with the Kings ahead 61-37.
Terrafirma cut the margin to 77-67 at the end of the third behind CJ Perez, Juami Tiongson and Reden Celda but Ginebra kept things in control in the fourth to secure the victory.
Perez and Tiongson finished with 16 points each for the Dyip who dropped to 1-9 going into their final game in the bubble on Wednesday against the NLEX Road Warriors.
Rookie Roosevelt Adams and Rashawn McCarthy sat out the game after sustaining injuries in Sunday’s 95-93 loss to Meralco.
GINEBRA 102 — Aguilar 21, Mariano 17, Pringle 14, Thompson 13, Caperal 9, Chan 9, Tenorio 8, Dillinger 5, De la Cruz 4, Tolentino 2, Balanza 0.
TERRAFIRMA 80 — Perez 16, Tiongson 16, Ramos 15, Camson 8, Celda 8, Cahilig 6, Khobuntin 5, Calvo 4, Faundo 2, Balagasay 0, Agovida, Batiller 0, Gabayni 0.
Quarters: 26-23, 61-37, 77-67, 102-80.