Cedric Bozeman wrote the perfect ending to Barangay Ginebra’s momentous night.
Bozeman drove to the baseline and hit a long floater with 0.3 seconds left to lift the Kings to a pulsating 87-85 win over Petron Blaze for their second straight win in the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals Sunday night at the jampacked SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
On the night that the league paid tribute to basketball icon Robert Jaworski, Ginebra displayed its old never-say-die spirit in turning back the Boosters to stay unbeaten in the semis and improve its standing to 7-4.
Bozeman actually had a rough night, scoring just 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting, but made up for it with his game-winner to prevent Petron from ruining the night for the Ginebra franchise.
“Thank God. It was really a blessing and privilege to be part of this team,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.
“The (last) play was supposed to go to Mark (Caguioa) pero nagkaroon ng switch up. Nabasa ng players and great players make great plays,” he added.
Caguioa was brilliant especially in the second half, when he poured in 17 of his team-high 25 points. But Petron denied him the ball in the last play, which came after Alex Cabagnot knotted the score at 85-all with a right-handed lay-up with 15.9 seconds remaining.
“Somehow God wrote the right story on the night we celebrated the foundation of Barangay Ginebra,” said Tanquingcen.
It was a sorry loss for Petron, which appeared poised to spoil the evening for die-hard Ginebra loyalists after controlling most of the game.
Caguioa, Rico Villanueva, Rico Maierhofer, Dylan Ababou and Bozeman led the Ginebra fourth quarter rally with gutsy plays on both ends of the court.
Ababou had a crucial three-point play after Maierhofer muffed two free throws that gave Ginebra an 85-83 lead.
Marcus Faison led Petron with 19 points. Chris Lutz chipped in 17 for the Boosters, whose win record fell to 6-5, including 1-1 in the semis.
» Caption This: Mark Caguioa looks a bit different, and why is he with Alaska fans in the stands?
» LA Tenorio sees runner-up finish as stepping stone for future Ginebra championship
» New face of Alaska: Fred Uytengsu sees bright future for star rookie Calvin Abueva