Barangay Ginebra is on a roll.
Up against the league-leading Rain or Shine squad, the Gin Kings banked on another solid game from Mark Caguioa, who erupted for 29 points on top of five three-pointers to lead his team to a 95-86 triumph in PBA Governors’ Cup action Thursday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The win, the Gin Kings’ third straight in the semifinal round, put the squad in solid position for a possible finals berth. They improved their win-loss record to 8-4 and are one win away from securing at least a playoff for a finals berth.
The victory also meant that a new Governors’ Cup champion will be crowned. Either Ginebra or B-MEG, who have yet to play each other in the semis, will reach nine wins, eliminating the defending champion Petron Blaze Boosters from contention.
Ginebra also moved a game behind the Elasto Painters, who absorbed their third loss in the tournament. Rain or Shine has lost two of its three games in the semis and now has a 9-3 win-loss card.
Caguioa scored 20 points in the second and third periods, when the Gin Kings came back from an early 10-point deficit.
Ginebra pulled away, 70-60, in the latter part of the third period.
“That has been the trend even at the start of the season,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen about Caguioa’s explosion. “He’s vital for us and we needed someone who could provide us spark off the bench.”
Gin Kings import Cedric Bozeman, concentrated on hounding Rain or Shine prized guard Paul Lee, who still managed to score 19.
Tanquingcen couldn’t help but heap praises on the rookie from University of the East.
“We put Bozeman on him, yet he managed to score 19 points. But that’s how so much respect we give Paul Lee,” said Tanquingcen.
But Ginebra was able to hold Rain or Shine import Jamelle Cornley to only 13 points on 4-of-12 field goals.
Even Jeff Chan struggled from his shooting, making only 2-for-10 attempts from beyond the arc.
Ginebra (95) – Caguioa 29, Bozeman 19, Raymundo 15, Helterbrand 11, Hatfield 8, W. Wilson 5, Villanueva 4, Maliksi 2, Cortez 2, Wilson 0, Ababou 0, Maierhofer 0.
Rain or Shine (86) – Lee 19, Chan 14, Cornley 13, Norwood 11, Ibanes 9, Cruz 6, Quinahan 5, Arana 4, Belga 3, Buenafe 2.
Quarters: 18-28, 45-45, 70-65, 95-86
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