The NLEX Road Warriors enjoyed one of their hot-shooting nights. The Barangay Ginebra Kings stayed patient and waited for their rivals to start missing before making their own attack.
The Kings seized control just in time, carving out a 105-96 victory in this Petron Blaze Saturday Special here to formalize entry in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.
Proud Kapampangan Japeth Aguilar, from the nearby Sasmuan town, exploded for 27 points and Scottie Thompson and Aljon Mariano had key plays at the finish as the Kings chalked up the crucial victory that also kept the team in the running for No. 2 spot in the elims.
Rain or Shine remains in the lead for the fight for No. 2 spot at 8-3, but TNT KaTropa is now right behind at 7-3, then Ginebra at 6-3.
If all teams finish at 8-3, the Kings take the coveted berth by virtue of a superior quotient. If only ROS and TNT end up tied, the KaTropa prevail in the tiebreak on winner-over-the-other rule.
Rain or Shine salvages No. 2 if both TNT and Ginebra drop a game.
Brgy. Ginebra 105 – Aguilar 27, Tenorio 17, Thompson 14, Ferrer 14, Slaughter 14, Chan 7, Dela Cruz 7, Mariano 4, Mercado 1, Caperal 0.
NLEX 96 – Erram 16, Quinahan 15, Tiongson 12, Galanza 12, Paniamogan 8, Ighalo 8, Tallo 8, Magat 6, Lao 5, Soyud 3, Taulava 3, Baguio 0.
Quarterscores: 19-30, 46-51, 74-72, 105-96.