|Photo by PBA Media Bureau|
To get to the finals again, it has not been easy for the league’s most popular ball club to book that ticket. After being through 5 do-or-die match ups in their campaign this conference, the Never Say Die attitude has been put to a test as they all succeeded in overcoming all these challenges.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel finally gets the chance to have a back to back finals appearance beating Star Hotshots in a dominant performance on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in front of a mammoth crowd listed at approximately 20,000 gate attendance and in front of the PBA basketball legend and former Playing Coach of the Ginebra Franchise, Sonny Jaworski.
The whole squad dominated the first quarter ending it with 10 point lead led by their gunners Joe Devance, Japeth Aguilar, Sol Mercado and LA Tenorio.
Sol Mercado who recorded a new season high 23 points and 5 assists led the Ginebra Squad with his hot beyond the arc conversions coupled with inside the basket penetration that leaves the Star Defense weightless.
Marc Pingris, who played his heart out during the last part of the match was not able to sustain his energy although Allein Maliksi who also had an awesome performace also could not make it all for the Hotshots after scoring more than 20 points from his three point attempts.
Star, was able to play catch up and even inched the lead to within three points but Ginebra has managed to find a way out of this collision after pulling away and gets 13 point lead at the end of regulation.
GINEBRA 89 – Mercado 23, Tenorio 21, Aguilar 19, Thompson 10, Devance 7, Cruz 6, Ferrer 2, Marcelo 1, Caguioa 0, Ellis 0.
STAR 76 – Maliksi 22, Pingris 17, Ramos 14, Barroca 8, Reavis 5, Lee 4, Jalalon 4, Melton 2, Simon 0, Sangalang 0, Dela Rosa 0.
Quarterscores: 26-16, 45-36, 65-61, 89-76.