This time, 48 minutes would suffice.
It was a tight game until the Sol Train’s 3rd quarter rally to propel the whole Ginebra squad and take crucial game no. 1 of the best of 3 quarterfinal series, 88 80 against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
Everyone had their own contributions but Sol Mercado’s run for Ginebra stood out as he was proclaimed the best player for Ginebra’s game one victory with 13 points and 3 assists. Scottie had an enormous double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds, proving himself why he stands tall and proud at number 3 in the league in terms of the boards.
Tenyente L.A Tenorio awakened the scoreboard with a trey but was thwarted by ROS with an 8 to nothing run sequence in the first 4 minutes of the game. Ginebra down 8 – 3.
Coming off the timeout, the Brgy cut off the lead in a blink of an eye as JDV receives an Aguilar dime to score underneath followed by a De Vance assist to Scottie Thompson left uncovered in the shaded area. Aguilar hits a free throw to force a deadlock at 8.
Big Beau Belga sizzled early in the opening quarter to lead the ROS offense. Belga already with 9 points as he knocked down a fadeaway jumper to give the painters a 5 point crack. Meanwhile, L.A did not want to be down 2 possessions after the 1st 12 minutes as he unleashed a long ball way deep from the Jimmy Alapag camp, beating the quarter buzzer and keeping ROS within striking distance 23 to 21 at the end of 1st.
Ferrer knocked down a trey, blocked Norwood to force a traveling violation. Scottie converts the defensive stop with another long ball and dishes out an outside pass to the ready to go Ferrer to knock down another beyond the arc bomb and brought the game t it 3rd deadlock at 36.
A run and gun subsequently occurred after the deadlock as JDV breaks the tie with a lefty answered by big Beau’s turn around jump which was quickly gotten back by Japeth’s back to back baskets. Daquioag who led ROS on the 2nd quarter hit his 10th point (all in the 2nd bout) with a trey to snatch the lead away from the Gin Kings 43 to 42.
LA released a quick two right after the inbound to get the lead right back just before the half buzzer sounded.
Scottie provided the 1st 5 points for Ginebra on the 3rd bout. ROS got the chance to answer but failed to do so as Gabe Norwood missed all three free throws. Gin Kings up by 6 in the early 3rd.
Beau, who’s been hot-handed right from the start responded after the timeout with a completed three-point play backed by a Jay wash jump hook over Japeth and the painters are back to within one 49 to 48.
A close game was being seen until the Sol train entered the game for the Gin Kings and scored 10 points in the 3rd quarter alone. It was a huge separation for Ginebra but ROS would not be delighted to enter the 4th without a spur of a comeback and they did, ROS held on Ginebra tight enough to be down 4 points at the end of 3rd 68 to 64.
The low and slow scoring ball game evident from the start was back again at the start of the 4th as nobody knocked down a basket for 2 minutes of play. Nambatak wanted to close the lead as fast as they could, knocking down a three for the first final quarter basket.
Ginebra’s offense significantly changed once L.A’s back on the floor resulting in smoother ball movements for easier finishes. ROS was nailed a long time at 69 while JDV scored 5 straight points. Ginebra continued to ravage the frozen ROS and spread the score gap up to 82 to 69.
Belga somehow broke the silence with a single free throw followed by Daquioag connecting beyond the arc to chop down the lead to a single digit deficit. ROS still came as close as 84 to 78 when Daquioag knocked down three of three free throws but it was JDV that delivered the killer-blow after putting back Japeth’s missed jumper.
Ginebra kept ROS out of vicinity to take game number one with a strong finish.