Win or go home: 4 teams clash in PBA knockout Sunday

Given up for dead just a week ago, who would have thought Barangay Ginebra will still be fighting for a semifinals berth in the PBA Fiesta Cup.

But here the Kings are, just a win away from completing another yet memorable comeback in the long history of Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league.

The most popular PBA ballclub seeks to put the finishing touches to its amazing quarterfinals comeback Sunday night when it collides with Alaska for one last time at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Kings made it this far by overhauling an 0-2 deficit in the best-of-five series, winning the next two matches including Game 4 Friday, 94-90, where they rallied back from as much as an 11-point deficit.

"At least, despite being down 0-2, we are given a shot at making the semis," Ginebra coach Jong Uichico noted.

A win by the Kings in the 6:30 p.m. encounter will not only duplicate the same feat they did against Talk `N Text in the Philippine Cup quarterfinals but likewise avenged a similar 4-0 sweep Alaska inflicted on them in the semifinals of the season-opening meet.

The Kings won Game 4 even without solid contributions from high-scoring guard Mark Caguioa, who only saw action for four minutes and finished with only two points.

The Aces had one final shot of tying the game at 92 but big man Joe DeVance couldn’t control his momentum and was called for a traveling violation in the team’s final possession with 12.6 seconds remaining.

The winner of the series will next face the top seeded Tropang Texters.

In the other half of the twin Sunday Knockout, Derby Ace and Rain or Shine clash in a similar do-or-die Game 5 for the right to face defending champion San Miguel in the next round.

Behind new import Tony Washam, the Llamados scored a dominating 92-78 win over the Elasto Painters in Game 4 to tie the series at 2-2.

Making things even promising for the Llamados is the absence of JR Reyes in Rain or Shine’s bench.

The 6-foot-7 center was slapped a one-game suspension by the league for the flagrant foul 2 he committed in Game 4 against Rafi Reavis, whom he elbowed with five minutes left in the match and the outcome already in favor of Derby Ace.

Reyes was fined P20,000 for his action.

"We are determined to complete a major comeback. Now that it is just a one-game knockout, we will do whatever is required to survive this series," said Derby Ace mentor Ryan Gregorio.

Washam, the son of former Gilbey’s Gin import Tony Sr., scored 15 points in the first half and finished with a team-high 29 while also grabbing 13 rebounds.

"Washam lifted our spirits up. He is a highly-skilled import who knows how to win. He eased the burden from James (Yap)," said Gregorio.

While momentum appeared on the Llamados’ side, the Elasto Painters are not losing hope, having been there and done that.

"We have been in this situation in the wild card that we have to win," said Rain or Shine mentor Caloy Garcia. "I trust my players. (Sunday’s) game is every player’s dream. That will be the test of character." – JVP, GMANews.TV

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