PBA: Ginebra bounces back, routs TerraFirma for No. 1 seed

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 09 2020 09:04 PM | Updated as of Nov 09 2020 09:32 PM

Ginebra's Japeth Aguilar dunks the ball against TerraFirma. PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) After a disappointing effort in their previous game, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings regained their winning ways by demolishing TerraFirma Dyip, 102-80, on Monday night at the AUF Gym in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Ginebra drew plenty of criticism for their 81-66 defeat to San Miguel Beer on Sunday night which saw Tim Cone bench his star players for most of the second half.

But they rebounded impressively against a hapless TerraFirma squad, leading by as much as 24 points and weathering a third quarter fightback from the Dyip. The Gin Kings finished the elimination round of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup with an 8-3 win-loss slate.

With the result, Ginebra has now secured the top seed in the quarterfinals, and is assured of a twice-to-beat advantage. It remains to be seen who they play, however, as the eighth seed is not yet decided.

"I thought we played with real purpose tonight, in terms of doing what we wanted to do, because we knew how important this game was for us," said Ginebra coach Tim Cone after the game. 

"We knew we didn't play well the last game, and I knew they wanted to bounce back and come back hard," he said of his players.

Scottie Thompson came an assist short of a triple-double, finishing with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. Japeth Aguilar made all ten of his field goals for 21 points, and Aljon Mariano had a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds. 

After settling for a 26-23 lead after the first quarter, Ginebra broke the game open in the second frame wherein they outscored TerraFirma 35-14. That gave them their biggest lead of the game, 61-37, at the half.

But the Dyip showed signs of life in the third period, outscoring Ginebra 30-16 to come within ten points, 77-67, entering the final period. Reden Celda led the way in TerraFirma's comeback, with eight points in the frame.

A Juami Tiongson triple brought TerraFirma within nine points, 82-73, with over eight minutes left, but it was the closest they would come. Thompson conspired with Mariano and Arthur dela Cruz to put Ginebra back in complete control, and they restored a 21-point lead with 2:26 left off two free throws by Mariano, 99-78.

Tiongson and Perez each scored 16 points, while Aldrech Ramos had 15 for the Dyip. TerraFirma has now lost back-to-back games to drop to 1-9 in the conference. They wrap up their campaign on Wednesday morning against the NLEX Road Warriors.

Watch more in iWantTFC