Nate Brumfield struggled for only 12 points but Mark Caguioa led a gallant stand by the Ginebra locals, beating Rain or Shine for the last slot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Final Four.
Caguioa churned out his best game since his return from a three-conference layoff, putting in double-double numbers with 30 points and 11 rebounds as the Kings topped the Elasto Painters, 92-82, in a knockout setto Wednesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
Brumfield, missing in action almost throughout, came through with important shots at the finish helping the Kings clinch a semifinal encounter with Smart Gilas Pilipinas.
They begin their best-of-five semis showdown Friday also at the Big Dome.
Marcus Douthit is doubtful in the early games due to injury.
“Smart Gilas will always be tough. They’re very fluid. They’re young that they can run for 48 minutes,” said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.
The veteran Ginebra mentor, however, expressed confidence they have a chance against Smart Gilas in a series.
“We’ve got a shot. You can make proper adjustments in a series. Mas mahirap kung one game lang,” said Uichico.
Versus the Elasto Painters, the Kings pulled through as they made their shots and key defensive stoppages at the finish.
“It was tough; very close till the end. They just couldn’t make their shots while we made ours in the end. That’s the story of the game,” said Uichico.
Mike Cortez and Caguioa nailed a triple each in a decisive 11-4 run giving the Kings an 86-79 lead entering the last two minutes of the game.
After Larry Rodriguez buried a short jumper, Brumfield and Caguioa worked on another crucial run for the Kings as they eventually scuttled the Elasto Painters’ hopes.
Ginebra foiled Rain or Shine’s bid for a second semis stint in franchise history.
Hassan Adams, averaging only 10.5 points in the first two games, got away with 12 just in the first half this time.
He finished with 25 but it was not enough to save Rain or Shine from taking the exit.
The Elasto Painters kissed their hopes goodbye as they blew cold at the finish. (SB)
Ginebra 92 - Caguioa 30, Miller 15, Brumfield 12, Cortez 10, Mamaril 8, Menk 7, Tubid 6, Labagala 2, Hatfield 2, Wilson J. 0, Wilson W. 0.
Rain or Shine 82 - Adams 25, Rodriguez 15, Norwood 11, Belga 9, Vanlandingham 8, Arana 6, Buenafe 6, Tang 2, Chan 0, Kramer 0.
Quarters: 17-18, 42-40, 67-65, 92-82
Thursday, April 14, 2011
BRGY. GINEBRA cathes last bus to SEMIS
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