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Post by Ginebra Tambayan on Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:04 am


Published on April 15, 2012

TRUST Barangay Ginebra's toughness to surface when the chips are most down.

The Kings made another good case for their legendary never-say-die spirit anew by beating B-Meg
88-79 Sunday to stay alive in their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals series at the packed Cuneta

Nino Canaleta scored a gamehigh 23 points and Mike Cortez turned in a first-ever career triple
double as Ginebra averted what could have been a numbing sweep in the best-of-five duel.

"Not even about X's and O's, boils down to iyung puso na," said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.

"Kung baga, buhos na ang lahat. Iyun ang kailangan naming gawin," he added.

Indeed, the rest of the Kings delivered in one way or another, especially Jayjay Helterbrand, who
complemented the efforts of Jackson Vroman and Cortez in the endgame.

The perennial crowd favorites can now look forward to evening up the duel in Game 4 Tuesday.

Vroman did not breach the double-digit barrier for the first time in the series, but played
excellent defense while Cortez and Helterbrand combined for the team's last 10 points that gave them
a safe 88-76 spread, only 32.9 ticks left.

JC Intal tried to step up in the face of Marc Pingris' ejection early in the second period, but even
him, PJ Simon and James Yap could not carry B-Meg through when needed most.

Canaleta anchored his production on 4-of-8 three-point shooting, but it was Cortez who spiked a
17-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist performance with five straight points that stopped cold B-Meg's
rally and pulled Ginebra away from a 78-74 count.

Prior to that, Canaleta was a sight to behold, knocking in three straight triples that gave Ginebra
its biggest lead at 78-65, 7:01 still left.

There was simply too much Ginebra in the end.

Helterbrand then took over after Cortez's mini-binge, scoring on a sneaky drive and then completing
a three-point play after picking off a Simon pass.

Vroman scored only eight points but hauled down 10 rebounds and issued four assists while
Helterbrand finished with 12 points, eight boards, four assists and three steals.

"Wala na akong mahingi sa guys, e. Pitch-in, pitch-in na lang," said Tanquingcen. "That has to be
the way, kasi kapos, e. Tulong-tulong na lang kung sino man nandoon sa loob."

The absence of Pingris for majority of the game certainly favored Ginebra.

Pingris was ejected after trying to stop a Canaleta fastbreak at the 10:29 mark of the second period
by grabbing the latter on the neck. He first drew a technical with former teammate Kerby Raymundo
some 30 seconds earlier.

Ginebra readily pounced on Pingris' banishment and B-Meg was slow to adjust, enabling the Kings to
pad a 19-12 lead to 10 points twice, the last at 31-21. Raymundo's floater capped the Kings' 6-0 run
to start the period that gave them their biggest lead at 23-12.

Once the Llamados got their head straight, however, the game soon had the makings of a close
contest, as in their 83-77 win in Game 2.

Simon, Josh Urbiztondo and Yap were at the forefront of B-Meg's resurgence, with the two-time MVP
finally knotting the count at 37 with a pullback triple just before the half ended.

Ginebra again tried to put the game away right in the third canto with a 57-47 lead, but Intal led
an assault that cut the deficit to just four heading into the final 12 minutes of play.(NC)

The scores:

GINEBRA 88 - Canaleta 23, Cortez 17, Ababou 13, Helterbrand 12, Hatfield 9, Vroman 8, Labagala 3,
Raymundo 3, J. Wilson 0, Mamaril 0.

B-MEG 79 - Intal 18, Simon 15, Yap 14, Bowles 11, Urbiztondo 8, Devance 7, Reavis 6, Barroca 0,
Burtscher 0, Villanueva 0, De Ocampo 0.

Quarters: 17-12, 37-37, 61-57, 88-79

Ginebra Tambayan
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