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GINEBRA IN PLAYOFF FOR FINALS BERTH
Published on July 18, 2012
Barangay Ginebra scuttled Talk n Text’s bid for a sixth straight finals and kept alive its own aspiration as the Kings beat out the Tropang Texters, 73-71, in a fierce battle at the close of the PBA Governors Cup semifinal round at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.
The Kings pulled through in a defensive struggle and set up a sudden death match with the B-Meg Llamados for the second berth in the best-of-seven finale.
Earlier in the night, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters fought with great determination and repulsed the Llamados, 92-82, to top the carryover semis and clinch the first finals berth.
The Elasto Painters wound up with a 10-4 card, a full game in front of the Kings and the Llamados at 9-5.
“This is a good opportunity. We’re content with what we’ve got but we’re not content on what we can become,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.
“We’re thankful for the opportunity, and we’ll go hard taking it,” Tanquingcen also said.
The Kings and the Llamados play their knockout match at 6:45 p.m. Friday at the same venue. It’s a virtual replay of their semifinal encounter in the recent Commissioner’s Cup.
The Texters lost their last game under coach Chot Reyes, winding up fourth in the season-ending tourney.
Coach Norman Black is to take over from Reyes at Talk n Text starting next season as the latter concentrates in preparing Smart Gilas Pilipinas for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.
“It’s been a great run under coach Chot. I can’t remember any team which had five straight finals in a long while,” said Talk n Text team manager Aboy Castro.
The Texters eventually kissed their bid good bye as Paul Harris committed a lane violation in their last possession in the closing seconds.
With a two-point spread with 3.9 seconds left, Cedric Bozeman made a perfect throw-in to Willy Wilson who ran out the clock to wild cheers from the Ginebra throngs.
Earlier, Kerby Raymundo banged away a crucial three-pointer, giving Ginebra a four-point cushion at 73-69 with 2:56 left.
The two teams then engaged in a tough defensive battle until Harris got away with a basket on a layup with 39.9 ticks left.
A 24-second shot-clock violation by Ginebra opened an opportunity for Talk n Text to force an extra period.
Alas, Harris failed to shake off Cedric Bozeman’s defense, turning the ball over as he was caught stepping on the baseline while maneuvering underneath the basket.
Mark Caguioa, a contender for the season MVP award, top scored for Ginebra with 18 points with Raymundo adding 15 points and six rebounds and Bozeman contributing 14 markers and 13 boards.
Harris produced 25 points and 18 rebounds for Talk n Text. (SB)
GINEBRA 73 - Caguioa 18, Raymundo 15, Bozeman 14, Cortez 11, Maierhofer 4, Mamaril 4, Hatfield 4, W. Wilson 2, Villanueva 1, Ababou 0, Helterbrand 0.
TALK N' TEXT 71 - Harris 25, Reyes 8, De Ocampo 8, Castro 7, Alapag 7, Peek 7, Williams 3, Aguilar 2, Fonacier 2, Carey 2, Aban 0.
Quarters: 27-21, 42-40, 61-59, 73-71
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