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Barangay Ginebra showed a lot of character in beating Air21 90-84 minus three key players Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to stretch its win streak to five and move up to solo fourth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations.
The Kings, who were missing the services of injured veterans Mark Caguioa, Kerby Raymundo and Rico Maierhofer, used a Vernon Macklin-led 14-5 wind-up in the final four minutes of the game to battle back from a 79-76 deficit and improve to a 6-5 win-loss record.
Macklin finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and two assists, two steals and two shotblocks for Barangay Ginebra which is now within striking distance of the leaders after starting the conference with 0-4 and 1-5 slates.
LA Tenorio also finished with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds with six assists and a steal while Elmer Espiritu, coming up with his best game in the conference, and rookie Chris Ellis tallied 10 markers apiece.
The Express, who lost their second straight game after an all-time franchise best four-game win streak, dropped to a 5-7 record after getting only 16 points and eight rebounds from Michael Dunigan, both figures his second lowest in the conference. He also fouled out with still a good 4:15 left in the game and with the Express ahead by three.
Air21 was led by the 29 points of KG Canaleta while Mike Cortez added 12.
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