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Barangay Ginebra San Miguel came storming back from a 15-point third quarter deficit, to dominate the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters late, carving out a 90-83 victory on Saturday at the SM MOA Arena, forging a loser-goes-home quarterfinals match-up.
Rain or Shine had entered this game with a twice-to-beat advantage after finishing the elimination round with the second-best record. They'll be forced to use it as after leading by 15, 60-45, 7:07 left in the third, Ginebra doubled their output to take this ballgame.
The Elasto Painters held on to a 62-58 lead with a quarter left to play, but new acquisition Josh Urbiztondo scored in transition to give Ginebra the lead, 63-62.
The veterans of the Barangay then took over, as the likes of Jayjay Helterbrand, Rudy Hatfield and Kerby Raymundo began to bang in the points, turning back the hands of time. Urbiztondo found Helterbrand for a huge basket, putting Ginebra up 83-71, 3:30 left in the game, and drawing a timeout from Rain or Shine.
Scores by Gabe Norwood and Ryan Arana kept Rain or Shine in the game, and after Urbiztondo missed a triple, import Bruno Sundov was there for a point-blank make, getting his side within four, 83-79.
However, Helterbrand still wasn't done yet, and he nailed the dagger triple, making it 86-79 with 1:13 remaining. A stick-back by Ryan Arana kept the door slightly open for RoS, but LA Tenorio connected on a free throw, and then fired in another trey to put a definitive end to this game.
The two sides will play again on Monday, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, with the win advancing to the semifinals, against whichever side emerges from the best-of-three series between the Petron Blaze Boosters and the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters. - AMD, GMA News
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