MANILA – Ginebra booked the first spot in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) semifinals after defeating Rain Or Shine, 81-73, in their quarterfinal meeting at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center on Friday night.
The top-seeded Barangay did not make use of their twice-to-beat advantage over the eighth-seeded Elasto Painters and went for the jugular in crunch time, pulling away after launching a 9-0 run in the last three minutes of the game.
Japeth Aguilar put up 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting, 11 rebounds, one assist, and one block for Ginebra, which will play the observer role in the rubber match between Meralco and San Miguel on Sunday night.
The fifth-seeded Bolts forced the sudden-death showdown against the fourth-seeded Beermen with a 78-71 win in the first game.
Meralco held SMB to just 11 points in the first quarter, which turned out to be enough as the former held off the latter the rest of the way.
Reynel Hugnatan put up another vintage performance of 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals for the Bolts, who sent their quarterfinal series to sudden death on Sunday night.
Aaron Black added 14 points, three rebounds, and one steal off the bench.
Mo Tautuaa put up 14 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and one steal for the Beermen, who could be dethroned as the Philippine Cup champions with another Bolts win after five straight seasons of taking home the PBA’s most prestigious prize. (PNA)