Ginebra ends eliminations on a high note after taking down Phoenix

Ginebra’s Sidney Onwubere drives hard against Phoenix’s RJ Jazul. (PBA Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel squad will head to the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup playoffs with oozing confidence after outplaying the Phoenix Fuel Masters in their last elimination game, 100-93.

With the win, Ginebra has now racked up two-straight and are already assured of a top-five finish in the Philippine Cup.

After losing two straight games against the TNT Tropang Giga and the Meralco Bolts, Ginebra got hot in the most crucial stretch and bounced back with a huge win against the NorthPort Batang Pier and Fuel Masters.

It was a favorable start for the Gin Kings after their signature crisp passing opened up several opportunities for them to grab an early 22-14 first-quarter lead.

The trio of Jeff Chan, Christian Standhardinger, and Aljon Mariano overwhelmed the Phoenix defense and were always involved in the offensive sets designed by head coach Tim Cone.

However, Phoenix’s veteran forward Sean Anthony spearheaded his team’s fiery second-quarter comeback after scoring eight-straight points in just a minute to trim Ginebra’s lead to two points, 38-36, with 4:30 remaining in the period.

Ginebra responded accordingly and got timely baskets from two-way swingman Sidney Onwubere who capitalized on several Phoenix miscues on the perimeter.

The Fuel Masters continued to fight for survival and didn’t back down despite the blazing Ginebra offense and stayed within striking distance, 47-45, heading into the last two quarters.

Ginebra then started to pull away in the second half and banked on their bench scoring after coach Cone decided to rely on his reserves in preparation for the playoffs.

Mariano continued to torch the entire Phoenix squad and sank his signature perimeter jump shots on his way to 13 big points while marksman Nards Pinto added 10 points in the win.

Phoenix rookie Tyler Tio tried to boost his team’s morale after sinking clutch three-pointers in the last five minutes of the ball game but was not enough to reward his team with a statement victory albeit getting knocked out of post-season contention.