Gin Kings pull off come-from-behind win over Bossing

Brgy. Ginebra secured yet another impressive comeback victory, narrowly escaping defeat against the Blackwater Bossing with a final score of 90-87 in the 2023 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Sunday, November 26.

Once again, the crowd darlings showcased their unwavering determination by overcoming a 17-point deficit in the first quarter. Their resilience paid off as Japeth Aguilar made a crucial block, sealing the victory and improving their record to 3-1.

In the dying seconds of the game, Bossing’s import Chris Ortiz attempted a three-pointer to force overtime, only to have it emphatically rejected by Aguilar just before the final buzzer.

Tony Bishop, who has been stepping up in the absence of Ginebra’s resident import Justin Brownlee, delivered an outstanding performance with 25 points and 11 rebounds in 43 minutes of play.

“We only had one day to prepare from the last game, so it was not hard to get in and get down and dirty on what you need to improve and get better at,” said Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone shortly after the match.

“It was a struggle again for us, but in some ways it was good for us since it was a tough game.”

Blackwater came out strong in the game, shooting an impressive 59% from the field in the first quarter. They made 13 out of 22 field goals, including 7 three-pointers.

With just 14 seconds left in the first quarter, Mike DiGregorio hit a corner three-pointer to give the Bossing their largest lead of the game at 36-19.

In the second quarter, the Gin Kings managed to cut the deficit to 6 points, 39-45, thanks to Christian Standhardinger’s free throws with 2 minutes and 29 seconds remaining.

There was a brief scare when Scottie Thompson’s left knee was hit by Christian David, but he was able to return to the game after a short moment.

The defending champs turned the tide in the third quarter when Maverick Ahanmisi gave them their first lead of the game at 59-56 with 5 minutes and 41 seconds left in the period.

Heading into the final quarter, Stanley Pringle’s three-pointer gave the Gin Kings a slim 71-69 advantage.

The defending champs led by as many as 8 points, 79-71, but Blackwater quickly erased that lead with a resilient effort, grabbing an 82-81 edge on a pair of free throws by RK Ilagan with 6:19 left to play.

Standhardinger sealed the win with a layup at the 2:07 mark, as turnovers plagued both teams down the stretch.

Ahanmisi and Standhardinger provided strong offensive support for Bishop, scoring 20 and 16 points respectively.

At halftime, Aguilar was honored for becoming the newest member of the 2,000 defensive rebound club.

The Gin Kings played without Jamie Malonzo, who was recovering from a busted lip and injured wrist sustained in a fall during the previous game.

For the Bossing, Ortiz had a strong all-around game with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, while Ilagan and Rosario added 15 points apiece.

The loss was the Bossing’s fourth straight since opening the conference with a victory.

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