Mariano provides spark as Gin Kings rally past Dyip

Aljon Mariano served as the catalyst as Brgy. Ginebra once more relied on its “Never-Say-Die” mantra and pulled off a comeback victory over Terrafirma in the PBA on Tour at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City on Friday, June 30. The final score was 114-106.

The Gin Kings tightened up defensively and blanked the Dyip in the final three minutes while launching a dizzying 12-0 finishing kick to increase their winning streak to three and improve to a 4-3 win-loss record in the standings.

In the decisive run, Mariano scored four of his 25 points, capping an outstanding performance in which he also grabbed 11 rebounds.

With 20 points, Sidney Onwubere continued his strong performance for the crowd darlings. Von Pessumal, whose booming triple with 2:52 remaining started the run, ended up with 17 points.

Early in the fourth quarter, Brgy. Ginebra overcame Terrafirma’s eight-point advantage, 93-101, thanks in part to Jeremiah Gray and unheralded Donald Gumaru, who both finished with 16 points.

The Gin Kings scored nine straight points to go ahead, 102-101, but the Dyip immediately countered with a 5-0 run of their own to regain some breathing room.

With Pessumal, Grey, Mariano, and Gumaru stringing consecutive points, Brgy. Ginebra, on the other hand, found another gear in its fourth quarter comeback and unleashed the telling run that ultimately put Terrafirma out of contention.

In the absence of ace Juami Tiongson, Juan Gomez de Llano thrived as one of Dyip’s best offensive options, finishing with 23 points.

As Terrafirma dropped to 3-5 overall, Jelo Alolino added 16 points, while Isaac Go, Ed Daquioag, and Eric Camson all tallied 13.

The scores

Brgy. Ginebra 114 – Mariano 25, Onwubere 20, Pessumal 17, Gray 16, Gumaru 16, David 11, Dillinger 4, Pinto 3, Salcedo 2.

Terrafirma 106 – De Liano 23, Alolino 16, Daquioag 13, Go 13, Camson 13, Calvo 9, Taladua 9, Mina 6, Grospe 2, Alanes 2.

Quarterscores: 22-32, 60-59, 82-89, 114-106.

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