Getting a lifeline from NorthPort Thursday, Barangay Ginebra made the most out of it and progressed to the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.
In a duel of crippled teams, the Gin Kings outperformed the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, hacking out a 95-85 triumph to salvage the last quarterfinals berth in a knockout face-off at the Don Honorio Ventura State U Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga Saturday night.
Minus injury-hit Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson, the Kings practically rose from the dead and gained the right to play top seed TNT Tropang Giga in the Final Eight.
As the eighth seed, Ginebra, however, needs to beat “win-once” TNT two in a row to advance to the Final Four of the tourney that the Kings won over at the AUF Gym in Angeles, Pampanga last year.
Second-string center Prince Caperal worked well playing the spot of Aguilar, coming through with 19 points and four rebounds to help Ginebra grab the last berth in the playoffs, joining TNT, Meralco, Magnolia, San Miguel Beer, NorthPort, Rain or Shine and NLEX.
It’s TNT versus Ginebra, Meralco opposite NLEX, Magnolia against Rain or Shine and SMB versus NorthPort.
“We’re struggling, but we’re able to show our winning attitude. Never say die lang talaga,” said Caperal, teaming up with Christian Standhardinger, Jared Dillinger and LA Tenorio to deliver the winning effort for Ginebra.