John Pinto took his turn to take charge for the depleted Barangay Ginebra team Wednesday night, coming through with 22 points to lead the Kings to a breakthrough in PBA On Tour with a 95-89 decision over the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters at the Ynares Arena in Pasig.
Pinto led their attack while also delivering seven assists and four rebounds as Ginebra chalked up a first win after dropping its first two games in the preseason series versus San Miguel Beer and Magnolia.
Aljon Mariano and Raymond Aguilar, the lead guys in their first two outings, were still there in the thick of the battle, combining for 33 points, 16 rebounds and six assists.
Jason David, elevated from Ginebra’s 3×3 team for this series, hit his stride against the Fuel Masters, scoring 15 points and adding seven caroms and three dish-offs.
With these four players at the forefront of their bid, the Kings fought the Fuel Masters to a nip-and-tuck battle in the first half before creating a gap in the third and going on to win the well-fought match presented by Arena Plus and sponsored by by Bingo Plus.
The Fuel Masters battled back from a 12-point deficit in the third period and were just five points behind when they surrendered a crucial four-point swing on a missed breakaway dunk attempt then a thrown defensive rebound by Larry Muyang with less than two minutes left to play.
RJ Jazul fired six three-pointers and a total of 18 markers while Reden Celda knocked in two treys and finished with 17 points to pace the Fuel Masters who dropped a third straight loss and slid down to 2-3.