Powerade nips Ginebra, wins fourth straight

David held to below 20, misses new record

TEAM STANDINGS:
Rain or Shine Elasto Painters: 5-1
B-Meg Llamados: 5-1
Powerade Tigers: 4-2
Barako Bull Energy: 3-2
Brgy. Ginebra Kings: 3-3
Petron Blaze Boosters: 3-3
Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters: 1-3
Meralco Bolts: 2-4
Air21 Express: 1-4
Alaska Aces: 1-5
 
GAME SATURDAY
(Tubod, Lanao del Norte)
6:30 p.m. - Alaska vs. Talk 'N Text
 
GARY David came up short in his bid to notch a remarkable feat. But the Powerade Tigers, nevertheless, cherished an equally-important victory.

Riding on the late-game exploits of import Omar Sneed, the Tigers pulled off a come-from-behind 86-83 victory over stubborn Brgy. Ginebra Kings Friday night to bag their fourth straight win and bolster their semifinal hopes in the PBA Governors' Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Sneed collected a game-best 27 points, including the Tigers’ last three points, on an impeccable 11-of-16 shooting from the field along with 11 rebounds, enough to jack up Powerade into solo second with 4-2 record behind early semifinalists B-Meg Llamados and Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, both toting 5-1 cards.

“This is the first time we won a very close game,” noted Powerade coach Bo Perasol. “It’s good for our character. Going to our last three games, we’ll be able to learn and use it in our next games.”

The Gin Kings, despite a torrid showing in the first 18 minutes where they built a 16-point spread, dropped to fourth at 3-3 alongside sister team and defending champion Petron Blaze.
David, who was bidding to post his 20th straight game of 20-and-more points, finished four markers shy with 16, but the Tigers got a timely scoring contribution from rejuvenated reserve Rey Guevarra plus a collective defensive resolve down the stretch.

After back-to-back buckets from import Cedric Bozeman and Kerby Raymundo pushed the Gin Kings ahead, 77-74, David drilled in his first trey of the night, followed by Sneed’s two-consecutive lay-ups that sandwiched another inside incursion from Raymundo.

Getting a clever kick-out pass from Sneed, Lordy Tugade easily made a baseline jumper that gave the Tigers an 83-79 spread, time down to just 1:35.

Both teams traded errors before Dylan Ababou cut Powerade’s lead at two.
A steal by David from Raymundo led to Tugade’s baseline attempt anew. This time, he bungled but Sneed, outboxing Raymundo and Rudy Hatfield in the paint, collared the board and made a semi-hook, restoring the Tigers’ lead at 85-81 with 18.7 ticks left.

Raymundo answered right back with a fall-away jumper then the Gin Kings were forced to foul Sneed, who split his charities that virtually pegged the final count.

Ginebra had the chance to send the game into overtime with five seconds left but Raymundo fumbled the leather, threw a forced pass to Bozeman. Ababou recovered the leather and heaved a wild shot way beyond the arc as the buzzer sounded.

“Gary was defended very well but Omar was there to save the day for us. We really wanted Gary to get that streak but for him it wasn’t as important as winning this game,” added Perasol.

Bozeman tallied 23 points while Raymundo scored all of his eight points in the final canto. Mark Caguioa, who starred in the team’s 83-80 win over the Boosters last Sunday with 19 points, was held down to just 12.

Guevarra, acquired from Petron Blaze in the pre-conference trade involving star guard Marcio Lassiter, churned in 13 points, eight coming in the face of the Tigers’ 15-2 scoring blast to finish the second quarter that whittled their deficit at 39-41 going into the mid-game interval.

Earlier, the Elasto Painters flashed steely nerves in the crunch to score a scrambling 81-77 win over Meralco Bolts, a victory that formally secured their semis seat.

Jamelle Cornley, as expected, had a team-high 21 points while sensational rookie Paul Lee finished with 16 markers, spiked by three pressure-packed free throws in the waning moments, to quickly get Rain or Shine back on the winning track after stumbling to a 98-104 defeat against Powerade last week.

Gabe Norwood also sank two crucial freebies to finish with 10 markers for the Elasto Painters, who made all but one of their 11 charities in the final 3:53.

“Our guys are just maturing,” stressed Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao. “For a young team, we were able to close out hard games and I’m happy with the way we’re handling pressure in close games.”

The Bolts, led by Mario West’s 23 points, slipped to their fourth loss in six outings, putting their semis bid in jeopardy.
 
 
The scores:
 
First Game
 
RAIN OR SHINE 81 – Cornley 21, Lee 16, Norwood 10, Cruz 6, Chan 6, Quinahan 6, Buenafe 6, Matias 4, Jaime 4, Ibanes 2, Tang 0, Belga 0.
 
MERALCO 77 – West 23, Taulava 15, Cardona 12, Mercado 9, Bulawan 6, Hugnatan 6, Ross 3, Reyes 3, Macapagal 0, Artadi 0.
 
Quarters: 18-17, 32-35, 59-59, 81-77
 
Second Game
 
POWERADE 86 - Sneed 27, David 16, Guevarra 13, Casio 10, Salvador 6, Lingganay 4, Anthony 4, Tugade 4, Al-Hussaini 2, Vanlandingham 0, Allera 0, Antonio 0.
 
GINEBRA 83 - Bozeman 23, Caguioa 12, Maliksi 9, Ababou 9, Maierhofer 8, Raymundo 8, Canaleta 5, Villanueva 4, Hatfield 3, Cortez 2, Helterbrand 0.
 
Quarters: 9-23, 38-41, 64-63, 86-83.

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