Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio delivered the winning baskets, as Barangay Ginebra defeated San Miguel Beer 95-87 in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals at Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday.
The victory reduced San Miguel’s lead in the best-of-7 series to 2-1.
Leading 90-87 with about 2 minutes left in the game, Ginebra turned to its veterans at crunch time as the Beermen looked to complete another come-from-behind effort.
Following Aguilar’s tip dunk, Tenorio iced the game with a driving layup and a bonus free throw off the sixth foul of Marcio Lassiter with 32 seconds remaining for the final score.
Game 4 is at Mall of Asia Arena on Thursday.
“We’re not satisfied, but we’re happy to get one,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said.
“A lesser-character team would not have responded the way we responded tonight.
“You just don’t have that many people . . . losses like that and come back the next day, a day and a half later and play this well, this hard.”
Ginebra took control of Game 3 in the third quarter, where Aguilar scored 15 of his game-high 25 points and his team took a 79-65 lead heading to the fourth.
But as the Beermen have proven time and again, no lead is safe against the defending champions.
San Miguel went on an 11-0 run to make 83-80, a rally defused by Prince Caperal’s 3-pointer to extend Ginebra’s lead back to 6.
After taking a 90-81 lead, thanks to Scottie Thompson’s basket, the Beermen strung together 6 straight points before Aguilar and Tenorio’s late-game scores.
Tenorio finished with 18 points in a game-high 41 points for his best outing of the series, while Aguilar added 12 rebounds.
Caperal, coming off a career performance in Game 2, and Jervy Cruz each finished with 12 points.
June Mar Fajardo finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds for San Miguel, which lost Chris Ross after halftime because of a right thigh strain.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)