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Ginebra Stuns Globalport Without Injured Import Paul Harris In Endgame
Karlo Sacamos, Spin.ph, Saturday, 16-Jul-2016

BARANGAY Ginebra shrugged off the absence of its import in the payoff period as it stunned GlobalPort, 93-81, for a rousing start to its PBA Governors’ Cup campaign on Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

With Paul Harris forced to leave due to a hand injury late in the third quarter, the Gin Kings’ local core proved up to the challenge as they overcame a Batang Pier side led by import Dominique Sutton.

Sol Mercado and Chris Ellis hit the biggest baskets at crunch time that kept the Batang Pier at bay, while Japeth Aguilar also came through off the bench as the trio scored eight points apiece in the final frame.

Aguilar, coming off a stint with the national team, finished with a team-high 21 points, including a breakaway slam dunk that punctuated the impressive victory.

“We won the battle, but I hope we don’t lose the war,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said, referring to unfortunate development on Harris, who suffered an open fracture on his right thumb.

It seemed the departure of Harris, who went out with a little over a minute left in the third with the Gin Kings still trailing by a point, brought the best out of the locals as they took the lead and never let the Batang Pier come closer than five points the rest of the way.

“One of things we try to emphasize is developing character and winning through your character and not winning through your talent,” Cone said. “And I thought tonight was a big step in that direction in terms of guys just gutting it out.”

Mercado finished with 12 points, while Ellis, nursing a groin injury for the last few weeks, added 10 markers for the Gin Kings, who drew 14 points and 10 boards from Harris before the workhorse import had to leave.

Sutton tried to assert his might in the absence of Harris as he fired half of his 18 points in the fourth, but still proved insufficient as Stanley Pringle carried more of the offense, tallying 26 points.


The scores:

GINEBRA 93 – Aguilar 21, Harris 14, Mercado 12, Devance 10, Ellis 10, Tenorio 10, Caguioa 6, Helterbrand 3, Cruz 2, Marcelo 2, Mariano 2, Thompson 1

GLOBALPORT 81 – Pringle 26, Sutton 18, Romeo 15, Yeo 8, Isip 5, Taha 4, Kramer 3, Dehesa 2, Banal 0, Paredes 0, Pascual 0

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