A depleted Barangay Ginebra team dug deep into its bench to top San Miguel Beermen, 110-102, in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ginebra got plenty of help from Aljon Mariano, who scored key baskets in the final stretch as the Gin Kings climbed to a 4-1 record without key players Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, and Sol Mercado.
Mariano, who started in Sunday's match, tied his career-high 20 points -- including eight in the fourth period -- and had seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
In one play, the former University of Santo Tomas standout faked Arwind Santos to the right before soaring for a left-handed layup that gave the Gin Kings a 93-86 lead with 4:31 remaining.
Joe Devance also played a key role in the final frame, dropping 10 of his 17 points. It was Justin Brownlee, though, who led the Gin Kings in scoring with 29 points to go with 19 rebounds and seven assists.
"As long as we can get contributions from them (bench players), we can compete every night," said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
The Beermen overhauled a nine-point deficit and got to within a point, 85-84 on Arwind Santos' back-to-back 3-pointers with 6:28 remaining.
But the Gin Kings were quick to restore order. A Mariano basket with 2:55 to go put Ginebra in prime position to escape with the victory against the Beermen, who missed the services of June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter.
Christian Standhardinger carried the Beermen on his shoulders in the fourth period and bunched together 16 of his total output of 25 points. But his effort was not enough to keep San Miguel from falling to a 2-2 record.
The Fil-German also had 11 rebounds and two assists.
Santos churned out 22 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal and block. Chris Ross had 18 points, eight boards, and two assists, while Arizona Reid scored 13 and Alex Cabagnot had 10 points.
Ginebra (110) - Brownlee 29, Mariano 20, Devance 17, Tenorio 9, Ferrer 8, Caguioa 8, Chan 7, Caperal 6, Thompson 5, Manuel 1.
San Miguel (102) - Standhardinger 25, Santos 22, Ross 18, Reid 13, Cabagnot 10, Nabong 8, Pessumal 6, Heruela 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
Quarterscores: 22-21, 49-44, 76-70, 110-102.
Devance was not supposed to play for Ginebra the last couple of games. But since Aguilar injured his right calf, Cone said Devance decided to play through the pain.
Marcio Lassiter sat out the match due to sore eyes and was not at the venue.
Mariano was perfect from the field, going 7 for 7.
Ginebra: Plays Phoenix on September 29 in Cagayan de Oro
San Miguel: Plays Magnolia on September 30 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum