San Miguel Beer nearly blew a 17-point lead but held on for a pulsating 99-91 win over Ginebra in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Christian Standhardinger and Chris Ross turned it up for the Beermen. The Fil-German big man finished with 26 points to go with six rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks to atone for a quiet opener.
Ross, on the other hand, fired 22 points on six three-pointers, four of which came in the third quarter alone where the Beermen built a lead as big as 23 points. He also had six rebounds and eight assists.
Both teams now hold a 1-1 win-loss record.
"I knew without Alex (Cabagnot) and Terrence (Romeo) I had to step up my offense. In the offseason I worked on it a lot. I'm happy it showed tonight," said Ross.
The Beermen, who lost their opener to the Columbian Dyip, appeared headed for an easy win after erecting a 21-point lead heading into the fourth period. But Ginebra persevered, canning five three-pointers to make things interesting in the last three minutes.
LA Tenorio's back-to-back three pointers pulled Ginebra to within five, 94-89 with 1:28 to go. But Marcio Lassiter retaliated with a quick triple from the left corner against rookie Tey Teodoro and the Gin Kings went cold from there with Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson botching shots from beyond the arc.
"I'm just happy we got the victory today. I think we're going in the right direction. It's a big win for us," Standhardinger said.
Tenorio paced Ginebra with 24 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the three-point area on top of six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Aguilar chipped in 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and four blocks.
Greg Slaughter added a double double 11 points and 11 rebounds.
San Miguel 99 - Standhardinger 26, Ross 22, Lassiter 16, Pessumal 13, Fajardo 10, Santos 6, Nabong 6, Tubid 0, Zamar 0.
Ginebra 91 - Tenorio 24, Aguilar 20, Slaughter 11, Thompson 9, Devance 6, Teodoro 6, Dela Cruz 4, Ferrer 4, Caguioa 3, Mariano 2, Mercado 2.
Quarterscores: 20-17, 44-35, 78-57, 99-91.
-Alex Cabagnot and Terrence Romeo sat out the match with injuries.
-Tey Teodoro provided the boost for Ginebra in the fourth period. He knocked down a trey with 6:41 remaining to propel the comeback attempt of the Gin Kings. He wound up with six points and three assists.
-Tenorio is five games away from tying PBA great Alvin Patrimonio for consecutive games played at 596.
San Miguel - vs Meralco on January 25 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo
Ginebra - vs Rain or Shine on Saturday in Calasiao, Pangasinan