MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Greg Slaughter finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel outlasted the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters, 91-84, in the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday, December 20 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Ginebra, which started the conference at 1-3, finished the eliminations at 7-4 and claimed the 4th seed in the quarterfinals. They will have a twice-to-beat edge as they face longtime rival Star Hotshots in a "Manila Clasico" phase 1 of the quarterfinals on Christmas Day.
"Our reward for winning this game is now we gotta play Star," said head coach Tim Cone, who will face his former team for only the second time. Cone led the Hotshots (then San Mig Coffee) to a Grand Slam in the 2014 season.
"We were fortunate to get this twice-to-beat. We worked our way up to 4th so I got to applaud our guys for that but we still have a lot of basketball left I hope," added Cone, whose team went 6-1 since the early struggles.
The 7-foot Slaughter also dished out two assists and registered 3 blocks, but also gave up 3 turnovers. Japeth Aguilar chipped in 17 points and 7 rebounds though committed crucial miscues that could have been costly had Talk 'N Text made their shots.
Sol Mercado added 12 points, 5 boards and 3 assists.
The Gin Kings survived a spirited comeback from the Texters, who roared back from 18 points down early in the fourth period.
Talk 'N Text came as close as 85-81 with under 3 minutes left but Ginebra, despite consecutive errors and empty possessions, managed to hold on after Slaughter made a basket with 51 ticks to go.
Troy Rosario recorded a double-double of 22 markers and 10 rebounds. Larry Fonacier contributed 14 points including the booming triple that brought the Texters to within 4 points.
Jayson Castro had 13 points and 5 assists while Harvery Carey finished with 10 markers and 9 boards.
The Texters wrapped up the eliminations with a 6-5 slate and will also have a twice-to-beat advantage as the 6th seed when they take on sister team NLEX Road Warriors.
#PBA: Coach Tim Cone interview after Ginebra beat Talk 'N Text Posted by Jane Yvette Bracher on Sunday, 20 December 2015
Ginebra (91): Slaughter 27, Aguilar 17, Mercado 12, Devance 8, Ellis 8, Tenorio 6, Caguioa 5, Salva 4, Cruz 2, Thompson 2, Helterbrand 0, Marcelo 0.
Talk 'N Text (84): Rosario 22, Fonacier 14, Castro 13, Carey 10, Williams 9, Reyes 6, Aban 4, Tautuaa 4, Miranda 2, Rosser 0, Seigle 0.
Quarter scores: 25-21, 45-40, 70-56, 91-84.