Barangay Ginebra clinched a spot in the next round after trouncing Barako Bull, 91-81, Sunday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings improved their win-loss mark to 5-3 and can force a playoff for an automatic semifinal seat with a win against Air 21 on Wednesday.
Mark Caguioa led Ginebra with 25 points, 19 of which came in the second half where the Kings pulled away from a tight game.
Jackson Vroman added 19 points and 13 rebounds while Mike Cortez had a good all-around game with 12 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists.
“Our destiny is still in our hands. It’s up to us to take care of our business,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.
“We have to keep our focus. Mahirap na kalaban ang Air21. Fight lang sila ng fight.”
Rodney White paced Barako Bull with 19 points, but only scored seven in the second half. Willie Miller and Danny Seigle each had 11 points for the Energy, who ended their elimination round campaign with a 4-5 mark.
Barako Bull can still advance into the next stage if Ginebra beats the Express.
The Energy were trailing just by three points, 44-41, at halftime, but Ginebra opened the third quarter with a 13-0 blast to take a 57-41 lead with 6:21 remaining.
White ended Barako’s scoring drought with a three-pointer, but the Kings ended the third quarter with a 70-55 cushion going into the final period. They were never seriously threatened since as Barako Bull struggled in its offensive game.
GINEBRA 91 – Caguioa 25, Vroman 19, Cortez 12, Hatfield 10, Ababou 7, Wilson W. 6, Raymundo 6, Villanueva 4, Wilson J. 2, Labagala 0.
BARAKO 81 – White 19, Miller 11, Seigle 11, Najorda 10, Tubid 8, Allado 8, Weinstein 5, Arboleda 5, Aquino 2, Pena 2, Pennisi 0.
Quarterscores: 20-20, 44-41, 70-55, 91-81