PBA: Japeth Aguilar scores 23 as Ginebra beats Rain or Shine for 2-0 start

Japeth Aguilar powers GInebra anew. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–Barangay Ginebra notched its second straight victory in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night, holding off Rain or Shine, 90-85, at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Japeth Aguilar starred anew for the Gin Kings, turning in 23 points, seven rebounds, and a pair of blocked shots for the Gin Kings.

But coach Tim Cone knows there is still much to be desired if they intend to reclaim the Philippine Cup they once held.

“Good one for us, but we gotta get better as the conference goes on,” the seasoned coach said.

The Painters drew 15 points from Mike Nieto and a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds from veteran Beau Belga who both figured in a feisty fightback in the final frame to threaten the crowd darlings. They slid to 2-1 in the race.

“Honestly, we were playing the swings of the game. We’d get to a big lead, we’d soften up a little bit, and they’d come back. We gotta clean that up,” said Cone.

Ginebra plays corporate sibling Magnolia this Sunday, again at MOA Arena.

Rain or Shine, meanwhile, takes on limping Phoenix Super LPG in that playdate’s curtain-raiser.

The Scores

Barangay Ginebra 90 – J. Aguilar 23, Thompson 16, Standhardinger 13, Tolentino 11, Pringle 9, Tenorio 9, Caperal 4, Mariano 4, David 1, Chan 0, Pinto 0, Onwubere 0.

Rain or Shine 85 – Nieto 15, Belga 14, Caracut 12, Mamuyac 10, Santillan 9, Ponferada 7, Torres 7, Demusis 4, Asistio 3, Ildefonso 2, Borboran 2, Clarito 0.

Quarters: 31-16, 45-44, 74-58, 90-85.

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