Behind the stellar play of L.A. Tenorio, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings kept their playoff hopes alive, surging back in the 2nd half of the game to seal the deal against the NLEX Road Warriors, 90-80.
The Road Warriors came out of the gate running, shooting their way to an early lead that went as high as 12 points in the 1st quarter. Enrico Villanueva and Kevin Alas paced the Road Warriors with 14 points each, while Jansen Rios provided 5 early points to give them a boost in the opening frame.
NLEX looked like it would have a sizeable lead going into halftime, but a late quarter surge holding the Warriors scoreless in the last 3 minutes of the half while L.A. Tenorio, Chris Ellis and Sol Mercado took turns picking at the once hefty lead. Coach Yeng Guiao could only watch as his wards blew a double digit lead, clinging on to only 4 points as they headed into their respective locker rooms.
L.A. Tenorio finished the game with 30 points and 9 rebounds from leading a 3rd quarter charge that not only saw Barangay Ginebra climb back from the deficit, but strangle away the lead and pull away going into the 4th quarter.
Without the grit and experience PBA fans have grown accustomed to expecting from a Coach Yeng led team, the NLEX Road Warriors surrendered the game to Ginebra in the 4th quarter, unable to mount a comeback of their own, or even show any signs of life.
The Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings stay out of the kangkungan, qualifying for a spot in the playoffs while the Road Warriors will take a detour and head straight for the Commissioner’s Cup ahead of everyone else.