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Ginebra prevails over Phoenix, clinches last PBA Philippine Cup Q’finals seat

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Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings thwarted an endgame fight back of Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters for a 95-85 triumph in the do-or-die game for the last quarterfinals seat in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

With the Kings holding to a 90-73 lead with four minutes left, the Fuel Masters went on a 9-0 scoring blast, capped by a basket by Matthew Wright, to trim the deficit to 90-82.

Barangay Ginebra widened the lead to 92-82 on an inside basket by Christian Standhardinger but Phoenix made its last push at 85-92 on a three-pointer by Jason Perkins.

The Kings increased the lead back to 94-85 on a layup by Joe Devance before Aljon Mariano wrapped up the victory with a split free throw with under a minute left.

Prince Caperal top-scored with 19 points, including three outside conversions, while Stanley Pringle added 17 markers and eight rebounds for the defending champions Kings.

Standhardinger had double-double 15 points and 12 rebounds while also committing seven turnovers, while Jared Dillinger had conference-best 13 markers for the Kings, which were without Japeth Aguilar and Earl Scottie Thompson.

With the victory, the Kings clinched the eight and last quarterfinals seat and will face no.1 seed TNT Tropang Giga, which has a twice-to-beat incentive.

Jason Perkins led the ousted Fuel Masters with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Matthew Wright and Chris Banchero finished with 14 markers apiece.