BARANGAY Ginebra ended 13 years of frustrations in the PBA All-Filipino by winning its 13th PBA title since 1979.
Ginebra did it the old-fashioned way — play good basketball when it mattered.
Led by veterans LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar, Ginebra brought down Talk N Text, 82-78, in Game 5 and wrapped up the best-of-seven championship series, 4-1, at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Center in Pampanga.
It was Ginebra’s first All-Filipino title since 2007.
The Gin Kings also crowned themselves as the first PBA champion in the coronavirus-era.
A dagger 3 by Stanley Pringle, a slam dunk by Aguilar on a brilliant pass by Tenorio and a basket by Joe de Vance spelled the difference for the Gin Kings.
Pringle’s three-pointer shattered the deadlock at 73-all and triggered the game-changing seven-point run that put the Gin Kings ahead for good, 80-73.
It was all over from there.
“This one’s for you, Ginebra fans,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, who captured his 23rd PBA title and fifth with Ginebra.
“When this thing started, we really didn’t have a lot of expectations for ourselves. We were just thinking of making the playoffs. ”But these guys behind just kept working and working and working and I’m just proud of them,. added Cone, the league’s winningest coach in history.
Tenorio, who earned his first All-Filipino crown, was named as the Finals MVP. He finished with 10 points, including the two title-clinching free throws with eight seconds left.
Aguilar, on the other hand, tied his career-high with 32 points on 8-of-12 shooting, and eight rebounds and three steal in nearly 35 minutes of action.
Pringle added 13 points, six assists and four rebounds for Ginebra.
Roger Pogoy finished with 23 points and JP Erram added 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Tropang Giga, whostruggled playing minus RAy PArks and Jayson Castro.
Ginebra’s 13th championship since joining the league n 1979 enabled it to match the record of the legendary Crispa Redmanzers.
Only San Miguel Beer, Purefoods/Magnolia and Alaska Milk have more titles.