source: Mon, 07/13/2009 - 22:58 — junior
David Noel redeemed himself big time from being the goat the last time, keying a Barangay Ginebra win Monday that sent the Kings to the threshold of the Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference championship.
Noel rifled in six triples and a total of 29 points, with 13 coming in the payoff period, as Ginebra pulled off a 106-98 victory over a stunned San Miguel side for the pivotal 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven championship series.
Jayjay Helterbrand and Eric Menk endured pains and had significant contributions in the crucial Game Five win fashioned out before a crowd of over 12,000 at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Kings become the first team to successfully defend a championship if they can wrap it up in Game Six Wednesday or in Game Seven Friday.
"Game Six will be a hell of a game. For sure, gusto nilang tumabla kami naman gusto ng tapusin ang series," said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.
The Ginebra players said their biggest motivation is for them to no longer return to practice after Game Six.
San Miguel coach Siot Tanquingcen, however, remained confident they can force a deciding Game Seven.
"I'm still optimistic about it. God gave us the opportunity to be here. The eight other teams would kill themselves to be here. No big reason to feel down. They still need to win a game to get the championship. We just have to get even in Game Six then take it from there," said Tanquingcen.
"Good thing Jayjay (Helterbrand) and Eric (Menk) were able to play. And David, being a real competitor, made up for his crucial free throw misses in Game Four in a big way tonight," said Uichico.
"We like to be up 3-2 but we know what San Miguel is capable of doing. We hope we can play better and be luckier Wednesday," Uichico added.
Outplayed by Gabe Freeman Wednesday, Noel turned things around by stepping up early and playing aggressively throughout this time.
He sent his SMB counterpart to the showers early by fishing his sixth and final foul with 3:01 left in the contest.
"David doesn't want to leave a bad taste in the mouth. He really wanted to redeem himself from that Game Four missed free throws," said Uichico.
Freeman got into foul-trouble situation early and finished with only 16 points and 10 rebounds in only 24 minutes of action.
The Kings, the reigning Fiesta Conference champions, pummeled the Beermen with Freeman on the bench, erecting two 16-point margins before settling for a 56-42 spread at the half.
In the first four games of the series, the biggest lead Ginebra enjoyed in the first half was only 13.
"Basically, everybody were off tonight and we dug a hole so deep for us to overcome," said San Miguel coach Siot Tanquingcen.
The Kings stretched their lead to 18 early in the third quarter and showed great poise and confidence in fending off a San Miguel rally in the final canto.
David saved his best for last, pouring in 13 in the payoff period to personally quash the Beermen's comeback bid.
Noel, Helterbrand, Menk and Chico Lanete combined for a 7-of- 9 three-point shooting to highlight Ginebra's torrid assault in the second period.
Back-to-back treys by Noel and Lanete gave the Kings their first double-digit spread at 44-33 with 2:26 left in the first half.
They went on a roll with the team enjoying a remarkable 61.9-percent field-goal shooting in the second quarter, compared to San Miguel's 38.1-percent clip.
The Beermen, however, waged a searing in the third period, riding largely on the exploits of Bonbon Custodio and Mike Cortez as they charged to within one at 68-69.
They came back to life even as Freeman returned to the bench after picking a fourth foul with 4:42 left in the quarter. (NC)
Ginebra 106 - Noel 29, Menk 18, Lanete 14, Tubid 14, Helterbrand 9, Wilson 8, Mamaril 6, Reavis 5, Salvacion 3, Pacana 0, Baguio 0.
San Miguel 98 - Cortez 23, Freeman 16, Ildefonso 14, Villanueva 9, Hontiveros 9, Pennisi 7, Custodio 6, Washington 6, Pena 5, Racela 3, Gonzales 0, Pingris 0.
Quarterscores: 23-18, 56-42, 71-68, 106-98