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MENAFN - Arab News - 06/02/2014
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(MENAFN -Arab News) Just how important is Mac Baracael for Barangay Ginebra?The 6-foot-2 shooting forward managed to stay in the game Wednesday night and finished with some of the most crucial baskets in an 85-82 victory over San Mig for a 2-2 tie in their Final Four series in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.After being thrown out early in the third period of an 83-88 Game loss on Sunday, Baracael made up for lost time.He scored 11 of his total in the third period and led the Gin Kings to a 16-point lead, before coming back in the fourth quarter to complete the most important three-point play of the night and save Ginebra from a monumental implosion.Game 5 of this box-office hit is slated on Saturday also at the Big Dome in Cubao, and it could be the most critical game of the series since it is now down to a best-of-three affair.Baracael finished with 20 points in 20 minutes, while LA Tenorio added 16 in totally outplaying Marc Barroca, who struggled to just 10 after being bottled up no end by the Ginebra defense.Rookie Greg Slaughter carved out a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds despite being made to bleed for his points in the paint with a swarming defense by the Mixers.Japeth Aguilar — as what has been his fortune in this series — continued to struggle. But he saved his mediocre performance by putting back a Tenorio miss with 1:18 left that gave the Gin Kings an 82-79 lead.Up by 16 at 70-54 with 1:31 left in the third, the Mixers dropped an 18-0 run to zoom to a two-point lead, holding the Kings scoreless for almost five minutes.The first Ginebra basket in the fourth period came with 7:07 remaining courtesy of Slaughter and the Kings had some good breaks fall their way with the Mixers missing four free throws.San Mig actually built a 76-72 lead after that despite James Yap and Ian Sangalang flubbing two charities each, before Emman Monfort hit a triple off the gass and Baracael having that three-point play that put the Mixers ahead to stay, 78-76 with 4:37 left.“The breaks went our way, we were lucky to win that game,” Ginebra coach Ato Agustin told scribes. “We made a lot of mistakes when they started pressuring us (after we took that 16-point lead).”Baracael was also so effective that Agustin found no need to have Mark Caguioa on the floor in the endgame. The former MVP finished with just seven points in 27 minutes of action.Yap, the former two-time MVP, paced all San Mig shooters with 20, but his three-point play to forge overtime at the buzzer just rattled out.Meanwhile, Rain or Shine will be without coach Yeng Guiao when the Elasto Painters try to wrap up their best-of-seven Final Four clash with Petron Blaze on Friday after he was suspended one game by the commissioner for pointing a dirty finger at game officials last Saturday.Guiao, undoubtedly one of the most colorful personalities to ever coach – and win multiple titles in the league – was also fined P100,000 for his antics.“I would like to state unequivocally that this disciplinary sanction cannot fully convey the sense of regret of this Office for the insulting and unsavory antics Coach Guiao continues to display and foist on the players, the referees, his peers and the entire viewing public of the PBA, especially the youth, despite repeated well-meaning advice and counsel from this Office in the past,” said commissioner Chito Salud in a statement.“I invite him to reflect upon his responsibility to the public, the league and the Rain or Shine organization which he represents, even as I reiterate that the PBA will fulfil its own responsibility to tirelessly uphold the principles of decency and sportsmanship.”Rain or Shine took a 3-1 lead over the Boosters last Monday even with Guiao being thrown out for the second straight game. Caloy Garcia, his chief deputy, will call the shots.

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