Barangay Ginebra pulled off a thrilling 81-80 overtime victory against Blackwater in the PBA On Tour at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City, with Sydney Onwubere and Jeremiah Gray leading the charge for the Gin Kings.
Onwubere’s putback off a missed shot by Nards Pinto proved to be the game-winning basket, giving Ginebra a one-point lead that held until the end as Blackwater failed to convert on their final possession. The crucial play capped off Onwubere’s impressive performance, as he recorded 25 points and 11 rebounds, with 19 points coming in the first half.
The absence of key Ginebra players like Christian Standhardinger, Japeth Aguilar, and Stanley Pringle provided Onwubere with the opportunity to showcase his skills. The 29-year-old Fil-Nigerian expressed his gratitude for the chance to play and demonstrate his talent.
Ginebra’s Jeremiah Gray also made a significant impact on the game, contributing 22 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Nards Pinto, who forced overtime with a crucial drive, finished with 13 points and five assists.
For Blackwater, James Sena led the way with 18 points, while Troy Rosario contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds. The loss dropped Blackwater into a tie with Terrafirma at 3-3.
In the closing seconds of regulation, Blackwater appeared to have the game in hand when Rosario’s drive gave them a two-point lead.
However, a missed shot by Pinto was followed by a critical bad inbounds pass from Rashawn McCarthy to Rosario, allowing Pinto to tie the game. Sena’s jumper and Rosario’s free throw put Blackwater ahead 80-77 in overtime, but Von Pessumal responded with free throws of his own.
Finally, Onwubere’s putback after a battle for the rebound secured the thrilling victory for Ginebra.
The win improved Ginebra’s record to 2-3, providing a boost of confidence for the team despite missing key players. The efforts of Onwubere and Gray along with the entire Ginebra squad, exemplified their resilience and determination to seize opportunities and make the most of their chances on the court.
The game between Barangay Ginebra and Blackwater was a tightly contested affair from start to finish, with both teams displaying their competitive spirit and determination to come out on top. Ginebra’s victory was a testament to their resilience and ability to capitalize on key opportunities.
Sydney Onwubere’s standout performance was instrumental in Ginebra’s success. The 29-year-old forward, who had been averaging just 3.0 points per game, seized the opportunity to shine in the absence of some of the team’s star players.
The thrilling encounter left fans on the edge of their seats and showcased the unpredictable nature of basketball. It was a game filled with drama, momentum swings, and clutch performances from both sides. Ginebra’s ability to rise to the occasion and execute in crucial moments proved to be the difference-maker.
Ginebra 81 – Onwubere 25, Gray 22, Pinto 13, Mariano 9, R. Aguilar 8 David 2 Pessumal 2 Dillinger 0 Salcedo 0 Cu 0 Gumaru 0 Aurin 0.
Blackwater 80 – Sena 18, Rosario 12, Ilagan 10, McCarthy 10, DiGregorio 9, Casio 9, Ular 7, Hill 4, Lucky 1, Scott 0, Ayonayon 0, Publico 0, Banal 0.
Quarters: 29-17, 47-38, 59-61, 77-77 (reg.), 81-80 (OT).