PBA: Standhardinger leads Ginebra past San Miguel for solo lead

Ginebra’s Christian Standhardinger against San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–Barangay Ginebra pulled out a thrilling 75-72 victory over San Miguel Beer to grab the solo lead in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Christian Standhardinger played with sustained brilliance against his former team, putting up 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists to go with four steals to help the Gin Kings claim their fourth win in five games.

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“That what was management was actually concerned about so there was pressure to do this,” said Tim Cone shortly after the battle featuring two favorites.

“These guys won two big games down the stretch and came back from 19 point game just two nights ago and then turned around to beat a San Miguel Beer team down the stretch in a tight ball game all the way. So that really says a lot about our team,” he added.

Scottie Thompson had 15 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, for the crowd darlings. He added four steals—including a crucial one against CJ Perez with seven ticks remaining which denied the San Miguel from pulling level.

The Beermen drew 18 points from Simon Enciso, who hit four triples in the final frame to keep the game within reach. Perez added 17 while Jericho Cruz had 12 off the bench, but the powerhouse club, missing Chris Ross and Vic Manuel, just couldn’t get the job done, suffering their first loss in four outings.

It was a huge victory for Ginebra, who will be orphaned by Cone for four games this conference beginning next week. The seasoned coach is due for a guest coaching gig for the Miami Heat in the NBA’s Summer League by the end of the month.

“We’re only halfway through the conference. We got a lot of work left to do.

“I’ll be leaving Tuesday evening and by then, it’s all Richard (del Rosario’s) ball. I’m excited for him, I really am. And he knows the game really well,” Cone said.