In the closing moments of last night’s PBA Governor’s Cup Quarterfinal, the Ginebra crowd was roaring; having led by an average of twenty points (even reaching 26 at one point) for the majority of the game and with a two-to-win advantage over the Alaska Aces, it looked very much like a done deal.
Until it wasn’t.
In the fourth quarter, the Aces found their resolve, as Dondon Hontiveros managed to score eight points in a row. And the Aces weren’t done yet – they still hadn’t gotten the memo to throw in the towel. Showing formidable hustle, a three from Jvee Casio at 5:34 brought Ginebra’s lead down to 7. A vicious flurry of back and forth scoring followed, with neither side giving in.
By 1:30, the gap was back at 7 before a desperate shot by Abueva at 1:05, followed by a penalty brought it down to 4. With Ginebra’s defense intensifying and under a minute to go, the Aces’ options were becoming increasingly limited.
At the 31-second mark, import Buck Henton, whose aggressive mode of play had distinguished him throughout the entire conference, nailed a critical three-pointer that brought the Gin Kings’ lead down to one point.
For the Alaska faithful who never lost hope, their heroes’ refusal to submit to formidable odds in front of a largely-hostile red-clad crowd was enough to push them over the edge. By the time Henton’s shot hit, every Alaska fan was on their feet, cheering at the unexpected rally.
Though Alaska would go on to lose the game following a decisive three-point response from Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee, the Aces’ message to everyone who witnessed the game was more than clear: no matter what happened here, the #HeartFor15 was still alive and well.
Here’s to the next conference.