Gin Kings clinch playoffs top seed
MANILA – Greg Slaughter poured in a career-high 23 points to lead Barangay Ginebra past GlobalPort in the PBA Philippine Cup, 108-92, at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday.
The former Ateneo center also tallied 13 rebounds while playing in tandem with another tower, Japeth Aguilar, who finished with 21 points.
With the win, the Gin Kings nabbed the first of two twice-to-beat bonuses in the quarterfinals.
Other Ginebra players also shone against the Batang Pier. Mac Baracael fired a total of 18 points, while LA Tenorio registered a double-double of 10 markers and 11 assists.
“Now I can say na No. 1 na kami. Kahit anong mangyari sa Sunday, nakuha na namin yung aim namin, which is to finish one or two,” said Ginebra head coach Ato Agustin in the PBA website.
Agustin said composure was their key in beating the foul- saddled Batang Pier squad.
“One thing na maganda sa amin ngayon is hindi na kami nagpa-panic. Kahit yung kalaban namin nakaka-recover, focused pa rin kami sa ginagawa namin at sa game plan namin,” said the former San Miguel Beerman.
Ginebra was able to weather the repeated resurgence by GlobalPort, which was led by Sol Mercado and Eric Menk.
Mercado had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Batang Pier, while Menkalso had a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Agustin said it is important for the Gin Kings to sustain its energy all the way to the playoffs, adding that there will be no room for complacency.
“We need to be aggressive all the time. Offensively and defensively, dapat aggressive especially sa playoffs. Hindi pwedeng maging overconfident. It’s another level of competition at lahat ng teams mag-a-adjust kaya dapat focused talaga kami sa mga ginagawa namin,” said Agustin.
The coach also said they will need to make some adjustments with their defense after they allowed the Batang Pier to score 12 second-chance points off 18 offensive rebounds.
Barangay Ginebra 108 – Slaughter 23, Aguilar 21, Baracael 18, Ellis 11, Caguioa 11, Tenorio 10, Reyes 8, Helterbrand 2, Monfort 2, Mamaril 2, Ababou 0, Urbiztondo 0.
GlobalPort 92 – Mercado 20, Menk 17, Ponferrada 16, Romeo 13, Garcia 9, Nabong 7, Hayes 6, Chua 2, Salva 2, Belencion 0, Najorda 0, Salvador 0.
Quarterscores: 28-20, 58-49, 80-73, 108-92.