MANILA, Philippines – Defending champion Barangay Ginebra registered its first victory of the 2017 PBA Governors' Cup in emphatic fashion, as the Gin Kings pummeled GlobalPort, 124-108, on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
One week after losing to Meralco in a rematch of last season's Governors' Cup Finals, the Gin Kings vented their ire on the Batang Pier. After settling for a 29-28 lead at the end of the first quarter, Ginebra exploded for 32 points in the second to head into halftime with a 61-51 advantage.
It was all Ginebra from that point on. The lead balloon to 25 points late in the game with all but one Gin King scoring at least two points.
"After our first game, I wasn't sure if we can figure it out that quickly," said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, referring to their 93-78 loss to Meralco last Sunday. "But we had a week of practice after that game, and we made a lot of adjustments."
The biggest of adjustments was returning to the triangle offense, after having spent the past couple of conferences favoring a faster paced game. The move paid dividends for Cone, as big man Greg Slaughter came through with 19 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks in 26 minutes of playing time.
"We visited the triangle a bit more, because the triangle is a good post offense," Cone explained. "Our bigs… need the ball, they need to be in position to get the ball down low. That's what the triangle is good at – it rewards the post guys.
"We went away from the triangle when we didn't have Greg, but now we have him, and the triangle is valuable at this point," he added. "But we're still adjusting."
LA Tenorio led the Gin Kings with 29 points, while Scottie Thompson added 13 points and nine assists. Justin Brownlee contributed 21 points and 12 rebounds, while often drawing the assignment of guarding GlobalPort's Terrence Romeo.
The Batang Pier were able to keep in step after the first quarter, trailing by just one point, thanks in part to a quick start from import Murphy Holloway, who had 12 points in the first frame.
But Slaughter imposed his will inside the paint in the second period, scoring 10 points, while Tenorio and Joe Devance combined for 14. In contrast, the GlobalPort offense sputtered, with Holloway doing the heavy lifting.
Holloway finished with 36 points and 18 assists, while Romeo added 25 points on 10-of-24 shooting, and Stanley Pringle added 18 points. However, no other GlobalPort player scored in double-digits.
The Batang Pier had virtually no answer for Ginebra defensively, as the Gin Kings shot 54% from the field and made 21 of their 31 free throws. GlobalPort connected on 43% of their shots, and managed only 11 of 36 from beyond the arc.
The Gin Kings improved to 1-1, while GlobalPort dropped to 1-2.
GINEBRA 124 - Tenorio 29, Brownlee 21, Slaughter 19, Devance 14, Thompson 13, Aguilar 9, Mariano 7, Cruz 4, Caguioa 4, Ellis 2, Taha 2, Jamito 0.
GLOBALPORT 108 - Holloway 36, GlobalPort 25, Pringle 18, Anthony 8, Arana 5, Maierhofer 4, Cortez 3, Pennisi 3, Aban 2, Guinto 2, Van Opstal 2, Grey 0, Ababou 0.
Quarter scores: 29-28, 61-51, 93-76, 124-108
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