PBA: Just too many weapons, as Ginebra eases past Meralco for 3-0 start

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 18 2020 09:13 PM | Updated as of Oct 18 2020 09:40 PM

Ginebra's Stanley Pringle puts up a jump shot against Meralco. PBA Media Bureau.

MANILA (UPDATED) - Barangay Ginebra earned a share of the lead in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, after a masterful 105-91 rout of the Meralco Bolts on Sunday at the AUF Gym in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Four players scored in double-digits for the Gin Kings, led by Japeth Aguilar who had 20 points on eight-of-11 shooting. Rookie Arvin Tolentino started for Ginebra and put up 11 points, while Stanley Pringle had 16 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. 

Ginebra settled for a 20-all deadlock at the end of the first quarter, but broke the game open in the second wherein they outscored the Bolts, 31-19. Pringle and Jeff Chan combined for 12 points in the pivotal frame, while LA Tenorio scored all six of his points in the second quarter as well.

"I just thought it was a really great defensive effort tonight," said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, after his team limited Meralco to just 45.9% shooting while turning their 16 turnovers into 19 points.

"We played great defense, and we did a really good job in their pick-and-roll," he noted. "We were forcing a lot of tough shots and getting rebounds. We were getting a lot of offense of our defense, and I just love seeing our team play defense like that."

After Meralco rookie Aaron Black knotted the count at 28 with seven minutes to go in the second frame, the Gin Kings unleashed a 14-3 run that put them ahead by double-digits, 42-31, with under four minutes to play.

The Bolts were never able to recover from their poor second quarter, and Ginebra went on to lead by 24 points, 92-68, off a Chan layup midway through the fourth period.

The Gin Kings improved to 3-0, joining idle TNT and first-game winner Rain or Shine at the top of the league standings.

Meanwhile, the Bolts dropped to 1-2.

Allein Maliksi had 18 points off the bench, while Reynel Hugnatan had 16 points and seven rebounds. Raymond Almazan played just under 13 minutes and had six points as he continued to work his back into game shape after recovering from a knee injury.