(UPDATED) Buoyed by the presence of its fans, Barangay Ginebra dealt NorthPort a 108-82 beating in the PBA Governors' Cup at the Araneta Coliseum Friday.
It was the first time the Gin Kings played before a crowd since the pandemic broke out and it seemed to have motivated them.
"I remember us making our first basket then there was a roar," said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. "It was like a brand new feeling all over again."
"They coming in during the time outs, 'Ginebra... Ginebra."
Arvin Tolentino led the Gin Kings' total effort with a career-high 16 points on 4 three-pointers.
Three other Ginebra starters came out with double-digit outputs. Justin Brownlee topscored for the Kings with 28 points to go with 9 rebounds and 6 assists.
LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar had 14 and 11 markers, respectively.
The Batang Pier could not match Ginebra's aggression as they had to do without injured import Cameron Forte.
Robert Bolick carried the fight for NorthPort with 32 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Greg Slaughter, meanwhile grabbed 15 rebounds aside from scoring 7 points.
"Robert's really a special player, he's proven that every day. But I thought we did a good job rotating," said Cone.
Cone also relished the presence of their sixth man: the pro-Ginebra crowd.
"It was just satisfying, being a part of it. We're almost back to normal when we hear things like that I hope we can grow... and get back to where there were Ginebra crowds," he said.