Key players’ absence, Tenorio’s struggles too much for Ginebra to hurdle
ANTIPOLO — Alaska undefeated run in 2018 could be attributed to its relentless approach on both ends of the floor.
That was the case again on Sunday in the Aces’ 97-83 win over Barangay Ginebra where they came alive in the second half after a lackluster first two quarters.
Alaska coach Alex Compton, though, isn’t discounting the fact that his team was also fortunate enough to face the Gin Kings, who are shorthanded.
Ginebra played without its giant Greg Slaughter, who is averaging 20.7 points and 10.3 rebounds, due to a strained hamstring. Joe Devance was also sidelined with a foot injury.
“Honestly, they’re missing two of their number one picks. So it was a tough situation for them. They’re missing a 6-foot-7 vet who knows how to win, and a guy who I think is gonna win an MVP soon,” said Compton.
Sonny Thoss echoed Compton’s sentiments, noting that Slaughter’s absence gave him more room to work and be the fulcrum of the Aces’ offense.
“It definitely helped. He’s a big guy, a big presence inside so it took one big guy off our shoulder,” the veteran center said.
But Thoss added that Alaska would have played the game the same way even if Ginebra had Slaughter and Devance in tow.
Already minus their two key players, the Gin Kings also failed to draw usual numbers from their lead playmaker LA Tenorio, who shot 1-of-13 from the field and wound up with measly five points, three assists, and two rebounds in the loss.
“It was a big bonus for us because LA didn’t play well. We were lucky,” Alaska big man Vic Manuel said.
With Tenorio firing blanks and the team getting frustrated in the second half, Ginebra suffered its second consecutive setback to fall to an even 2-2 slate.
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