Kings crush Texters, seize 1-0 series lead
COMING out with boundless energy, Barangay Ginebra made Talk ‘N Text look truly ugly on this one.
After yielding the first bucket of the game, the Gin Kings dropped one blitzkrieg after another and bombed the Tropang Texters back to the stone age, 104-81, to take a 1-0 lead in their Cebuana Lhuillier PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series.
It was a victory that further boosted the confidence of the Gin Kings, who got this far by surprising No. 2 Rain or Shine before reversing all pre-series predictions against the Texters because of the manner with which they won last night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We played really well and I guess we caught Talk ‘N Text on their off-night,” Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua said. “We beat a very strong, organized team. But they (Texters) are a champion team with a champion coach. I’m sure they’ll bounce back.”
Vernon Macklin was again the inspiration for the Kings, who are playing with unbelievable confidence even with reigning MVP and acknowledged team leader Mark Caguioa riding the bench because of a knee injury.
And while the Kings were as sharp as they could be, the Texters were only able to show sporadic bursts of brilliance, with import Jerome Jordan unable to deliver the goods.
The Kings built a 23-point lead at the half after zooming ahead by as many as 59-31 on 50-percent shooting from three-point area and 54.5 percent from the field overall.
Game 2 is scheduled tomorrow also at the Big Dome in Cubao.
Macklin finished with 25 points and nine rebounds and four locals led by the resurgent Kerby Raymundo tossed in 12 or more.
Jordan had 21 points and eight rebounds in 43 minutes and could have seen action in his last game on Philippine soil. The Inquirer learned that an unidentified replacement is waiting in the wings.
Meanwhile, Alaska tries to do what it hasn’t done in the last two seasons, beat San Mig Coffee and coach Tim Cone for the first time.
Game time is 6:15 p.m. today.
“We have the confidence against them, obviously,” Cone said on Wednesday.
The Aces have lost all four of their clashes with the Mixers this season—two in the Philippine Cup and two here.
BARANGAY GINEBRA 104—Macklin 25, Raymundo 14, Ellis 13, Baracael 12, Urbiztondo 12, Tenorio 8, Helterbrand 8, Maierhofer 5, Labagala 2, Wilson 2, Hatfield 2, Taha 1, Espiritu 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT 81—Jordan 21, Castro 18, De Ocampo 12, Al-Hussaini 6, Reyes 6, Ferriols 5, Fonacier 4, Alapag 3, Raymundo 2, Aban 2, Carey 2, Dillinger 0.
Quarters: 33-15, 59-36, 81-56, 104-81