Ginebra whips Fajardo-less Petron behind Aguilar’s 25 to take top spot
MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra San Miguel ripped a Petron Blaze side reeling the absence of its injured star center, 97-83, in the 2014 PLDT myDSL Philippine Cup Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Athletic forward Japeth Aguilar scored 25 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had two blocks to lead the rising Kings, who have now won five straight to grab solo first place with an 8-1 record.
“The start of the game they played relaxed because we know Junemar (Fajardo) is out and I told them to stick with our game plan. I always remind them that whether he plays or not we still have to stay with our plan,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin in Filipino.
Ginebra turned a precarious six-point edge early in the fourth quarter to a 22-point lead with Aguilar, Greg Slaughter and Mark Caguioa anchoring the Kings’ surge.
Two free throws by Aguilar after a three-point play made it, 96-74, with 2:51 remaining.
“We’re now the leader but still we have five more games and a lot of things can happen so we still need to win our games,” added Agustin.
Caguioa had 18 points on nine-of-11 shooting from the two-point area while the seven-foot Slaughter added 17 points and eight rebounds taking advantage of the Boosters’ smaller bigs in Doug Kramer and Yousef Taha with Junemar Fajardo out with a right knee injury.
Reigning MVP Arwind Santos scored 22 points and hauled down 12 rebounds to go along with three steals and two blocks while Kramer tried his best to fill the huge void at the center position with 11 points and 14 rebounds while having to hold his own at the defensive end against the much bigger Slaughter.
Ginebra shot 50% from the field while holding Petron, which succumbed to its second straiht setback after a 7-0 start, to just 36%.
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