Kings crush Mixers, tie semis series, 1-1
MANILA, Philippines—This time, there wasn’t any endgame pressure for Barangay Ginebra to succumb to.
The Gin Kings broke away early and played with sustained brilliance for all of Friday night, with a lopsided 93-64 win over a badly-outclassed San Mig Coffee side squaring their PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup Final Four series at 1-1 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Rookie Greg Slaughter dominated early and gave the Gin Kings the swashbuckling start that they needed and the rest of the gang kept its foot on the pedal as Ginebra won pulling away in front of an animated crowd of close to 20,000.
The 7-foot Slaughter finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds in just 27 minutes, as Ginebra’s second unit was able to give its starters a lot of time to cool their heels in preparation for Game 3 slated tomorrow at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Ginebra used a huge end to the second quarter to gain total command and then opened up a 53-32 lead with just over a minute played in the third period to practically take the fight out of the Mixers.
“We played great defense,” Ginebra coach Ato Agustin said. “We were able to limit them to 64, that’s a good sign for us.”
San Mig, despite the enormous firepower packed in its star-studded roster, was only able to score more than 20 points in a quarter in the third. Ginebra limited the Mixers to a paltry 32 points in the first half to take a 16-point bubble into the third.
The Mixers also didn’t reach 60 points until there was less than 2:30 left, when James Yap hit a short jumper.
“I think we caught them off-guard with our zone defense,” Agustin said. “San Mig will adjust to our defense for sure. We need to anticipate what they will do (in Game 3).”
Peter June Simon paced the Mixers with 16 points, but was scoreless in the second and fourth periods. Marc Pingris chipped in with 15 and Yap finished with 14, but the others who contributed immensely in an 85-83 Game 1 win were held to harmless numbers.
Yancy De Ocampo fired just three points, Joe Devance had just two and San Mig’s surprise package in the playoffs, Justin Melton, laid a big fat egg in 14 minutes.
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine tries to more or less put away the first championship series slot today when the rampaging Elasto Painters battle Petron Blaze at Mall of Asia Arena.
Game time is 3:30 p.m. with the Painters—who were swept in four games in the Finals here last season by Talk ‘N Text—seeking to erect a historically impregnable 3-0 wall against the beleaguered Boosters.
No team in the rich history of Asia’s first play-for-pay league has ever come back from a 0-3 deficit to win a best-of-seven series, and the Boosters certainly wouldn’t want to become the first to try, making this game a must-win for them.
BRGY. GINEBRA 93—Slaughter 21, Helterbrand 11, Tenorio 10, Mamaril 10, Reyes 8, Caguioa 8, Aguilar 7, Monfort 5, Ellis 4, Faundo 4, Baracael 3, Forrester 2, Ababou 0.
SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 64—Simon 16, Pingris 15, Yap 14, Barroca 7, De Ocampo 3, Acuna 3, Mallari 3, Devance 2, Cawaling 1, Gaco 0, Sangalang 0, Melton 0, Holstein 0, Reavis 0.
Quarters: 24-19, 48-32, 69-53, 93-64