Ginebra shakes off slow start to beat Meralco
MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra San Miguel bucked a slow start to beat Meralco, 95-82, in the 2014 PBA Governors’ Cup Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Kings faced a double-digit deficit twice early in the game before picking up the slack as the game went on. Zaccheus Mason shot 32 points, 11 in the key third quarter, where the crowd favorites threatened to blow the game open.
“It’s really obvious but every game that you play it’s different,” said Ginebra coach Jeffrey Cariaso. “What I like about tonight was us going through a hard time early in the first quarter and we persevered.”
“What I’m most proud of today is we just stuck with our system we didn’t changed the way we okay or how I want them to play. Somehow, someway we found a way to keep it close and then eventually ran away end of the third, early fourth,” Cariaso added.
Ginebra fell behind by 10, 2-12, and 18-28 at the end of the first period but that deficit seemed to have served as an early wakeup call for the Kings, who came alive after a lethargic start.
Mason and rookie Greg Slaughter, who added 22 points and 10 rebounds, anchored Ginebra’s charge in the second half with the seven-foot center punishing Meralco’s interior defense with his size.
Slaughter put the Kings back up by 10, 82-72, with 4:06 left before making the most out of his trip at the free throw line, where he went eight-of-nine, to extend the lead to 15, 89-74.
Asked whether he’s surprised with his team’s 2-0 start with both wins coming in lopsided fashion, Cariaso stressed his team’s goal.
“That’s like a blade with two swords. If I say yes it’s like I’m underestimating my guys and if I say no, I don’t want to sound cocky,” he said.
“But I just want to say, again is our goal is to be better everyday, better every game so I think tonight we were better tonight against a better team all around and we needed to be this way. I’m just happy with the effort.”
Terrence Williams paced the Bolts, who are now 0-3, with 26 points on seven-of-26 attempts from the field. Cliff Hodge contributed 19 points while Gary David had 12 points on 14 shots and grabbed 12 rebounds.