Kings trip Express; Mixers crush Bolts
MANILA, Philippines—Pushed for the first time in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Barangay Ginebra responded with remarkable poise and resolve to post an 84-76 win over tough Air21 at Smart Araneta Coliseum and remain undefeated for the solo lead.
The Gin Kings, after winning their first two outings via lopsided margins, gained command with a strong finish to the third quarter and then maintained control the rest of the way for the hard-earned win.
“It’s nice to be able to grind out a win, to struggle throughout the whole game and pull it out,” said rookie coach Jeffrey Cariaso. “This is a game where we grew—even if it was just half-an-inch—and we are happy with that.”
In the first game, San Mig Coffee used a strong second half to blow Meralco off the court, 108-90, and return to the upper half of the standings.
Five players, led by Peter June Simon’s 22 points, scored in twin digits for the Mixers, who rebounded mightily from a painful 90-92 loss to sister squad San Miguel Beer just two nights before.
“We showed our bounce-back ability; that was a painful loss to San Miguel Beer,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone. “It was a little frustrating in the first half. We didn’t have a lot of rhythm out there.”
Air21 was in it the whole night but the Express shot themselves to a first loss in three games by going a pathetic 6-of-22 from the free throw line, with Asi Taulava shooting 3-for-11 and import Dominique Sutton going 2-for-9.
“It’s a simple aspect of the game that can hurt you,” Cariaso said of Air21’s free throw shooting woes.
SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 108—Simon 22, Blakely 16, Barroca 15, Yap 13, Pingris 10, Maliksi 9, Sangalang 8, Reavis 6, Gaco 4, Mallari 3, Devance 2, Holstein 0, Melton 0.
MERALCO 90—West 31, Hodge 21, Caram 8, Wilson 7, Sena 6, David 6, Hugnatan 6, Salvacion 3, Bringas 2, Ildefonso 0, Timberlake 0, Dillinger 0.
Quarters: 30-23, 52-46, 76-69, 108-90
BRGY. GINEBRA 84—Mason 22, Slaughter 12, Aguilar 10, Helterbrand 9, Baracael 8, Tenorio 8, Caguioa 6, Reyes 4, Ellis 3, Monfort 2, Ababou 0.
AIR21 76—Sutton 22, Cardona 14, Yeo 11, Taulava 9, Borboran 7, Ramos 5, Burtscher 3, Atkins 3, Camson 2, Villanueva 0.
Quarters: 16-17, 34-37, 58-53, 84-76
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