Ginebra rolls in 4th, beats TNT in season opener
BULACAN, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra got off to a good start in its 2019 campaign after rolling past TNT, 90-79, in the PBA Philippine Cup opener Sunday night at Philippine Arena.
This wasn’t the first time the two teams opened a PBA season in the same venue as they also played in the first game of the 2014-15 Philippine Cup with the Gin Kings taking the 101-81 win over the KaTropa.
Ginebra had a blistering start in the fourth quarter going on an 18-6 run to take an 81-66 lead after Greg Slaughter’s three-point play with 6:26 left in the game.
“The opening game is always tough, you can often times start lethargic and we’re not in great shape,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone. “We’ve got really good talent, we know what we want to do, but sometimes we get tired.”
Cone added that it was his team’s versatility that pushed them to the victory especially in the fourth quarter when he didn’t have a legitimate center in the final four minutes of the game and instead relied on wingmen that surrounded Scottie Thompson and LA Tenorio.
“In the fourth quarter we went small and matched up with the, the versatility of our team is a weapon for our coaching staff,” said Cone. “It’s a long day and we’re glad we got through it.”
The KaTropa tried to fight back in the latter part of the fourth quarter with Jayson Castro’s 3-pointer cutting the deficit to 11, 82-71.
Thompson, however, had a couple of pretty plays down the stretch first with bail-out bank shot right before a brilliant assist to the trailing Kevin Ferrer for the 88-71 lead with 4:26 left in the game.
Japeth Aguilar led Ginebra’s offense with 21 points while getting four rebounds and swatting three shots.
Greg Slaughter added 15 points and seven boards while Sol Mercado finished with 11 points, six rebounds, and four assists for the Gin Kings.
Roger Pogoy had 21 points and 16 rebounds for the KaTropa.
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