Barangay Ginebra bucked a wobbly first few minutes and then went full throttle to hammer out a masterful 102-83 demolition job of Alaska Sunday night that got the Gin Kings off to a swashbuckling start in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Resident import Justin Brownlee was his usual all-around brilliant self, scoring 30 points and plucking down 22 boards as the Kings extended Jeffrey Cariaso’s woes as the new Alaska coach.
And while everyone can rave about Ginebra’s offense, coach Tim Cone, who is expected to accept an appointment making him the Gilas Pilipinas coach for the 30th Southeast Asian Games later this year, stressed that such dominant showing was all thanks to a collective effort—especially on the defensive end.
“We did a great job defensively. Scottie (Thompson) did a great job on the [Alaska] import; Japeth (Aguilar) was there for blocking shots, and Greg (Slaughter) was a presence,” he said.
Defense got Ginebra, dethroned by Magnolia last season, out of an early 0-7 hole and its offense did the damage the rest of the way.
Slaughter and Art dela Cruz had 16 and 12 points for Cone.
“I’m just glad we caught them early,” Cone said who faced his former ward and deputy in Cariaso.
Alaska drew 22 points from import Justin Watts. Vic Manual added 14 but was the lone local to score in twin digits for the Aces, who absorbed their second-straight loss since the conference opener last Friday.
Meanwhile, Joel Wright picked the most opportune moment to redeem himself in the first game, delivering seven of Rain or Shine’s last nine points to lead the Elasto Painters to a 96-90 decision of Columbian.
“He’s a good import, but we still need him to play longer minutes,” coach Caloy Garcia said of Wright, who led the Painters with 30 points and 10 rebounds.
Wright was hounded with four fouls in the first half, prompting Garcia to go all-Filipino in the third frame.
Rain or Shine tied the Dyip at 1-1.
Garcia’s locals responded as Rey Nambatac had 20 points off the bench to lead in providing solid support. Javee Mocon tossed in 10 while Mark Borboran and Ed Daquioag combined for 17 more to help fill the momentary void left by Wright.
“We were disappointed with how we played the last game, so I told the players the only way that we can come back is to win today’s game,” Garcia said.
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