Coming off a loss to the NLEX Road Warriors last Saturday, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel have returned to their winning ways as they stamped their class all over the lowly Kia Picanto, 103-77, Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Barangay improved to 4-4, similar to the TNT Katropa and Phoenix Fuel Masters, while the Picanto dropped to 1-7 as they lost their third straight match.
“It’s been such a struggle for us this conference. It’s nice to be able to get a win. We played a complete game and was able to pull away. It was really a struggle for us but it might be this game that helps us turn around,” said coach Tim Cone.
Five Gin Kings finished in double figures, with Greg Slaughter leading with 14 points and eight rebounds. LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar each had 13 points, while Scottie Thompson had 12 markers with 14 boards and seven assists.
Kia were still in contention in the game’s first 20 minutes, but as soon as Ginebra first tasted a double-digit lead, 41-31, with 4:33 remaining in the second quarter, things spiraled out of control for the Picanto.
The Gin Kings never looked back after that, and Kia could not find any answer. As a result, Ginebra’s lead ballooned to as huge as 29 points, 82-53, after Paolo Taha’s basket with 11:26 remaining in the payoff period.
“We’re getting a little healthier. We’re getting on the same page and starting to adjust on the new way the game is being played and called,” added Cone. “And we’re getting Joe [Devance] back pretty soon. I’m not sure maybe next, maybe the game after but he should be available.”
Kevin Ferrer had 10 markers for the Barangay. Rookie Jett Manuel finally made his pro debut, finishing with eight points on 3-of-6 shooting, along with two assists and a rebound, in the 12 minutes and 17 seconds he played.
Rashawn McCarthy led Kia with 15 points and six rebounds, while Ronald Tubid had 13 markers. Both cagers shot 5-of-11 from the field, the only bright spots in the team’s overall shooting, as Kia shot 34 percent from the floor.
Ginebra’s next assignment will be TNT this Sunday, February 11, at 6:45 PM, while Kia will next battle the Blackwater Elite on February 16, Friday, at 4:30 PM. Both games are at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Ginebra 103 – Slaughter 14, Tenorio 13, J. Aguilar 13, Thompson 12, Ferrer 10, Taha 8, Manuel 8, Caperal 6, R. Aguilar 6, Mercado 4, Cruz 4, Jamito 3, Caguioa 2, Wilson 0.
KIA 77 – McCarthy 15, Tubid 13, Corpuz 9, Reyes 8, Jamon 5, Camson 4, Sara 4, Escoto 4, Khobuntin 4, Yee 4, Lastimosa 3, Ababou 2, Galanza 2, Celda 0, Gabriel 0.
Quarterscores: 25-24, 53-34, 78-52, 103-77.