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Barako Bull wastes Slaughter’s 20-20, keeps Ginebra winless

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After going down by a huge 20 point margin behind the herculean effort of Greg Slaughter, the Barako Bull Energy Cola, behind the heroics of Gilas Pilipinas member JC Intal, led a late-game hijack, 82-79, to keep the Barangay Ginebra Kings winless early Saturday evening at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The crowd-darlings immediately blasted their opponents in the opening moments of the game as Slaughter pounded the veteran frontline of Barako Bull. The first pick in the 2013 PBA Draft tallied 11 points and four rebounds in the first quarter alone. His offensive onslaught was highlighted by a huge putback dunk off of a Mark Caguioa miss that gave Ginebra a 13-2 lead at the 7:14 mark of the first quarter. Slaughter also anchored the defense well as the Energy Cola were forced to shoot jumpers instead of slashing through the lanes. Moreover, Barako was only able to score their first field goal in the game with 58 seconds to go. The Gin Kings held a huge 29-9 lead to end the first quarter.

After Coach Koy Banal regrouped his troops, Barako Bull responded by intensifying their defense. Knowing that they could not stop Slaughter, who had already notched a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards to end the first half, the defense focused on defending the other Gin Kings. On the offensive end, former Gin Kings Emman Monfort and Mac Baracael led the charge for the Barako Bull bench. Moreover, the tandem of JC Intal and RR Garcia eventually gained the hot hand to tie the game at 57-all to enter the final quarter.

The Gin Kings were able to gain a 65-61 lead behind the duo of Japeth Aguilar and Slaughter. As Slaughter continued to bully his way in the paint, hustle guy Willie Wilson scored on a three-point play while Chico Lanete punched in a triple to cut the lead to just a solitary point, 69-68, with 4:59 to go. The Gin Kings again were able to extend the lead to five but back-to-back three-pointers by Garcia and Mick Pennisi gave Barako the lead 74-73. Slaughter then committed careless turnovers while, in frustration, Ellis was assessed an unsportsmanlike foul that led to free throws by Intal and a jumper by Garcia that extended the Barako lead to eight, 80-73. Late three-pointers by Sol Mercado and LA Tenorio, the latter with 12 seconds to go, cut the lead to just one, 80-79. Ginebra then fouled RR Garcia, who converted on two free throws, to extend the lead to three. A steal by Intal of the inbound sealed the win for Barako Bull.

“First quarter 20 points ata yung lamang nila,” an exhausted JC Intal said. “We just had to come out aggressive in the second quarter and there we just came back.” He added that they had to have this win since they are “coming from a heartbreaking loss against NLEX.”

Koy Banal though credited his boys who were excited to come out and play Ginebra. “All the teams get fired up when they play against Ginebra. Our players prepared themselves mentally and emotionally in this game.” In addition, he said that even in being down, the team made short goals. “We had the goal to make it close by halftime. Then focus on defense. Our offense tonight came from our defense.”

JC Intal played 38 minutes in this game and led the Barako Bull Energy with 22 points on 8/19 shooting. He had three triples in the game and grabbed five boards. Floor general RR Garcia staved off a slow start as he was able to put up 16 points, seven coming from the foul stripe. Veteran sharpshooter Mick Pennisi, who knocked down a crucial three-pointer in the fourth quarter, grabbed ten boards as well.

Greg Slaughter had a monstrous outing in notching a rare 20-20. He had 27 points, on 60% shooting, and grabbed 26 huge boards. LA Tenorio addede 12 points but was just 5/17 from the field.

As a team, Ginebra shot better at 37% compared to just 31% by the victors. However, Barako was able to force Ginebra to 20 turnovers that led to 13 turnover points. Barako Bull was also able to convert on eight more free throws compared to Ginebra.

The Scores:
Barako Bull (82) – Intal 22, Garcia 16, Lanete 8, Baracael 8, Monfort 7, Wilson 6, Pennisi 6, Caperal 6, Cruz 1, Sorongon 0, Urbiztondo 0.
Ginebra (79) – Slaughter 27, Tenorio 12, Ellis 9, Mercado 9, Aguilar 6, Devance 6, Caguioa 6, Salva 2, Marcelo 2, Thompson 0, Helterbrand 0, Brondial 0.
Quarterscores: 9-29, 36-43, 57-57, 82-79.

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