Crowd-favorite Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel took care of business in their Dubai assignment as the second game of the back-to-back PBA matches featured a win by the Kings as they hold on against Rain or Shine to cap of the festivities in Al-Shabab, in Dubai
Mark Caguioa showcased a flashback-type of shooting display particularly in the opening canto as he made basket after basket from the perimeter. Despite committing an early turnover and missing his initial attempt from the perimeter badly, he tallied 16 huge points in the first quarter alone which already tied his tournament-high in their win against Kia.
Caguioa was simply on fire against youngster Paul Lee as The Spark was responsible for accumulation of Ginebra’s lead that grew as much as 20 during the first half. As he got reinserted with about 4 minutes to go in the second period, Rain or Shine was already in stride of making a comeback as they piled up the necessary stops and baskets. However in the dying seconds, Caguioa drained his lone triple of the game to keep the Painters at bay.
With no locals for the Elasto Painters finding their groove offensively, the fatigued-looking Rain or Shine squad relied heavily on their reinforcement. Last conference’s bridesmaid finishers shot only a poor 4-of-28 or 14% from three-point territory, which is one of their main weapons and strengths as a team. This is ten less triples compared to their outing the night in the high-scoring affair against GlobalPort.
Wendell McKines had a good solid stretch in the third including multiple made paint buckets to even give his squad the taste of the lead for a brief moment. Notwithstanding the lost momentum, floor general LA Tenorio made huge steals in the third period to counter Rain or Shine’s offense that led to fast break points on Ginebra’s end.
With Caguioa cooling down in the second half, Tenorio started to wax hot as he also ended up establishing his tournament-high of 20 points off the bench including four shots from rainbow territory. In addition to his splendid outing, 5’8” former Atenean grabbed 11 rebounds to top his team during this game. His baskets served as rally-extinguishers that stopped chances for a Rain or Shine comeback.
Ginebra’s import Orlando Johnson tallied his lowest output of the tournament with his quiet 25-point outing that needed 22 shots for it. He shot a relatively poor 1 out of eight from downtown as well. It was the first game of the Governor’s Cup wherein Ginebra locals finally did not rely heavily on their super import. In their first three outings, Johnson scored about half of Ginebra’s total output while in their last outing prior to this game against Blackwater, he managed about 61% of the team’s total points (47 out of 77). In this game, locals showed up bigtime as they scored about 75% of their production, a welcome sight for every Ginebra fan.
On a side note, Japeth Aguilar joined the team in this game as his first match of the tournament after being sidelined due to an injury. Being a starter, he had a solid comeback game with his 15 and 10 statline. He also came huge down the stretch to help Ginebra hold momentum.
The two teams will come back in action on May 31, Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Ginebra will next face upstart San Miguel Beermen while Rain or Shine battles Barako Bull in the first game.