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Ginebra cruises against skidding Meralco in Biñan blowout



Having dropped their game against the powerhouse San Miguel Beermen squad 48 hours earlier, the Barangay Ginebra Kings bounced back big time with a scintillating 89-64 win against the still cellar-dwelling Meralco Bolts to cap the PBA festivities in Biñan Laguna on Tuesday night.

The Kings’ 7-0 start to the game was countered by eight straight points from the Bolts early in the first quarter, making it a close affair. However, good defense by Ginebra limited Meralco to only five points in the last four minutes. Nico Salva scored seven points during the stretch, including two threes to give the Kings a 22-17 edge.

For the next 24 minutes of action, Ginebra outscored the Bolts by a whopping 48-24, dictating the blowout theme for the win. In the second quarter, the Kings’ defense silenced their opponents for two five-minute stretches without points. The slow and defensive-themed second quarter featured Greg Slaughter’s presence down low, as the former Atenean anchored the inside with his rebounding. LA Tenorio drained two jumpers to give his team a 17-point cushion at the break.

The Ginebra frontcourt continued to push their dominance as they built a 20-point lead by the 7:25 mark of the third. Mark Caguioa, Japeth Aguilar, and Greg Slaughter’s offense added to the Bolts’ woes as Ginebra extended their lead heading into the final quarter. Meralco shot 4/18 from the field during the period and had to rely on five late free throws to chip in some points.

Meralco had their best scoring quarter in the final period against Ginebra, 23-19, but it came too late to overcome the Kings’ lead. Sol Mercado’s basket at the 9:50 mark gave Ginebra its biggest lead of the game at 72-41. From that point, the final score was the only thing left to be settled.

Ginebra ended up shooting the ball better, with a 44% clip compared to Meralco’s 31%. They also out-rebounded their opponents, 54-45, while scoring seven more points from the free throw area. Lastly, they had 19 points from second chances as they capitalized on 16 offensive boards.

The towering duo of Aguilar and Slaughter each scored 18 each and had 20 combined rebounds. Salva added 11 for Ginebra and five boards. For the losing Meralco team, David once again topped their squad, scoring 18 points, including three from downtown. Newsome and Al-Hussaini chipped in 13 apiece.

Ginebra tie Star in the middle of the standings with a 2-3 win-loss record and will next face the Mahindra Enforcers on November 22, 5:15pm at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. On the other hand, Meralco, who are still winless in five games, will look for their first win of the season against the Star Hotshots a day earlier, November 21 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

The Scores:
Ginebra (89) – Slaughter 18, Aguilar 18, Salva 11, Devance 8, Caguioa 7, Tenorio 7, Mercado 7, Ellis 4, Helterbrand 3, Marcelo 2, Mariano 0, Thompson 0.
Meralco(64) – David 18, Al-Hussaini 13, Newsome 13, Hugnatan 5, Hodge 3, Nabong 3, Guevara 3, Amer 2, Dillinger 2, Alapag 0, Seduferia 0, Ferriols 0, Atkins 0.
Quarterscores: 22-17, 42-25, 70-41, 89-64.