A monster 38-point, 20-rebound performance from Othyus Jeffers, and consistent scoring from their bigmen locals, gave the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel the means to pull away from the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 103-92, Sunday evening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The first quarter saw the titanic duo of import Othyus Jeffers and Japeth Aguilar take charge for the Gin Kings. But while Ginebra dominated the painted area, the Elasto Painters went to outside specialists Beau Belga and Jeff Chan to bring the goods. Rain or Shine led 17-12 with around five minutes left on the clock, but the tides would change sooner than expected. The Ginebra bigs led a 16-6 rally to end the quarter that put the Gin Kings up by the end of the quarter, 28-23.
Still without an answer for the rampaging frontcourt unit of Slaughter, Jeffers, and Aguilar, the Elasto Painters could only watch as the Gin Kings’ lead ballooned to as much as seventeen, 46-29, six minutes into the second quarter. With the Rain or Shine shooters and replacement import Antoine Wright struggling to find their finishing touches, the Elasto Painters went to JR Quinahan to keep the counteroffensive alive. The triple-savvy bigman scored 16 points in the first half for Rain or Shine. But with everyone else on the Painters’ side of the court struggling to score, the Gin Kings found themselves comfortably in the driver’s seat throughout the quarter. At the half, Ginebra led 53-44.
But with no one else rising to the occasion for Rain or Shine, the Gin Kings managed to hold on to the steady lead. Despite their import Wright providing some much needed support to Quinahan, the Ginebra bigmen continued to dominate the inside paint. By the halfway mark of the quarter, they were leading by double digits once more, 77-62. At the end of the third, the lead was still with Ginebra, 82-70.
As the fourth quarter unfolded there appeared to be no change in the status quo.
For the first eight minutes, the Ginebra bigmen only continued to score as they pleased around the perimeter. With around four minutes left, the Elasto Painters found their opportunity to strike back when Jeffers, the Gin Kings’ juggernaut for the first three quarters, had to be subbed out after complaining of pains in his lower back after finishing a layup. In the next two minutes, Rain or Shine would manage to trim Ginebra’s 14-point lead to eight, 86-94. But the rally would come too late, as baskets from Greg Slaughter and Joe Devance at the other end extended the Ginebra lead just as the two-minute warning was announced. At the buzzer, the Gin Kings walked away with the win.
“This is a process. We still have a lot of growing in what we do,” Cone said after notching their first win for the calendar year. “Eventually we will make the fans very proud.”
Othyus was named Best Player of the Game for his 38 points, 20 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Bigmen Slaugter, Devance, and Aguilar had 16, 13, and 10 markers respectively.
JR Quinahan led Rain or Shine with 21 points. Antoine Wright, the replacement import for the injured Wayne Chism, had 16 points and 8 boards in his debut.
Chism chipped in 16, while Jeff Chan and Jericho Cruz added 13 and 10 respectively for Rain or Shine.
Ginebra are now with their first win in the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, improving to 1-2. Rain or Shine hold the same win-loss record after suffering their second straight loss.
Barangay Ginebra (1-2) will next face the Star Hotshots on Sunday, February 28 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. On the other hand, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters squares off against the Alaska Aces on Saturday, February 27 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Ginebra (103) – Jeffers 38, Slaughter 16, Devance 13, Aguilar 10, Ellis 7, Thompson 5, Caguioa 4, Mercado 4, Tenorio 3, Marcelo 2, Cruz 1.
Rain or Shine (92) – Quinahan 21, Wright 16, Chan 13, Cruz 10, Ahanmisi 8, Belga 8, Ibanes 3, Almazan 2, Ponferrada 2, Tiu 1, Trollano 0.
Quarterscores: 28-23; 53-44; 82-70; 103-92.
Photo courtesy of PBA Images
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