Both teams entered the game with a 4-5 record, trying to solidify their respective quarterfinals standings. In this matchup, Ginebra outplayed Batang Pier in a one-sided affair from the opening get-go.
Rising star, Terrence Romeo versus, veteran crowd-favorite, Mark Caguioa was a matchup many expected to be a thrilling one. However, the two started in separate and distinct productions in the match.
In the opening three minutes, Romeo committed two fouls that signaled him to be benched early. While Romeo was out, Caguioa caught fire with 11 points in the 12 minutes of the first quarter, including a three pointer and a great seal underneath, plus a foul. Ginebra started to threaten with a pull away at that point.
Needing a spark, Batang Pier gambled to insert Romeo back in the line-up, but he had problems getting his shot to fall down the hoop. Moreover, he only scored his first point after missing his first three freethrow attempts.
Caguioa sat down the entire second period, while Romeo remained fielded in the game. Unfortunately, a three-guard lineup of Jayjay Helterbrand, Joseph Yeo and LA Tenorio was present to stop the former FEU skipper from making progress.
Tenorio guarded Romeo on sets, as the two other Ginebra guards played the passing lanes. Romeo eventually finished the first half on a miserable three points, all coming from the charity stripe, while missing all of his seven attempts, which include four from downtown.
In the third, Caguioa faced Romeo once again, but the former scored on four more points against the GlobalPort star. Emman Monfort also did a good job defending the three-point contest winner, when he clogged down Romeo, who is the team’s catalyst in offense.
Terrence Romeo finished the Lucena match with 20 points, but needed 17 attempts to do so. He made 12 points in the last period, all of which came in garbage time. The guards of Ginebra shut down the league-leader in statistical points category during the first 36 minutes that somehow decided the outcome of the match. To put the icing on the cake, Josh Urbiztondo drilled in a buzzer-beating triple to cap off the tremendous effort of the Ginebra backcourt guards.
Romeo was limited to a triple in six attempts; and his second worst performance from downtown, for he muffed all his six shots in their loss against Meralco. Ginebra’s defense was superior against Romeo to survey the floor, and make plays for his teammates. The transition game was also present, and was very effective against the lackluster defense by Globalport.
Romeo and the rest of the Batang Pier look to bounce back against San Miguel, who are still hoping to punch in a quarterfinals berth ticket on Tuesday.