In front of 18,576 fans inside the Big Dome, Barangay Ginebra massacred Purefoods 89-66, to win the first Manila Clasico of this season and improve to 4-1 to grab the share of the second spot with San Miguel Beermen.
Joseph Yeo led the way for the Kings, with a team-high 17 points, including three big 3-point baskets in the pivotal third quarter that spelled doom for the Hotshots. Four other Ginebra players scored in double figures, led by Greg Slaughter (14 points and 13 rebounds) and Billy Mamaril (12 points and 13 rebounds).
On the other end, PJ Simon carried the defending champions with 15 points, while star player James Yap was held to a season-low 7 points.
It was all defense for Ginebra as they forced Purefoods to commit turnovers and shoot under duress. There were a lot of times when the Kings were able to read the passing lanes and forced the other side to 24-second shot clock violations. They converted these to 11 points off turnovers. The Hotshots were also held 5 fastbreak points which is usually their strong point.
The Kings also made use of their height advantage and dominated the paint. They crashed the boards and out-rebounded Purefoods, 58-51, which a crucial factor for Ginebra to win. In terms of second chance points, Ginebra had 13 compared to four from Purefoods. The credit goes to Billy Mamaril, who had 13 big rebounds and primarily squared-off against Marc Pingris. He went toe-to-toe with the Gilas main stay and had one of his best games in the past seasons. Greg Slaughter remained a presence in the paint, also adding 13 rebounds.
Ginebra showed that they are going accustomed to the triangle offense. They were able to execute the triangle far better this time around with 22 assists, a far cry from Purefoods’ nine assists the whole game. One could also attribute this disparity to the hounding defense of Ginebra that repeatedly broke the plays of the Purefoods.
Overall this was a great win for the Kings and Coach Jeffrey Cariaso, who got his first win over his mentor Coach Tim Cone. Every fan is glad that their huge lead in the 2nd half didn’t turn into another meltdown and the team was able to keep their composure till the end of the game. They should look to sustain the momentum that they got from this game. Their next match is on Wednesday against a tough Barako Bull team.
Featured Image credit: Pranz Kaeno Billones, Sports5