What a way to start the semi-finals! Barangay Ginebra unleashed its full arsenal and destroyed the Tropang Texters 104-81 during the first game of their best-of-five series. Vernon Macklin led the Kings with 25 points and nine rebounds while Kerby Raymundo chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds as well.
Ginebra’s defense forced the Tropang Texters to shoot a miserable 1/18 from behind the arc. That’s a measly 6% compared to Ginebra’s 42% from the three point area.
Review of the Keys to the Game:
1. Macklin must dominate – Macklin definitely got this one. He was all over the court and his energy rubbed off on his teammates. He scored an impressive 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds, showing that it’s all about heart for V-Mack. If he continues to play this way, Ginebra is in good shape.
2. The bench play – The Tropang Texters outscored Ginebra’s bench 39 to 32, but Ginebra’s bench outplayed TNT’s bench by playing with a ton of energy. Acquiring Urbiztondo proved to be a good idea last night, and Helterbrand has consistently been performing well. Last night, we caught a glimpse of how determined each and every player of Ginebra is to get to the finals.
3. The Spark – While Mark Caguioa didn’t make an appearance just yet, Ginebra has found a spark by dominating the tropang texters from the arc. They made 10 three-pointers compare to only one by the Texters.
We still don’t know when Mark Caguioa will make a reappearance, but with the way Ginebra is playing, Coach Al has the luxury to let Caguioa rest until he’s 100%. Hopefully the Spark will be able to rejoin the team right when they need him, but I think Ginebra will do just fine against the Tropang Texters.