Ginebra started the 2nd conference the way they ended the 1st conference — with a loss. Air21 gives Ginebra its first defeat of the conference, 74-70.

Air21 finally found an import who can carry them throughout the conference as Michael Dunigan made his presence felt all over the court. He tallied 26pts, 19rebs 3asts and 5blks in 47 minutes of action. He was an intimidating presence in the lane — he disrupted most of the shots that Ginebra players took in the paint.

While Dunigan’s counterpart Herbert Hill finished with 17 points and 18 rebounds, he only had 2 points and was 0 for 10 from the field in the first half. Mark Caguoia was the only bright spot for Ginebra in the first half — as he scored 12 of his 26 points in the first half.

Herbert Hill, Michael Dunigan

Herbert Hill (left) tries to score on Michael Dunigan (right) (Photo Credit: Nuki Sabio, PBA)

Here are the player grades (and a couple of notes):

Herbert Hill (6) – Not the way you want to start the conference. Good thing he made up for it in the 2nd half. If you’re a center, you  better not shoot 7/24 from the field and commit 6 turnovers. A largely disappointing game for Ginebra’s import.

Mark Caguioa (9) – Mark can’t do it all. He was impressive all game long tallying 26 points 5 reboundss and 3 assists. He also made 12 of his 15 free throws. He was efficient and aggressive through out the game. Maybe it was the hairstyle?

LA Teñorio (1) – The Gin-eral failed to connect on a field goal attempt even after hoisting 11 attempts. LA was definitely a non-factor in this game. Look for him to bounce back.

Jayjay Helterbrand (7.5) – Coming off the bench, Jayjay gave Ginebra a boost by scoring 10 points with 3 3 point attempts — all of them came at critical points of the game.

Bench (2) – Ginebra’s front court failed to cover for the struggles of their import. Ginebra’s entire bench unit (comprised of Willy Wilson, Chris Ellis, Billy Mamaril, Rico Maierhofer, Yousef Taha, Rudy Hatfield, Mac Baracael and Keith Jensen) scored just 14 points. That equals the combined points of Mark Isip and Rob Reyes. Just a bad game overall. (Maybe Kerby can help?)

 – Air21’s import played better than their counterpart. More importantly, he gave Air21 a defensive stopper and an inside game that the team didn’t have last conference. There were some portions of the game wherein he wasn’t sprinting back on defense — he was probably trying to save himself up, seeing that he played for 47 minutes (1 less than the maximum). He must get used to playing that many minutes — Air21 will depend on him more than any other team in the league.

– KG Cañaleta was supposedly the one who would lead this team in scoring behind their import, yet he only scored 1 point. So much is expected from him after his stint with Gilas. It will be interesting to watch how he bounces back from this.

Mike Cortez & John Wilson – both former Ginebra players – scored 13 points apiece. They gave their a team a much needed scoring boost.

Next game will be against the new and improved roster of GlobalPort — spearheaded by their 3 guard lineup and a motivated Aguilar. Let’s see if the Kings can bounce back strong against a formidable opponent.