ALASKA gave Greg Slaughter a fitting warm-up in his first game for Ginebra in almost a year, turning back Ginebra, 96-87, in their tune-up game on Thursday at the Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.
Even with Calvin Abueva, Vic Manuel, and Kevin Racal resting, the Aces breezed past the Gin Kings in Alaska’ practice facility as import Buck Henton led a balanced effort with 23 points.
Slaughter, who played his first game since September when he tore the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his right knee, registered five points as he huffed and puffed in trying to adapt to the Gin Kings’ fast-paced style.
“The main objective of the tune-up was to try to, especially for Greg, I think it’s very important for him to get back to his timing,” Gin Kings assistant coach Richard del Rosario said as he called the shots in lieu of coach Tim Cone, who’s in the US for a scouting trip.
“Hopefully, lalong masanay si Greg maglaro,” he added. “He’ll get better and the team will get better with him.”
Japeth Aguilar paced the Gin Kings with 18 points, while returning reinforcement Justin Brownlee added 13 markers.
The Gin Kings came to within six points late in the third quarter, but couldn’t trim the gap in the payoff period where they traded baskets with the Aces.
ALASKA 96 – Henton 23, Hontiveros 14, Magat 12, Banchero 10, Enciso 8, Exciminiano 7, Galliguez 6, Pascual 6, Thoss 4, Casio 3, Andrada 2, Baclao 1
GINEBRA 87 – Aguilar 18, Brownlee 13, Tenorio 9, Mercado 9, Thompson 9, Helterbrand 6, Taha 6, Marcelo 5, Slaughter 5, Cruz 3, Ellis 2, Mariano 2, Caguioa 0
Quarterscores: 22-10, 52-36, 73-65, 96-87