BOCAUE, Bulacan—Barangay Ginebra chalked up the first win of the new PBA season after beating TNT, 90-79, on Sunday in the Philippine Cup opener at the Philippine Arena.
Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter set the tone for the Gin Kings on their way to the win in front of 23,711 spectators during the season opener.
Ginebra went on a 6-0 start and never looked back as TNT dropped its first game in the post-Terrence Romeo era after the guard was traded to San Miguel in the offseason.
The Gin Kings’ lead was cut to two points, 59-57, but they scored four straight points to finish the third quarter. Ginebra increased its lead after opening the fourth with an 18-9 run to grab an 81-66 lead.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone acknowledged how difficult it was playing on opening day.
“Opening game is always tough because it is a long day,” said Cone. “Your guys are standing around a lot and it’s hard. You can always start lethargic and we are not in great shape as we are. We’ve got real good talent, we know what we want to do, but sometimes we get tired.”
Aguilar had 21 points, while Slaughter added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Kings, who led by as many as 18 points in the contest.
RR Pogoy had 21 points and 16 rebounds, as Jayson Castro had 17 points and 10 assists in a losing cause for the KaTropa. Brian Heruela had 14 points in his TNT debut after being one of the players involved in the Romeo trade.
GINEBRA 90 – J. Aguilar 21, Slaughter 15, Mercado 11, Thompson 9, Ferrer 9, Mariano 6, Tenorio 5, Devance 5, Teodoro 4, Cruz 3, Caperal 2, R. Aguilar 0.
TNT 79 – Pogoy 21, Castro 17, Trollano 15, Heruela 14, Reyes 6, Cruz 4, Williams 2, D. Semerad 0, Golla 0, Miranda 0, Carey 0.
Quarters: 28-15; 49-42; 63-57; 90-79.