BARANGAY Ginebra's offense worked with clock-work precision as it methodically cut Talk ‘N Text down to size with a 104-81 victory to draw first blood in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five semifinals.
Import Vernon Macklin provided the energy from the get-go, scoring on adrenaline-pumping alley-oop dunks as the Gin Kings dominated from start to finish before a delirious sellout crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I guess we caught Talk ‘N Text in a tough night. They are a champion team but we’re pretty sure they’re gonna bounce back,” said Barangay Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua.
Game Two of the best-of-five series will be played on Sunday.
The hot-starting Gin Kings opened as much as a 28-point lead late in the second period before settling for a 59-36 lead at the half, but they never once eased up on the pedal from there.
“I told them at the dugout in the first half, ang daming beses na yan (lost a big lead) nangyari. I told the team we want to stay humble, work hard,” Chua said.
"So we beat a very strong team and a very organized team."
Macklin, who scored a personal-conference-low 12 points during the Gin Kings’ 86-100 elimination-round loss to the Tropang Texters, finished the game with 25 points on 11-of-18 field goal shooting. He added nine boards, a steal and a block.
Veteran forward Kerby Raymundo added 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists and one block to earn Best Player of the Game honors.
The Gin Kings torched the Tropang Texters with their 52.5 percent shooting from the field (42-of-80), making 10 three-point shots.
In contrast, Talk ‘N Text finished the game shooting just 35.4 percent from the field (29-of-82). The usually reliable Jimmy Alapag only scored three points on 1-of-7 shooting clip.
Import Jerome Jordan led the Tropang Texters with 21 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Ginebra 104 - Macklin 25, Raymundo 14, Ellis 13, Baracael 12, Urbiztondo 12, Tenorio 8, Helterbrand 8, Maierhofer 5, Labagala 2, Wilson 2, Hatfield 2, Taha 1, Espiritu 0.
Talk 'N Text 81 - Jordan 21, Castro 18, De Ocampo 12, Al-Hussaini 6, Reyes 6, Ferriols 5, Fonacier 4, Alapag 3, Raymundo 2, Aban 2, Carey 2, Dillinger 0.
Quarterscores: 33-15, 59-36, 81-56, 104-81