IMPORT Josh Boone gave San Miguel Beer reasons to rethink plans to replace him with a standout performance in the Beermen's 112-96 win over a lackluster Barangay Ginebra side on Sunday night in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The veteran Boone, a legit NBA veteran who is coming off a long injury layoff, had 32 points on 13-of-19 shooting and 21 rebounds in what was supposed to be his farewell game after his supposed replacement, Kevin Jones, arrived on Saturday morning.
But those plans are bound to be reconsidered as he led San Miguel side to a second successive win and a share of the early lead with Talk 'N Text on a night when the Beermen hardly missed the services of injured big man June Mar Fajardo.
San Miguel’s active consultant Todd Purves praised the 6-9 Boone for his professionalism in the faceof news that he’ll be replaced by Jones, who recently played for the Canton Charge in the NBA D-League. Jones arrived on Saturday and was already given a workout by the Beermen's coaching staff.
“Regardless of the direction management determines, I can’t say enough good things about Josh Boone and his level of professionalism and the effort he gave, knowing he’s in an adverse situation,” said Purves.
Ironically, it is now Ginebra which should found itself having to confront questions about its import after the Gin Kings fell to 1-1 with Leon Rodgers, who hardly looked like the player who can lead the team to a first championship in six years.
The Gin Kings looked disjointed both on offense and defense as they repeatedly gave up easy points to Boone inside the paint and fastbreak baskets to the rest of the Beermen on turnovers.
“Sa nakikita namin we’re on the right track. We want to build on the momentum, we want to develop mental toughness,” said Ravanes. “Now we see to it na tatapusin namin the whole of fourth quarter.”
Reigning MVP Arwind Santos also came out with a superlative game, scoring 18 points while putting a solid defensive effort on Rodgers, who scored 31 points but took him 27 attempts to get there.
But it was not only Rodgers but the whole Ginebra team is to blame for a sloppy, below-par effort that saw them give up 24 points on fastbreaks, 25 points off turnovers, and 22 on second-chance points.
The Gin Kings rallied to within 72-80 early in the fourth period, but after a timeout, the Beermen uncorked a 13-2 exchange, which practically sealed the outcome of the match.
San Miguel Beer 112 - Boone 32, Santos 18, Lassiter 15, Mercado 14, Hubalde 9, Ross 7, Kramer 5, Maierhofer 4, Lutz 4, Tubid 3, Duncil 1, Marata 0, Taha 0.
Ginebra 96 - Rodgers 33, Caguioa 15, Slaughter 13, Ellis 10, Tenorio 8, Helterbrand 5, Aguilar 4, Baracael 2, Reyes 2, Urbiztondo 2, Mamaril 2, Ababou 0.
Quarterscores: 37-23, 58-44, 78-68, 112-96