BARANGAY Ginebra’s struggling starting backcourt responded to the challenge, leading the Gin Kings to an 85-70 victory over GlobalPort on Wednesday as they sustained their surge in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Mark Caguioa and LA Tenorio flashed their vintage forms on offense, but more importantly came up with stellar defensive jobs on the Batang Pier’s dynamic duo of Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle as the Gin Kings stretched their winning streak to three games.
Romeo was held to just 10 points on 2-of-10 shooting, while Pringle mustered only 13 markers on 16 attempts for the Batang Pier, who absorbed a second straight setback to fall to an even 3-3 win-loss card.
“Our backcourt guys took the challenge and really defended well,” coach Tim Cone said after Ginebra's fourth win in seven games overall. “I thought LA did a tremendous job on Pringle and I think Mark surprised everybody with his defense on Terrence.”
GlobalPort shot a dismal 31 percent (25-of-81) from the field as a unit.
Caguioa finished with a team-high-tying 22 points, five steals, four boards, and two assists in 35 minutes, while Tenorio added 18, six assists, and four boards in 40 minutes as the veteran tandem’s performance overshadowed another dominant showing from Greg Slaughter.
The early Best Player of the Conference race frontrunner registered a monster double-double of 22 points and 21 boards, along with three assists, and one block as the 7-foot slotman towered over his undersized Batang Pier rivals.
Jay Washington led the Batang Pier with 18 points, nine boards, three blocks, two steals, and two assists that went for naught.
The Gin Kings squandered an early lead and trailed by as many as eight points, 48-40, early in the third quarter, before Caguioa lived up to his “Spark” moniker, conspiring with Tenorio to spearhead the turnaround.
Ginebra 85 - Caguioa 22, Slaughter 22, Tenorio 18, Aguilar 8, Cruz 4, Devance 4, Ellis 4, Thompson 2, Helterbrand 1, Mercado 0, Salva 0.
GlobalPort 70 - Washington 18, Pringle 13, Romeo 10, Yeo 8, Mamaril 5, Jensen 4, Kramer 4, Maierhofer 4, Paniamogan 2, Sumang 2, Pena 0, Semerad 0.
Quarterscores: 23-13, 36-41, 59-55, 85-70