BARANGAY Ginebra vented its wrath on an off-form Barako Bull side, 93-72, to finally end a barren run in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Unlike in their first four games where the Gin Kings’ lacked intensity, the boys of coach Alfrancis Chua went all out against the Energy Cola, attacking the basket ferociously and clamping down on defense.
So effective was the Gin Kings' defense that they held the Energy Cola to an abysmal 25.6 percent shooting in the first half (10-of-39) to take a 39-26 haltime lead that only swelled in the second half.
There was no let-up from there as Barangay Ginebra kept piling the points to erect an insurmountable 84-56 lead going into the final five-minute mark on the way to its first win under Chua, who took over from Siot Tanquingcen at the turn of the year.
“I told the players since we lost against Alaska, I never, even once, got mad at them. I just told them, I trust in you, I hope you trust yourself,” sad Chua after his team improved to 1-4.
The Kings' last victory happened in Game Two of the PBA Philippine Cup against Rain or Shine, 79-77, on December 14, 2012. But Barangay Ginebra went on to lose the best-of-three series, 1-2.
It was also the first victory of Chua as coach since his final head-coaching stint with Sta. Lucia Realty in 2007.
Reigning MVP Mark Caguioa led the Gin Kings with 23 points, four rebounds, two assists and four steals to earn best player of the game honors.
Import Vernon Macklin, playing only his second game in the PBA, added 21 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.
Evan Brock and Josh Urbiztondo had 16 points apiece for Barako Bull, which absorbed its second loss in five games as the team ended the game shooting just 33.8 percent overall (25-of-74).
Barangay Ginebra 93 - Caguioa 23, Macklin 21, Baracael 14, Tenorio 10, Ellis 9, Raymundo 4, Taha 3, Labagala 2, Espiritu 2, Mamaril 2, Helterbrand 2, Maierhofer 1, Hatfield 0
Barako Bull 72 - Brock 16, Urbiztondo 16, Maliksi 10, Pennisi 8, Seigle 6, Kramer 4, Allado 4, Intal 3, Macapagal 3, Duncil 2, Villanueva 0, Anthony 0
Quarterscores: 21-11, 39-26, 66-46, 93-72