GREG Slaughter threw his weight around in a pivotal third-quarter blitz as Barangay Ginebra rolled past GlobalPort, 89-71, on Tuesday night, giving Jeffrey Cariaso a rousing coaching debut in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-11 Ginebra freshman center unloaded 12 of his 19 points in a decisive stretch in the third quarter that saw the Gin Kings outscore the shorter Batang Pier, 27-17, on the way to opening a 68-56 lead.
With Slaughter and youthful import Zaccheus Mason controlling the boards, the Gin Kings kept the Batang Pier at bay the rest of the way in an encouraging start to Cariaso's reign as coach and the triangle offense he has put in place in the league's most popular team.
“What impresses me so far is that it’s only been three weeks. And it’s just that the guys are wiling to run the triangle (offense) because it’s not easy to run, not easy to stay with it,” said Cariaso after chalking up his first win as a PBA coach.
Cariaso said Ginebra’s 21 turnovers were somewhat expected, considering that everyone is still adjusting to the complicated offensive system he learned from San Mig coach Tim Cone since their days together at Alaska.
“It’s (turnovers) a part of it (learning the triangle) because they are not used to making those passes. Because the triangle is so intricate, you really have to be firm with your passes,” he added.
Mason led the Gin Kings with 21 points and 15 rebounds in a solid PBA debut, while Slaughter added 17 boards and two blocks.
The Gin Kings’ sheer size completely overwhelmed the Batang Pier as they enjoyed a 60-32 rebounding advantage.
Mark Caguioa chipped in 15 and five assists, while Chris Ellis had 10 in a balanced scoring attack for Ginebra.
Leroy Hickerson led the Batang Pier with 30 points and eight rebounds while Alex Cabagnot added 21.
Ginebra 89 - Mason 21, Slaughter 19, Caguioa 15, Ellis 10, Aguilar 8, Baracael 7, Monfort 3, Reyes 2, Helterbrand 2, Mamaril 2, Knuttel 0, Tenorio 0, Urbiztondo 0.
GlobalPort 71 - Hickerson 30, Cabagnot 21, Washington 6, Macapagal 5, Salvador 4, Garcia 3, Menk 2, Matias 0, Taha 0, Ponferrada 0, Salva 0.
Quarterscores: 18-14, 41-39, 68-56, 89-71