BARANGAY Ginebra remains on a slump. Good thing, this is just the preseason.
Barako Bull added to the Kings’ woes after scoring a 79-75 win on Friday night at the Hinundayan gym in Hinundayan, a town four hours away from Tacloban, Leyte.
The loss came a day after the PBA’s most popular ballclub was ambushed by Mindanao-based team Goldstar Davao, 90-87, in the opener of the Visayas pocket tournament featuring teams from Leyte and Cebu.
The Energy endured an early assault by the Kings, who led by as much as 10 points in the first quarter.
But once RR Garcia and JC Intal took over, Barako Bull began to dominate.
“Lumamang sila nung una. Pero nung nakapa na namin 'yung offense namin, tinuloy tuloy na namin,” said Garcia.
“Lagi kasi sinasabi ni coach Siot (Tanquincen) na wala siyang ibang aasahan kung di kaming lahat. Wala daw star sa team namin kaya dapat tulong tulong kami,” he added.
Gregory Slaughter paced the Kings with 21 points, but the Energy proved to be too much for Ginebra as sophomore Nico Salva and veterans Mick Pennisi and Willie Wilson later joined the scoring fray for Barako Bull.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Mac Baracael and Josh Urbiztondo trimmed the Energy’s 10-point lead to just four in the final two minutes, but Garcia, Salva, and Pennisi were quick to repel the Ginebra rally
It was the second straight win for the Energy, while the Kings remain winless in two starts.
Ginebra coach Jeffrey Cariaso however, doesn’t see his team being in a slump after two straight losses, saying he is happy to see how his players work hard to prepare for the coming 40th season of the league.
“Preparation is going well. Guys are working hard everyday and very excited about this All Fillipino,” Cariaso told Spin.ph while having lunch with the team in Leyte.
Ginebra’s preseason record now includes losses to the South Korea Sakers, expansion team Kia Sorrento, a team from Kuwait, Goldstar Davao, and Barako Bull.
The Kings’ single win so far came at the expense of the Globalport Batang Pier.
Cariaso hopes the Kings show a different angst when the new season starts on October 19, where they play a souped-up Talk n Text side in the main game of opener at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
“This trip to Leyte and Cebu will improve chemistry and the bonding will definitely improve us,” added the Ginebra coach just a few hours before the Kings fly to Cebu where they will meet Meralco in their final game on Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, Goldstar Davao also kept its unbeaten run in the pocket tournament by dealing fellow provincial based squad Team Gullas SamSam a 86-75 defeat.
Action transfer to Cebu Saturday night as Barako Bull faces Meralco at 9 p.m., while Goldstar and Samsam play each other in the curtain raiser at 7 p.m. at the Minglanilla gym.
“Sana po manalo kami mamaya, para maging virtual championship game kami ng Barako bukas,” said Goldstar coach Ice Gravador.
“Barako po kasi parang virtual finalist na. Tinalo nila ang Ginebra at Samsam,” he added.
Barako Bull - Intal 11, Garcia 11, Salva 10, Pennisi 10, Wilson 8, Fortuna 8, Miranda 5, Lastimosa 4, Salvador 4, Najorda 2, Pascual 4, Paredes 2
Ginebra - Slaughter 21, Urbiztondo 12, Ellis 10, Helterbrand 6, Yeo 6, Mamaril 5, Caguioa 4, Forrester 4, Reyes 5, Baracael 3