IT took a complete San Miguel Beer side to bring the best out of Barangay Ginebra as the Gin Kings overwhelmed the Beermen, 110-84, to clinch a quarterfinal berth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings pounced on a Beermen side that looked disjointed with the return of June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos, breaking away from the second quarter and never looking back en route to their sixth victory in 10 games.
Othyus Jeffers and Greg Slaughter showed the way, while Chris Ellis bounced back from a poor performance as the Gin Kings dealt the Beermen their worst loss of the season.
“We really caught San Miguel at the right time,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said. “With (their guys) coming back, they just couldn’t find their rhythm.”
Ginebra is set to make the playoffs for the 27th consecutive time, extending a league record.
SMB dropped to a 5-3 win-loss card, but is still in third spot and ahead of the Gin Kings in the standings owing to a superior winning percentage.
The Gin Kings saw themselves in a see-saw battle with the Beermen in the first quarter, before starting to pull away when SMB import Tyler Wilkerson went into foul trouble, going out with over four minutes left in the second canto after picking up a fourth foul.
By the time Wilkerson, who still led the Beermen with 20 points and 16 boards in 37 minutes, returned in the second half, the Gin Kings were already enjoying an insurmountable lead.
It was SMB’s second double-digit loss of the season after the squad suffered a 99-88 loss to Rain or Shine early in the Philippine Cup.
GIN 110 – Jeffers 22, Slaughter 18, Ellis 15, Aguilar 14, Tenorio 11, Mercado 10, Caguioa 9, Thompson 5, Marcelo 2, Mariano 2, Salva 2, Helterbrand 0
SMB 84 – Wilkerson 20, Fajardo 14, Lassiter 12, Cabagnot 11, Espinas 10, Ross 9, Santos 6, De Ocampo 2, Arana 0, Heruela 0, Lutz 0, Reyes 0, Semerad 0, Tubid 0
Quarterscores: 16-14, 52-36, 78-64, 110-84