BARANGAY Ginebra’s size proved too much for Barako Bull in the end as the Kings turned back the Energy Cola’s gutsy stand to post a thrilling 85-79 win and maintain its hold of second spot in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Energy managed to trim down an imposing 14-point second half deficit to just 72-73 behind the outside sniping of Mick Pennisi, Ronjay Buenafe, and Keith Jensen midway through the final period.
But coming off a timeout, the Kings drew big plays from former Barako Bull guard Eman Monfort, who scored on a three-point shot that touched off a 10-2 blitz and gave Ginebra the breathing room it needed.
Willie Miller and rookie Carlo Lastimosa scored five straight points during the dying seconds, but time just wasn’t on Barako Bull’s side as Ginebra chalked up its fifth win in six starts.
“Nanalo kami dahil we were able to control the tempo of the game and we won (the battle off) the boards,” noted Ginebra coach Ato Agustin after the game.
Agustin said the Kings appeared to have been rattled when the Energy switched to a zone defense during the early goings of the final period.
Then again, Ginebra’s 'Twin Towers' of Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter began asserting themselves inside.
The 6-foot-11 Slaughter finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds, eight on the offensive glass, giving Ginebra a 54-43 edge in rebounds.
The Kings didn’t shoot well in the game, but they were able to cover their shooting woes with defense as they enjoyed a 13-5 edge on turnover points.
Aguilar led the Kings with 16 points, five rebounds, and three shot blocks, while Mac Baracael added 15, spiked by three three-pointers.
Ginebra superstar Mark Caguioa went scoreless in eight minutes of play due to flu, though his backcourt mate LA Tenorio, who was confined in the hospital early this week, banged in 10 points, six rebounds, and nine assists on the day his wife gave birth to a baby boy.
The Energy dropped their fourth straight game after opening the season with back-to-back wins.
Ginebra (85) - Aguilar 16, Slaughter 15, Baracael 15, Tenorio 10, Ellis 8, Reyes 7, Monfort 7, Helterbrand 5, Urbiztondo 2, Ababou 0, Mamaril 0, Caguioa 0.
Barako Bull (79) - Miller 14, Pennisi 14, Isip 13, Jensen 8, Labagala 8, Lastimosa 6, Buenafe 5, Intal 5, Wilson 4, Pena 2, Maierhofer 0, Fortuna 0.
Quarterscores: 19-19; 41-32; 66-55; 85-79.