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    Art dela Cruz provides sparks as Ginebra rips Magnolia to reach cusp of semis

    Apr 6, 2019
    PHOTO: marlo cueto

    BARANGAY Ginebra displayed a dominating performance in beating Magnolia, 86-75, on Saturday in Game One of their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal series at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    The Kings went on a 16-0 second-quarter run that turned a slim 21-20 lead into a 37-20 gap. It was all Ginebra from there after leading by as many as 21 points.

    Greg Slaughter had 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Art Dela Cruz led that second quarter pullaway and ended up finishing with 14 points for the Kings.

    Following the victory, Ginebra will now look to close the series on Monday in Game Two at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    Ginebra coach Tim Cone stressed the victory didn’t show how the Kings still had to earn it until the final buzzer.

    “That team just doesn’t go away. We played some really excellent basketball out there especially on defense. We defended very well. But that team doesn’t go away. I was nervous till the last 40 seconds when we finally felt that we won it,” said Cone.

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    Cone though said the lopsided victory only meant that the Kings have a 1-0 lead in the series as he expects the Hotshots to come back.

    “But we really didn’t do anything. It was I guess put ourselves in the same situation as Rain or Shine and Phoenix,” said Cone.

    Magnolia just shot 30 percent from the field before finally got its bearings in the fourth when its comeback bid fell short.

    Paul Lee had a team-high 15 points for the Hotshots but only converted one of his six three-point attempts.

    The scores:

    Ginebra 86—Slaughter 15, Dela Cruz 14, Thompson 12, J. Aguilar 12, Tenorio 10, Ferrer 8, Chan 6, Mariano 4, Mercado 3, Caperal 2, Cruz 0.

    Magnolia 75—Lee 15, Sangalang 14, Brondial 11, Melton 10, Ramos 10, Dela Rosa 6, Jalalon 4, Barroca 3, Reavis 2, Herndon 0, Abundo 0, Pascual 0.

    Quarters: 17-18; 44-27; 62-47; 86-75.

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    PHOTO: marlo cueto
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