Ginebra is 5-1, but numbers that Cariaso likes are 58 and 26. Find out what they mean
Ginebra coach Jeffrey Cariaso is pleased to see that his players are learning to share the ball under the triangle offense he has put in place from last season. Jerome Ascano

BARANGAY Ginebra holds a 5-1 (win-loss) record and is coming off a 23-point victory over reigning grand slam champion Purefods Star and a 19-point shellacking of Barako Bull.

But the numbers coach Jeffrey Cariaso likes are 58 and 26.

Ginebra has averaged 58 rebounds in its last three games - all of them victories - and is averaging 26 assists a game in the season-opening PBA Philippine Cup, where it is currently tied with sister team San Miguel Beer behind unbeaten Alaska.

The 58 rebounds mean Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar and the rest in the league's tallest frontline are finally starting to impose their will on the opposition.

The 26-assist average - highlighted by a season-high 32 assists in the 94-75 win over Barako on Wednesday - means the Gin Kings are finally learning to share the ball under the triangle offense which Cariaso has put in place after he took over last conference.

“What I’m focused on (this season) is we want to make sure we get the rebounds and we have more assists. Because when you have more assists, that means you’re playing for each other. That’s what it’s all about,” said Cariaso.

With the team already halfway through the single-round eliminations, Cariaso said he isn’t looking far too ahead but is focusing on earning a Top 2 place entering the playoffs.

 “Everyone’s goal is to earn the Top 2 (berth),  but we’re taking the game as it comes,” he said.

On how good Ginebra has become will be known on Sunday when the league's most popular team takes on San Miguel Beer in a duel that once again pits Slaughter against longtime Cebu rival June Mar Fajardo.

As usual, Cariaso is bracing for a tough battle trying to stop the reigning MVP.

“We have a really big test this Sunday, a really confident team with June Mar in the middle, so it’s really gonna be huge for us trying to defend him (Fajardo),” said the 42-year-old Ginebra coach.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava