Inspired Ginebra sends defending champ Purefoods reeling to a third straight loss
Ginebra import Michael Dunigan scores on an emphatic two-handed slamdunk against Purefoods. Jerome Ascano

BARANGAY Ginebra outlasted a shorthanded but pesky Purefoods side, 96-87, before a sizeable crowd at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum to get back on the winning track in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Michael Dunigan and Greg Slaughter asserted their might in the paint, while LA Teneorio orchestrated the offense with aplomb for the Gin Kings, who also drew solid contributions from Eman Monfrot and Japeth Aguilar.

The rousing wing allowed the Kings to recover from a 104-103 defeat at the hands of Talk ‘N Text the last time to improve to an even 3-3 win-loss card.

The defending champion Hotshots, without injured star James Yap, climbed out of a deep hole with a late comeback that just fell short as they dropped a rare third straight game after starting the conference with four straight wins.

 “We didn’t panic,” Kings coach Ato Agustin said. “They were able to make their run, but we were able to make our run.”

The result also spoiled the return of Purefoods import Denzel Bowles, who exploded for 31 points, but collared just six rebounds and committed seven turnovers.

His Ginebra counterpart was steadier as Dunigan registered 22 points, nine boards, two assists, and one steal. The 6-foot-9 American slotman pumped in 12 of his scoring output in the fourth quarter, where the Kings weathered the Hotshots’ late storm.

The Gin Kings were in cruise control as they enjoyed a 68-52 advantage late in the third quarter, before the Hotshots staged a fightback that saw them erase the double-digit deficit and knot the count at 78 halfway through the payoff period capped by back-to-back triples by Joe Devance.

Ginebra, though, held strong and retaliated with six unanswered points as Purefoods never came closer than five points from there.

 

The scores:

GINEBRA 96 – Dunigan 22, Slaughter 19, Tenorio 16, Aguilar 10, Baracael 10, Monfort 9, Caguioa 7, Yeo 3, Ababou 0

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

PUREFOODS 87 – Bowles 31, Simon 14, Barroca 14, Devance 14, Mallari 6, Pingris 6, Taha 2, Melton 0, Reavis 0, Pennisi 0

Quarterscores: 20-16, 45-38, 70-56, 96-87

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos