RAIN or Shine towered over a Barangay Ginebra side that would’ve had the height advantage if it were healthy as the E-Painters toppled the Gin Kings, 108-89, to claim a piece of the lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Pouncing on a shorthanded Gin Kings side missing Greg Slaughter as well as Jervy Cruz and Paolo Taha, the E-Painters zoomed to an early lead and hardly let up to roll to their second straight victory.
Raymond Almazan stood tallest with 20 points, eight boards, and two blocks, while Ed Daquiaog led the bench mob as the E-Painters spoiled the Gin Kings’ conference debut.
ROS’ burly import Reggie Johnson continued to throw his weight around as he outplayed Gin Kings counterpart Charles Garcia, who’s still adjusting to the weather.
“The only advantage we had was their import was sick before the game,” ROS coach Caloy Garcia said. “But we still have to work things especially on defensive side. It’s just the first game of Ginebra so you never know.”
Good thing, the E-Painters caught the Gin Kings in a somewhat disjointed showing with Garcia still adjusting to his new team after being a last-minute replacement for Shane Edwards.
Almazan set the tone and put on the finishing touches for the blowout, scoring seven points each in the first and fourth quarters, while Daquioag spelled the biggest difference with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, two boards, and one block in less than 25 minutes.
Johnson contributed 16 points, 15 boards, three assists, and three blocks in 36 minutes, while James Yap flashed his vintage form in spurts with 13 points, built around three triples, and two steals in 20 minutes.
Playmakers Maverk Ahanmisi and Chris Tiu were the other two ROS players who scored in twin digits, with Tiu knocking down the dagger triple that gave the E-Painters their biggest lead at 103-82 with three minutes and 33 seconds left.
Japeth Aguilar led the Gin Kings with 28 points and 12 rebounds, while Garcia put up 19 points, eight assists, six rebounds, and two steals in over 38 minutes in a losing effort.
ROS 108 — Almazan 20, Daquioag 17, Johnson 16, Yap 13, Ahanmisi 10, Tiu 10, Belga 7, Norwood 5, Onwubere 3, Washington 3, Casiño 2, Ponferada 2, Borboran 0, Matias 0, Torres 0.
GINEBRA 89 — J. Aguilar 28, Garcia 19, Tenorio 13, Devance 11, Mercado 7, Ferrer 3, Thompson 3, Caguioa 2, Mariano 2, Caperal 1, R. Aguilar 0
Quarterscores: 27-16, 49-34, 75-64, 108-89