ROOKIE big man Greg Slaughter overwhelmed Globalport’s foul-plagued frontline with jump hooks, putbacks and easy layups to carry Barangay Ginebra to a 108-92 victory and the No. 1 seeding in the quarterfinals of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Slowed down by three fouls during the first half, the 6-11 top rookie pick of this year's draft took over in the second half and proved too much to handle for a short-handed Batang Pier side that simply couldn’t find any answer defensively.
The slotman out of Ateneo scattered 16 of his PBA career-high 23 points in the second half on top of 13 rebounds as he effectively covered for frontcourt partner Japeth Aguilar, who spent more time on the bench in the second half due to foul trouble.
Still, the 6-9 Aguilar still finished with a flourish to end the game with 21 points.
“Now, I can say we’re No. 1 no matter ano mangyari sa Sunday,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin after his team hiked its record to a league-best 11-2 win-loss card with one game left to play on Sunday against defending champion Talk ‘N Text.
“Sa game na ito, we were ready. We were able to push the ball and maganda ang transition namin saka rebounding namin,” he added.
Ginebra’s win denied Globalport an outright entry into the quarterfinals. The Batang Pier, who dropped to 5-9, will now have to wait for the result of the Sunday match between Barako Bull and Alaska to know their fate in the playoffs.
The 6’9” Aguilar scored on a twisting layup and a wide-open jumper late in the game to put the finishing touches to the win for Ginebra, which earlier saw its 17-point lead go down to five points early in the final period.
Globalport drew 20 points from Sol Mercado while veteran big man and former Gin King Eric Menk fired his second straight double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds while logging 27 minutes in place of the injured Jay Washington (partial tear on his plantar fascia).
Sophomore forward Jewel Ponferrada added 16 and eight boards for the Batang Pier in a game slowed down by too many fouls, with Globalport getting whistled for 36 and Ginebra 28.
GINEBRA 108 - Slaughter 23, Aguilar 21, Baracael 18, Ellis 11, Caguioa 11, Tenorio 10, Reyes 8, Helterbrand 2, Monfort 2, Mamaril 2, Ababou 0, Urbiztondo 0.
GLOBALPORT 92 - Mercado 20, Menk 17, Ponferrada 16, Romeo 13, Garcia 9, Nabong 7, Hayes 6, Chua 2, Salva 2, Belencion 0, Najorda 0, Salvador 0.
Quarters: 28-20, 58-49, 80-73, 108-92