Games Tomorrow (Smart Araneta)
5:45 p.m. – Air21 vs Meralco
8 p.m. – Petron vs. San Mig Coffee
The towering Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings may be sending opposing ballclubs to their destruction by forcing them to play way beyond their limitations.
Breakway victories over San Mig Coffee in the opener and Rain or Shine last Sunday may be proof of that.
With Mark Caguioa pouring 22 points and its Twin Tower frontline of 6-foot-10 Japeth Aguilar and 6-foot-11 Greg Slaughter combining for 27 points and 23 rebounds, turned back Rain or Shine, 97-84, in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Kings joined Barako Bull and Petron Blaze on top of the standings with a 2-0 slate.
Despite a decidedly smaller lineup, the Elasto Painters (2-1) stayed within 64-62 in the second half as Jeff Chan had 9 of his 14 points in the third and Ryan Arana 11 of his 21 in the fourth.
But Rain or Shine couldn’t overcome its 37 percent shooting, 21 missed 3-pointers, and 14 more free throws going Ginebra’s way.
A 12-2 run in the last quarter, capped by a thunderous breakaway slam dunk by Aguilar, put the outcome beyond recall, 84-66, with 6:10 remaining.
“Nadala namin hanggang sa huli yung energy at hustle sa umpisa,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin.
LA Tenorio, who played 36 minutes along with Aguilar and Slaughter because Rain or Shine won’t quit, added 10 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 5 steals.
“We have to keep pushing each other para di bumaba ang intensity level,” said Caguioa, who played 35 minutes and had 5 rebounds and 3 assists. “Nagre-relax pag malaki ang lamang e.”
The game was physically intense, with 26 fouls called on Rain or Shine and 20 on Ginebra.
Late in the third, E-Painters center Beau Belga and Kings forward JayR Reyes had to be separated following an airborne collision. A foul was called on Belga and a technical on Reyes, a recent addition to the Ginebra lineup.
Rain or Shine’s Larry Rodriguez was next slapped a Flagrant 1 foul two minutes into the fourth quarter after hitting Ginebra rookie James Forrester in the neck on a screen-off play, forcing Rodriguez to the bench for a 3-minute penalty.
With Slaughter and Aguilar swatting at anything that comes their way (5 blocked shots), the E-Painters were forced to make a living beyond the arc after losing their way through 30 of 52 attempts from within.
But their 9 of 30 three-point shooting doomed them as well.
The Mixers, who lost, 86-69, were on the same boat, missing 15 of 17 three-pointers, getting eased out of free throw attempts, 33-16, and giving up 12 more turnover points.