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PBA: Ginebra posts easy win

Jeff Chan, Paul Artadi, Ogie Menor

Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3 p.m. – Barako Bull vs Globalport
5:15 p.m. – San Miguel vs Purefoods Star

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel earned its second straight blowout win, demolishing expansion team Kia, 87-55, last night to get the early lead in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.

With the preseason defeat in mind that came about two months back, the Kings relied on their frontline with 7-foot sophomore center Greg Slaughter leading the attack with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Ginebra’s other frontline players, Japeth Aguilar and Billy Mamaril, as well as guards LA Tenorio, Mark Caguioa and Joseph Yeo also had solid games in the first road game of the PBA this season dubbed ‘Petron Saturday Special’.

The victory not only avenged a 73-71 setback to Kia but it propelled the popular team on top with a 2-0 win-loss record after winning its opening game last Sunday at the packed Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

In front of a record-crowd of 52,612, the Kings started their bid to win a title this season with a huge 101-81 triumph over Talk ‘N Text.

Kia, nicknamed the Sorentos, also opened their maiden season in Asia’s first pro league with an exciting come-from-behind 80-66 win against fellow expansion Blackwater Elite that gave player/coach Manny Pacquiao his first victory in the PBA.

As expected, the 35-year-old Pacquiao wasn’t around against Ginebra as he is currently training for his WBO welterweight title defense with American challenger Chris Algieri on Nov. 23 in Macau.

That was probably a good thing for Pacquiao – the only boxer to capture titles in eight divisions – as Ginebra dominated Kia with a big second quarter run built on a 24-2 blast.

That turned a 20-19 Kia lead to a 43-22 advantage at the break.

Ginebra didn’t look back from there as it led by as many as 33 points on a layup converted by veteran center Jayr Reyes, 75-42, with 10 minutes left in the fourth period.

Meanwhile, reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo, who starred in San Miguel Beer’s 87-79 victory over Rain or Shine the last time, will lead the Beermen in a bid to nail their second straight win against Grand Slam champion Purefoods Star (formerly San Mig Super Coffee) at 5:15 pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-10 Fajardo weraked havoc against the Elasto Painters, scoring 10 of his 16 points in the fourth frame.