MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Consistency was what coach Ato Agustin wanted, and that’s exactly what he got from his wards.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel struck back hard on Friday, January 31 and showed consistency the entire ballgame, even leaning on a sterling second quarter showing – the very quarter that killed them in Game 1 – to pull away from rivals San Mig Super Coffee Mixers and notch a dominant 93-64 win to even out their best-of-7 semifinal series 1-1 in the PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ginebra veteran Jayjay Helterbrand took charge in the second quarter assault and got enough strength from his legs to notch a total of 11 points – 7 of which he hit in the pivotal second period when Ginebra picked up steam to keep them fueled during the second half.
Together with a much feistier Ginebra backcourt in the second period, Ginebra built a 16-point halftime lead, 48-32, the biggest lead of the ballgame at that point.
But it wasn’t the end of Ginebra’s tirade. In the next 24 minutes, they no longer allowed their game to dip and continued to out-hustle the Mixers in getting the ball. Ginebra beat them in speed in driving to the hoop, and also showcased lightning quick reflexes when spotting even the tiniest of openings in the lane.
For all 4 quarters, Ginebra never scored below 21 points. They scored 24 points each in the first, second and fourth quarters.
The biggest lead of the game was the final score of 93-64 at 29 points.
“Maganda yung defense namin. Maganda yung start namin,” remarked Ginebra head coach Agustin. “We were able to limit their offense to 60+.” (Our defense was good. We had a good start.)
Before the game, he said he implored his team to show more aggressiveness.
“Isa lang sinabi ko sa kanila: kailangan natin maging aggressive. Kasi lahat ng game plans and adjustments natin magagawa lang natin pag aggressive tayo and may hustle.” (I told them one thing: we need to be aggressive. All our game plans and adjustments can only be done if we’re aggressive and we hustle.)
The hustle and aggressiveness produced 55 rebounds with 19 on the offensive glass, while San Mig Coffee had only 32 rebounds.
Unlike the first game, the Mixers were unable to contain rookie slotman Greg Slaughter, who showed more ferocity in rebounding. He also got more creative and determined in getting by and squeezing through defenders to reach the hole. He ended up with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Billy Mamaril and JayR Reyes provided quality minutes for Ginebra in the fourth, hitting outside shots and grabbing boards. They finished with 10 and 8 points, respectively.
For the Mixers, PJ Simon and Marc Pingris scored 16 and 15 points, respectively, in a losing effort.
Game 3 will be played on Sunday, February 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Barangay Ginebra 93: Slaughter 21, Helterbrand 11, Tenorio 10, Mamaril 10, Reyes 8, Caguioa 8, Aguilar 7, Monfort 5, Ellis 4, Faundo 4, Baracael 3, Forrester 2, Ababou 0.
San Mig Coffee 64: Simon 16, Pingris 15, Yao 14, Barroca 7, De Ocampo 3, Acuña 3, Mallari 3, Devance 2, Cawaling 1, Gaco 0, Sangalang 0, Holstein 0, Reavis 0, Melton 0.
Quarter scores: 24-19, 48-32, 69-53, 93-64.