At the beginning of the contest, Ginebra struggled to get their rhythm going but at the same time found ways to hinder Globalport from getting past them as well. They kept the Batang Pier to just 14 points in the opening period and, although loosened up somewhat in the second, suffocated coach Pido Jarencio’s wards once again the third, 68-56.
Ginebra began pulling away midway in the third on a Mark Caguioa (15 points) basket that made it a 61-52 advantage.
Executing Cariaso’s plays to a T, Ginebra found themselves up by 18, 83-65, with 3:08 remaining following back-to-back hook shots by their import Zaccheus Mason, who finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds and 4 assists.
The Gin Kings never looked back, especially with Greg Slaughter doing damage with his 19 markers and 17 rebounds.
The nature of the triangle entails good big men and Ginebra utilized its bigs extensively in this game, allowing them to control the boards by a huge margin, 60-32, with 22 on the offensive glass. That massive advantage on rebounding yielded last conference’s 8th seed 22 second-chance points.
On defense they shackled the Batang Pier to just a 35.2% field goal shooting clip and also kept their ball movement in check with a 17-10 assist margin.
Even as import Leroy Hickerson dropped 16 of his 30 points in the second, Globalport couldn’t go very far with only Alex Cabagnot supporting Hickerson.
Cabagnot scored 21 points on 3 triples, and had 4 assists as well as 3 steals.
No other Globalport player scored more than 6 points. Even Jay Washington had only 6. They’re obviously feeling the absence of rookie Terrence Romeo, who was relegated to the injured list.
But even as Ginebra found some sense of identity with the new system in this game, there were still some bumps they had to endure.
Most glaring was their 22 turnovers that started out at 13 in the first half.
According to Cariaso, this is a result of tentativeness of his players as they grope around to master the triangle.
“It’s a part of it because they’re not used to making those passes,” Cariaso explained. “Because the triangle is so intricate, you really have to be firm with your passes and when there’s doubt, that’s when the turnovers happen. There is a progression you have to follow and sometimes when you don’t follow that progression, you can’t find the one to pass to.”
It’s only one game and there is plenty to clean up, but as Ginebra finds its new identity, Cariaso hopes the triangle finds success in this team – one that’s aching to get back its former glory.
“It’s a good first step,” Cariaso said, “but I know there’s a lot of hard work we need to do.”
GINEBRA 89 – Mason 21, Slaughter 19, Caguioa 15, Ellis 10, Aguilar 8, Baracael 7, Monfort 3, Reyes 2, Helterbrand 2, Mamaril 2, Knuttel 0, Tenorio 0, Urbiztondo 0.
GLOBALPORT 71 – Hickerson 30, Cabagnot 21, Washington 6, Macapagal 5, Salvador 4, Garcia 3, Menk 2, Matias 0, Taha 0, Ponferrada 0, Salva 0.
Quarter scores: 18-14, 41-39, 68-56, 89-71.
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