MANILA, Philippines – No team has been more up-and-down in the 2014-2015 PBA Philippine Cup than Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, who’s capable of playing like champions on some days but also put up stinkers on other occasions.
Unfortunately for the GlobalPort Batang Pier, they got the better version of Ginebra in their playoff series.
With quality ball movement on offense and headstrong defense on the other end, Barangay Ginebra defeated GlobalPort, 95-78, in phase one of the Philippine Cup playoffs quarterfinal round on Friday, December 12, at the Ynares Center.
Japeth Aguilar was at his best on Friday, finishing with 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Greg Slaughter finished with a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Mark Caguioa finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
GlobalPort was led by star rookie and no. one overall pick Stanley Pringle, who had 26 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds in his first career playoff game. Second-year standout Terrence Romeo also played well, putting up 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Both guys have been heralded as the future of the Batang Pier franchise, and certainly owed to their billing on Friday.
“With a little more experience, they’re going to be a team to contend with. So much talent on that team… they’re maybe one big center away,” Ginebra head coach Jeffrey Cariaso said after the game.
GlobalPort was ahead 27-20 early in the second quarter before a 7-0 run by Ginebra, capped off by a 3-pointer from Joseph Yeo, tied the game at 27-all. Both teams then exchanged baskets, with a basket from the recently-acquired Sol Mercado, who finished with 9 points, tying the contest at 31-all.
It was all Ginebra from there.
Aguilar managed to get a steal and bring the ball down the court for a hammering two-handled slam that put Ginebra ahead 39-33 and got the team’s crowd up to their feet. With chants of “Ginebra” raining down at the arena, the team took control of the pace and momentum of the game to establish a double-digit lead.
A mid-range jumper and layup by Caguioa put his team up 44-33 late in the first half. Moments later, Mac Baracael hit a 3-ball just before the break to give his team a 14-point lead.
Ginebra scored the first seven points and wound up outscoring GlobalPort by two in the third quarter to take a 74-58 edge into the final period. To begin the fourth quarter, Cariaso’s guys went on a 7-0 spurt, increasing their lead to 81-58.
The Batang Pier were unable not mount a comeback and eventually finished their Philippine Cup campaign in blowout fashion.
In phase two of the quarters, Ginebra will take on the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, who beat Barako Bull Energy on Friday, for the right to face the San Miguel Beermen in a best-of-seven semifinals series.
“We’re gonna see a really, really good team come Tuesday, but I like the way my boys have been practicing,” Cariaso said. “I like the way the guys have just been focusing in this last week. Through the ups and downs of the conference, you know, it’s a roller-coasted ride pretty much. We’ve learned a lot so far.”
“We know we can’t bring less than our A-game,” he said about the game vs. TNT on Tuesday, December 16.
Ginebra shot 43% from the field and hit 40% of their attempts from downtown. They limited the Batang Pier to 38% FG shooting, including 26% from 3-point range. They also had more rebounds, 62-41, and more bench points, 37-22.
Ginebra (95): Aguilar 19, Caguioa 15, Baracael 12, Slaughter 11, Mamaril 9, Tenorio 9 Yeo 9, Reyes 6, Monfort 3, Ellis 2, Forrester 0, Helterbrand 0, Brondial 0
GlobalPort (78): Pringle 26, Romeo 21, Mercado 9, Buenafe 8, Isip 6, Babong 5, Baclao 3, Semerad 0, Pinto 0, Caperal 0, Taha 0, Jensen 0, De Ocampo 0
Quarter Scoring: 15-23, 49-35, 74-58, 95-78
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