Caguioa shines as Ginebra repels Blackwater's comeback
MANILA, Philippines – Mark Caguioa flipped the switch for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the fourth to halt the Blackwater Elite's comeback attempt and keep them winless with a 100-91 victory Tuesday, November 4 in the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Caguioa was Ginebra's answer to Blackwater's problematic zone defense, opening the fourth period with 6 straight points, a defensive stop as well as engineering a play resulting to a Jayjay Helterbrand triple that turned a close 75-68 lead to a more comfortable 86-73 separation.
The veteran guard kept the Elite in check despite their late game fightback and fittingly wrapped up the contest with a breakaway lay-up, 98-86, with 52 seconds remaining on his way to 18 points and 4 rebounds.
"Mark was awesome tonight. When we needed someone to score out there, Mark was Mark," Ginebra head coach Jeff Cariaso said.
"That's why Mark is so vital to what we're doing. He's so crucial."
Mac Baracael topscored for Ginebra with 19 points on 3-of-7 three-pointers to go with 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Gin Kings led by as much as 17, 57-40, late in the second period but the Elite followed NLEX's lead and pulled out the zone to disrupt Ginebra's triangle offense.
It worked for a while as Blackwater sliced the deficit to 69-63 on a Bryan Faundo bank shot at the 2:18 mark of the third and eventually ending that quarter down by just 7, 75-68.
Caguioa then wrested control in the payoff period as Ginebra hiked its record to 3-1.
"A lot of people play the zone when they know you're a triangle team. That's one of the ways they feel they can stop our triangle," Cariaso said of the zone that was NLEX's weapon in dealing Ginebra its only loss so far.
"Obviously we had to prepare. And we executed a lot better tonight than we did the last game. Hopefully we'll continue to improve because we know teams are gonna use that against us."
Paul Artadi hit a game-high 21 points on 5-of-9 makes from beyond the arc for Blackwater, which suffered its fourth straight defeat in its PBA debut.
Riego Gamalinda did not give up until the end - draining a triple that made it just a 10-point game, 96-86, with a little over two minutes left - and wound up with 15 points.
Alex Nuyles had a quiet offensive night with just 4 points on two-of-5 shooting.
Blackwater continues its search for their first PBA win against Globalport on Sunday, November 9 while Ginebra sets a 'Manila Clasico' date with Purefoods on the same day.
GINEBRA (100): Baracael 19, Caguioa 18, Slaughter 10, Tenorio 8, Aguilar 8, Forrester 6, Mamaril 6, Yeo 6, Reyes 6, Helterbrand 5, Urbiztondo 3, Ellis 3, Brondial 2, Monfort 0.
BLACKWATER (91): Artadi 21, Gamalinda 15, Erram 11, Faundo 10, Menor 7, Rodriguez 6, Cawaling 6, Timberlake 4, Nuyles 4, Laure 4, Ballesteros 3, Salvacion 0, Austria 0, Tiongson 0.
Quarter scores: 33-20, 59-43, 75-68, 100-91.
Here are some images of the game taken by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images