MANILA, Philippines – A strong start, good rhythm, and near triple-doubles were the highlights of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel's good night as they cruised past the Mahindra Enforcers, 104-86, in the 2016 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Wednesday, March 2 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Import Othyus Jeffers flirted with a triple-double with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists for the Gin Kings, who are now riding a 3-game win streak after a 0-2 start to the conference.
From toiling at the bottom of the standings, Ginebra zoomed to second place.
"(There were) a couple stretches where we made some mistakes defensively but most of the time we were good more than we were bad tonight," said head coach Tim Cone, whose team shot 51% from the field. "And offensively we got everything going."
Guard LA Tenorio, whose heroics 3 days ago earned his team a big win against rival Star, maintained his impressive play as he injected energy and set the tone from start to finish to produce 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists.
"LA played a great game tonight. Really had our offense under control," Cone noted.
"Everyone really contributed. Nothing spectacular, just real workmanlike approach to the game. That's what we're trying to develop."
Japeth Aguilar contributed 14 markers, 11 boards, 4 dimes, and two blocks, while Greg Slaughter had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Joe Devance added 12 points as well.
"At least we got 3 under our belt, we'll see if we can continue our momentum that we've created now," Cone said.
Niño Canaleta topscored for the now 3-2 Mahindra with 22 points, making 5 of his 10 attempts from long range. Import Augustus Gilchrist had 18 markers and 13 boards, while LA Revilla chipped in 11 points and 3 assists.
The Gin Kings opened the contest with an 11-0 lead and never looked back. They led by as much as 21 and only very briefly allowed the Enforcers to come to within single digits, 55-48, midway in the third period before regaining full control once more.
The game turned bloody early on as Aguilar accidently hit Mark Caguioa and Slaughter with his left elbow in separate plays during the opening quarter.
Caguioa received a cut on his right eyebrow while Slaughter busted open his right cheekbone. Both players were taped and returned to the game.
Mahindra guard Revilla also got injured with an eye poke. He got a brief check-up in the dugout before returning to the game as well in the second frame.
Ginebra (104): Jeffers 24, Tenorio 15, Aguilar 14, Devance 12, Slaughter 12, Mercado 7, Ellis 6, Thompson 5, Caguioa 3, Cruz 2, Marcelo 2, Salva 2, Helterbrand 0.
Mahindra (86): Canaleta 22, Gilchrist 18, Revilla 11, Ramos 8, Yee 8, Bagatsing 5, Dehesa 5, Pascual 4, Hubalde 3, Guinto 2, Digregorio 0, Jaime 0, Pinto 0, Webb 0.
Quarter scores: 22-13, 46-29, 72-62, 104-86.