Brgy. Ginebra stepped on the gas in the second period and thwarted off any Magnolia uprising to take Game 1 of their best-of-three series, 86-75, Saturday night at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
The Gin Kings detonated a 16-0 bomb in the second quarter which turned a slim 21-20 lead into a 37-20 bubble. It was all that Brgy. Ginebra needed to put the game away as they even established several 21-point leads in the course of the victory.
Greg Slaughter finished with a double double of 15 points and 12 rebounds while Art dela Cruz played his best game so far for the team contributing 14 points.
Brgy. Ginebra coach Tim Cone revealed afterwards that he felt uneasy despite being on top by a big margin up until the closing seconds of the game.
“That team just doesn’t go away. We played some really excellent basketball out there especially on defense. We defended very well. But that team doesn’t go away. I was nervous till the last 40 seconds when we finally felt that we won it,” said the former Magnolia mentor.
The Gin Kings have now defeated the Hotshots twice in a row since being dethroned by the same team in last seasons Governors’ Cup.
Paul Lee led the Hotshot with 15 points but could only convert 1 three-pointer out of 6 attempts. Ian Sangalang added 14 points while Rodney Brondial had 11.
Brgy. Ginebra 86 – Slaughter 15, Dela Cruz 14, Thompson 12, Aguilar 12, Tenorio 10, Ferrer 8, Chan 6, Mariano 4, Mercado 3, Caperal 2, Cruz 0.
Magnolia 75 – Lee 15, Sangalang 14, Brondial 11, Ramos 10, Melton 10, Dela Rosa 6, Jalalon 4, Barroca 3, Reavis 2, Pascual 0, Herndon 0, Abundo 0.
Quarterscores: 17-18, 44-27, 62-47, 86-75.