Ginebra clobbers hapless Kia


MANILA — The Barangay Ginebra Kings pummelled the Kia Picanto all night long before running away with a 103-77 victory in the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Bouncing back from a heartbreaking loss to NLEX in their last game, the Kings made sure of the victory this time, blasting the Picanto to pieces with an 18-3 run in the last seven minutes of the first half. Ginebra kept pouring on the points in the second half, leading by as much as 29 points, 82-53, early in the fourth quarter.

The Kings thus improved to a 4-4 win-loss mark while handling the Picanto their seventh loss in eight games.

Ginebra shot a sizzling 49 percent from the field while limiting Kia to 34 percent shooting. The Kings also outrebounded the Picanto, 57-42.

Greg Slaughter dominated both ends of the court, finishing with a team-high 14 points, eight rebounds, and three assists in 26 minutes as a starter. It was only the second game that Slaughter played following his hamstring injury that sidelined him for weeks.

LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar added 13 points apiece. Scottie Thompson nearly had a triple-double, tallying 12 points, 14 boards, seven assists, and one steal in 32 minutes. Kevin Ferrer chipped in 10 markers.

Ginebra emptied its bench in the fourth quarter, allowing rookie Jett Manuel to make his PBA debut. The former collegiate standout did not disappoint, contributing eight points, including a rare four-point play, two assists, and one rebound in 12 minutes.

New Ginebra big man acquisition Prince Caperal also debuted for the Kings, scoring six points against his former team.

Rashawn McCarthy led Kia in a losing effort with 15 points while fellow ex-SMB player Ronald Tubid added 13 markers.

Phoenix 74, TNT KaTropa 72

The Phoenix Fuel Masters pulled the rug from under the TNT KaTropa Texters with a morale-boosting 74-72 victory Wednesday night.

Top gunner Matthew Wright delivered the killer blows for Phoenix in the last seconds, firing a booming three-pointer that knotted the score at 72-all and then feeding Doug Kramer who scored on a floater with three seconds left for the winning basket.

Phoenix thus bounced back from a blowout loss to Alaska last week to improve to a 4-4 win-loss card, tying TNT and Ginebra for fifth to seventh place in the standings.

Wright finished with a game-high 16 points on top of five rebounds, three steals, and two assists in over 36 minutes. Kramer tallied eight points, seven rebounds, two assists in 27 minutes. Jeff Chan and Gelo Alolino added 11 and 10 points, respectively for Phoenix.

It was a bitter loss for the Texters who led in double digits for most parts of the game. TNT was still ahead by 11 points, 55-44, late in the third quarter when the Fuel Masters came charging back. Defense played a key role in Phoenix’s win as the Fuel Masters limited TNT’s top scorer Jayson Castro to nine points on a dismal 3-of-11 shooting and forced him to commit five turnovers. Kelly Williams was also shackled by the Phoenix defense as the power forward was held to just eight points on 3-of-10 shooting.

Anthony Semerad led the Texters with 12 points while Roger Pogoy added 10 markers in a losing effort.

Compounding TNT’s loss was the injury suffered by Troy Rosario who was stretchered and rushed to hospital after landing face-down on the floor following a collision with Phoenix rookie Jason Perkins.

Games Friday: San Miguel Beermen (6-1) vs. Blackwater Elite (2-5) and NLEX Road Warriors (3-4) vs. Meralco Bolts (2-5).