Kings whip Bolts, grab 1-0 start

Gine­bra un­re­lent­ing from the start, sur­prises even Cone

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - SPORTS - By Mu­song R. Castillo @mu­songINQ

LUCENA— Too big, too quick and too deadly, Barangay Gine­bra couldn’t have come up with a more in­tim­i­dat­ing state­ment to start its PBA Gover­nors’ Cup ti­tle se­ries against Mer­alco Fri­day night.

The Gin Kings were all over the Bolts right from the get-go and bat­tered the Bolts blackand-blue, 102-87, at Que­zon Con­ven­tion Cen­ter here to seize a 1-0 start and also put a huge dent in the en­emy’s psy­che with the sec­ond game just two nights away.

Justin Brown­lee scored 32 points, had 19 re­bounds and missed a triple dou­ble by four as­sists to head­line the un­for­giv­ing Kings, who led by as large as 21 for the em­phatic Game 1 win in their grudge re­match for the sea­son-end­ing ti­tle.

The Bolts would now have a long road trip back to Manila, where they will have to pick up the pieces and fig­ure out what went wrong, as the se­ries-opener not a few tipped would be close got out of hand early.

And the way Gine­bra played—and dom­i­nated—ac­tu­ally sur­prised coach Tim Cone, who said that he ex­pected a “rusty” team to go out there.

“I was sur­prised that we played this well,” Cone said af­ter get­ting five play­ers in twin dig­its. “I was sur­prised that we con­trolled the game from start to fin­ish.”

The Kings closed out the first pe­riod with a bang and jumped to a 40-23 lead in the sec­ond quar­ter af­ter a Brown­lee bas­ket that buried the Bolts in a hole they were never able to climb out of.

Mer­alco, the elim­i­na­tion round top­notcher, tried re­peat­edly to get back in the con­test, nar­row­ing that gap to within four in the dy­ing sec­onds of the third af­ter a four-point play by rookie Mike Tolo­mia.

But a bar­rage of triples gave the Kings a 96-75 lead go­ing into the fi­nal 5:05 and com­pletely knocked the wind out of the Bolts.

Game 2 is slated Sun­day at Smart Araneta Coli­seum in Cubao, and the Bolts would need to find an an­ti­dote to Gine­bra’s im­pos­ing size and im­pec­ca­ble shoot­ing if they want to avoid fall­ing 0-2 be­hind.

Only three franchises in the league’s his­tory have de­fended the Gover­nors’ Cup, with Gine­bra look­ing to join the com­pany of sis­ter teams San Miguel Beer and San Mig Cof­fee and the Alaska Aces.

Another cru­cial fac­tor for the au­thor­i­ta­tive win was Gine­bra’s de­fense on Allen Durham, whom the Kings held down to 27 points, just 10 in the first half where Gine­bra made its most dam­age.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.