Photo by PBA | Nuki Sabio

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel used a suffocating zone defense to cruise to a surprisingly easy 93-64 victory over the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers on Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Gin Kings pounced on a lackluster effort by the Mixers to tie their Manila Clasico semifinals series in the PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup at 1-all.

“Adjustment namin defense namin, start namin maganda,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin. “We were able to limit their offense (to just) 60-plus.”

Greg Slaughter dominated with 15 of his 21 points in the first half. But it was on the defensive end where Ginebra made hay, springing a 2-3 zone that shackled the San Mig Coffee offense for a 48-32 lead at the half.

Instead of letting up, Ginebra opened the third quarter on fire, scoring the first five points of the second half to open up a 21-point edge. The Gin Kings fended off numerous fightback attempts by San Mig Coffee, led by stars James Yap, Peter June Simon, and Marc Pingris.

The Mixers couldn’t sustain the run with their second unit, allowing the Gin Kings to take a 69-53 lead heading into the fourth period. Ginebra put the final nail on the coffin with an 8-0 run, and nursed the lead the rest of the way.

Slaughter finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Jayjay Helterbrand and Billy Mamaril provided offensive boost off the bench for the Gin Kings, chipping in 11 and 10 points, respectively.

LA Tenorio added 10 points and eight assists for Ginebra, winning his matchup with San Mig Coffee point guard Mark Barroca, who struggled for the second straight game with just seven points on 1-of-6 shooting from the field.

Simon led the Mixers with 16 points, Pingris added 15, while Yap finished with 14.

Game Three is set on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena at 5 p.m. Agustin said he expects San Mig Coffee counterpart Tim Cone to go back to the drawing board.

“San Mig will adjust sa zone defense namin. Kelangan ma-anticipate namin yung gagawin nila,” said Agustin.

The scores:

GINEBRA 93 – Slaughter 21, Helterbrand 11, Tenorio 10, Mamaril 10, Reyes 8, Caguioa 8, Aguilar 7, Monfort 5, Ellis 4, Faundo 4, Baracael 3, Forrester 2, Ababou 0.

SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 64 – Simon 16, Pingris 15, Yap 14, Barroca 7, De Ocampo 3, Acuna 3, Mallari 3, Devance 2, Cawaling 1, Gaco 0, Sangalang 0, Melton 0, Holstein 0, Reavis 0.




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