With La Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar still groping for form, Brgy. Ginebra leaned on Aljon Mariano and Scottie Thompson to subdue NLEX, 102-92, in the resumption of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, Sunday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
The Gin Kings, playing for the first time since reclaiming the 2019 Governors’ Cup crown at the expense of the Meralco Bolts last January, had 7 players scoring 11 or more points as the reserves more than made up for the lackadaisical performance of Tenorio and Aguilar who both entered the bubble just days before the game against the Road Warriors.
The 36-year old Tenorio, who underwent laparoscopic appendectomy just two weeks ago, was cleared to play and finished with 1 point and 2 rebounds in close to 12 minutes of action. The 3-time PBA Finals MVP thus prolonged his streak of consecutive games played to 642.
Mariano paced the Gin Kings’ balanced attack with 20 points while Thompson added 12. Jared Dillinger and Stanley Pringle also chipped in 12 markers apiece while Prince Caperal, Joe Devance and Jeff Chan all contributed 11.
“At halftime, I told the team that we played better than I thought we would but not as well as I hope we would,” said head coach Tim Cone.
“But I thought we did such a tremendous job guarding Kiefer in the first half and yet we played him so well, it was a tied ballgame. So I thought maybe we are going to be in some trouble in the second half. But we had some guys that really stepped up in the void,” he added.
Brgy. Ginebra takes a three-day break before taking on the Blackwater Bossing on Thursday, October 15 at the same venue.