Jul 18, 2021

NLEX gives reigning champ Ginebra a rude welcome

NLEX wasn't in a mood to give defending champion Barangay Ginebra the red carpet as it begins its PBA Philippine Cup title defense.

The Road Warriors took advantage of the Kings' sluggish start to score a runaway 94-75 victory Sunday at the Ynares Sports Arena to finally break into the win column.

The Kings fired blanks from deep in the first half when they went 0-for-15, a factor which the Road Warriors capitalized to take control of the match which they led from start to finish.

Kevin Alas had a game-high 20 points spiked by a 3-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc to lead a balance offensive attack for the Road Warriors, who had four others contributing in double figures as the team split its first two games of the season.

Good as the victory may be, but winning coach Yeng Guiao believes the Road Warriors only caught the Kings on a bad day.

Sponsored content:
"We are actually lucky that Ginebra is playing their first game. They were making the adjustments," said the NLEX mentor. "This is not the full potential of Ginebra.

"Of course, we are very lucky we got them on their first game."

The Kings began to hit their stride by the second half, but the Road Warriors had everything under control by then, even leading by as much as 70-50 late in the third period.

Kiefer Ravena again had a splendid game for NLEX with 19 points and five assists, Don Trollano and Anthony Semerad each with 11 points, with the Fil-Australian wingman going a perfect 3-of-3 from three-point range, while JR Quinahan came through with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The loss by the reigning champions spoiled the debut of new acquisition Christian Standhardinger in a Ginebra uniform. The 6-foot-8 Fil-German was held scoreless in the opening half and finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Sponsored content:
Stanhardinger's frontcourt partner Japeth Aguilar paced the Kings with 15 points, just two shy from officially becoming a member of the league's 5,000-point club.

Scottie Thompson's near triple-double of 12 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists also went for naught in the wake of Ginebra's sorry loss. (RG)

The scores:

NLEX (94) -- Alas 20, Ravena 19, Semerad 11, Trollano 11, Quinahan 10, Cruz 9, Soyud 7, Miranda 5, Oftana 2, Porter 0, McAloney 0.

Ginebra (75) -- J. Aguilar 15, Tenorio 11, Thompson 12, Pringle 8, Standhardinger 8, Caperal 8, Chan 2, Ayaay 2, Chan 4, Devance 3, Tolentino 2, Enriquez 2, Dillinger 0.

Quarterscores: 26-15; 41-35; 72-55;94-75.