BOCAUE — For the third straight time, Ginebra beat Magnolia in a Christmas “Clasico”.
The Barangay turned back the Hotshots, 89-78, in the main game of the PBA Philippine Cup Christmas Day offering in front of 24,531 people at the Philippine Arena.
Having to start the season out of town, Ginebra showed its championship form defensively against Magnolia as its bid for back-to-back titles began on a good tune.
The Barangay stifled the Hotshots in the first half, limiting them to only 37 points while taking an 11-point lead at halftime.
Magnolia then started the second half strong, cutting the lead down to one, 53-52.
Ginebra, however, answered with a 9-0 run to stay afloat, and the club finally repulsed Magnolia by limiting the team to only four points in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter despite the latter still keeping things interesting within the last two minutes.
Greg Slaughter finished with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting with 12 rebounds, two assists, and four blocks, while LA Tenorio added 15 points, five rebounds, eight assists, five steals, and one block for the Barangay.
Ian Sangalang made 25 markers, 11 boards, two assists, one block, and two steals in what would be his best game with the Purefoods franchise, which fell to 1-1.
Marc Pingris made a return to play and tallied six points, five rebounds, two assists, and one block.
Ginebra 89 – Slaughter 24, Tenorio 15, J. Aguilar 12, Cruz 12, Ferrer 7, Caguioa 7, Thompson 6, Mariano 4, Taha 2, R. Aguilar 0
Magnolia 78 – Sangalang 25, Lee 16, Simon 15, Pingris 6, Barroca 4, Dela Rosa 4, Gamalinda 4, Herndon 2, Melton 2, Ramos 0, Brondial 0, Pascual 0.
Quarterscores: 22-17, 48-37, 66-60, 89-78