Kings bank on twin towers to beat Express for third straight victory
THE towering combination of Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter flexed their muscles in the paint to tow the Barangay Ginebra Kings to a 78-69 win over the Air21 Express last night in the 39th PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The six-foot-nine Aguilar had 22 points and 12 rebounds, while the Cebuano seven-footer Slaughter piled up 19 markers and 10 boards as the Kings stretched their winning streak to three and solidified their hold of the second place with a 6-1 (win-loss) slate.
Aguilar also had a career-high eight blocked shots.
According to Fidel Mangonon, the league’s chief statistician, Aguilar joins Ramon Fernandez, Philip Cezar, Benjie Paras, Marlou Aquino, Jerry Codinera and Ali Peek in a group of players who had eight blocks in a single game.
Behind the two big men, Ginebra sat on a 15-point cushion at the half, 41-26.
Joseph Yeo caught fire for Air21 in the second half where he scored 21 of his game-high 28 points. Yeo’s explosion allowed Air21 to move within five points several times in the payoff period.
But Aguilar and Slaughter combined for 15 of the Kings’ 21 fourth quarter points to snuff Air21’s uprising.
Chris Ellis also had a solid double-double performance for Ginebra as he came up with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The loss further pulled the Express down the standings as they fell to their seventh loss with only one win to show.
GINEBRA (78)- Aguilar 22, Slaughter 19, Ellis 10, Caguioa 8, Baracael 7, Tenorio 4, Reyes 2, Helterbrand 2, Mamaril 2, Forrester 2, Monfort 0, Urbiztondo 0.
AIR21 (69) – Yeo 28, Canaleta 14, Taulava 8, Camson 8, Cardona 4, Jaime 2, Burtscher 2, Custodio 2, Arboleda 1, Matias 0, Espiritu 0, Sharma 0, Ritualo 0. /EDITORIAL ASSISTANT CALVIN D. CORDOVA
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