by John Paul Marquez
The long wait is over for the basketball fans, as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) opened its 38th season yesterday.
Ginebra took the first win to open the 1st conference (Philippine Cup) against the Global Port (former Powerade Tigers), 110-90, after the opening ceremony at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jones Cup Most Valuable Player awardee, Gilas 2.0 player and newly installed Ginebra player LA Tenorio led the way for the Ginebra as he tallied only two points but got nine boards and 10 feeds.
"I’m not a scorer talaga, gusto ko maging happy ang teammatesko,” Tenorio stated.
Rudy Lingganay of the Batang Pier seized the first point of the season but Ginebra blasted off with an 8-2 run; Lingganay scored the first 12 points of the Batang Pier including the two money shots to cut down the lead for the Ginebra 14-12. Ginebra stayed on top at the end of the frist, 26-20.
Ginebra rookies no.6 pick Chris Ellis accumulated for his 13 points in his PBA career while no. 8 pick Keith Jensen collected 14 points. Ginebra ruined the second quarter as they enter the dug-out with a massive lead, 55-39.
Late in the final canto, the Batang Pier made a rally after the three free-throws of the two-time MVP and newly Lina Francise player Willie Miller with 26 points. Batang Pier dropped an 11-0 unanswered points including the two get away of rookie AJ Mandani (13 points) and the transition three of Gary David (nine points) to cut down the lead, 94-86.
David. who has been struggling from the field by dominating the board Ginebra fins their way to stay on top, and got multiple possession plus a Rico Maiehofer offensive boards and an and-one play to bring back the deficit within double digit. With 3:01 left Tenorio gets a steal after the ball landed on his face and a getaway pass to Mark Cagiuoa, who also contributed 18 points for the Ginebra. A MVP alley-oop connection from Tenorio to Caguioa sealed the day.
Ginebra, got their first win in the season while Global Port will find their selves for the upcoming days. PBA will continue on Wednesday as the Ube Republic Air 21 Express will take on against Barako Bull Energy Cola in the first game while Petron Blaze Booster will try their best to get their first victory under the new head coach Olsen Racela against the newly Governor’s Cup Champion Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.