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Without superstar guard Mark Caguioa, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel supporting cast knew they had to step up.
And step up the Gin Kings did, defeating Barako Bull, 96-89, to extend their Commissioner’s Cup winning streak to four games Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Import Vernon Macklin scored 33 points and grabbed 22 rebounds, while LA Tenorio did his best Mark Caguioa impersonation with 27 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
“Without Mark it’s a different ballgame,” said Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua.
“I told them before the game kailangan mag-step up sila. Kailangan lahat sila mag-contribute. Yung bench ko ngayon, medyo malalim yung hinugot ko.”
Macklin and Tenorio got plenty of support as four other players scored at least seven points for Ginebra.
Unheralded guard Rob Labagala also played well despite scoring just a single point, ably quarterbacking the team in the second half as Chua moved Tenorio to the shooting guard spot to fill Caguioa’s role.
With the win, Ginebra moved to an even 5-5 win-loss record after starting the conference with four straight defeats.
“By reaching .500 for the Ginebra team, it’s a big relief,” said Chua, whose team will enjoy a 10-day break before its next game.
“At least medyo masarap ang bakasyon ng mga bata.”
Allein Maliksi had 22 points, while import Evan Brock added 20 points, 12 rebounds, and five steals for Barako Bull, which suffered its sixth straight loss for a 3-7 record.
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