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31 FOR 3-1
Published on March 4, 2012
ANTIPOLO CITY. – Jason Vroman made an immediate impact in his debut but Mark Caguioa proved he is still Barangay Ginebra's main go-to guy.
Vroman notched 19 points and 12 rebounds in his league debut but Caguioa detonated the biggest explosions by scoring a game-high 31 points to lead the Kings to a 105-96 victory over Powerade Sunday in the PBA Commissioner's Cup in front of more than 10,000 fans at the Ynares Center here.
Caguioa was at the forefront of Ginebra's second half charge with 24 of his points and got plenty of help from the other locals in the teams' rise to second-running spot with its third victory in four games.
All the while, Vroman was efficiently doing his job as he added five blocked shots, four assists, and three steals to justify management's decision to take him in as replacement for former Best Import awardee Chris Alexander.
"Not to take anything away from Chris, because he brought us wins naman," said Ginebra head coach Siot Tanquingcen. "(But) we always look for ways to improve iyung team namin. Sa versatility niya (Vroman) nagbabago timpla ng team namin."
Tanquingcen even credited Vroman's all-around game as part of the reason why Caguioa notched his highest scoring game in nearly four years and the likes of Mike Cortez and Dylan Ababou also finished in double digits.
"Being a player, kapag nakikita mo na may nagagawa import mo, medyo tumataas laro mo," stated Tanquingcen.
The surprise rebounding leader among the locals in the conference prior to the game, Caguioan typified that most by adding eight rebounds and making 13 of 22 shots, including three of six three-point tries as he had his most points in a game since the 2008 Fiesta Cup semifinals, when he had 33 in a 101-97 OT win over Red Bull.
"Mark Caguioa has always been a special player naman and with the versatility of the people around him, medyo nagkakaroon siya ngayon ng leeway to get to the basket and get his shots," noted Tanquingcen.
Gary David wound up with 23 points to lead Powerade and Marcio Lassiter, Jayvee Casio, Dwayne Jones and Doug Kramer each had at least 10 points, but the Tigers still dropped their second straight game and to an even 2-2 slate.
It was David’s 17th game in his last 18 dating back to the Philippine Cup with at least 23 points.
Cortez added 15 points, although John Wilson's triple and Enrico Villanueva's three-point play were the ones that pushed Ginebra's lead to a high of 86-68 early in the fourth period.
Wearing a mask to protect a nose Villanueva inadvertently injured in practice, Vroman was quietly doing his job but hogged the limelight with his last block of the game that foiled David's fastbreak layup try late in the quarter.
It was all Caguioa on the offensive end as he scored his last six points inside the last 3:35, including a twister he kissed off the glass that made it an irrepressible 105-90 count.
The 2001 Rookie of the Year was at his fieriest in the third period, when he scored 17 of his points, including seven straight in boosting Ginebra from a 65-58 count and into a 76-64 spread.
Lassiter tried to carry the fight for Powerade with eight straight points, but Rudy Hatfield contributed to the Kings' cause by stringing up four points that gave them an 80-66 bulge going to the final period.
It was a far different story in the first half.
Vroman already had 14 points in the first 24 minutes of play despite not a single isolation play for him and an offensive game that tapered off to just three charities in the second quarter and to just another two freebies in the final half.
Still, the 31-year-old naturalized Lebanese did other things, especially on defense as he added the rebounds, blocks and steals that helped Ginebra take a 49-48 edge at the half.
The Kings actually had as much as a 32-22 spread, but Powerade had Casio who scattered all nine of his first half points in the second period and helped make it just a one-point game at the intermission. (NC)
BARANGAY GINEBRA 105 - Caguioa 31, Vroman 19, Cortez 15, Ababou 10, Hatfield 7, Villanueva 6, Wilson
J. 5, Helterbrand 5, Raymundo 5, Mamaril 2, Labagala 0.
POWERADE 96 - David 23, Lassiter 19, Casio 18, Jones 13, Kramer 10, Vanlandingham 6, Anthony 5,
Lingganay 2, Calimag 0, Adducul 0, Crisano 0
Quarterscores: 29-22, 49-48, 80-66, 105-96
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