PBA: Ginebra debuts minus Slaughter, two others

Published April 29, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

by Waylon Galvez

Games Today (Smart Araneta)
4:30 p.m. – Blackwater vs Alaska
6:45 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Ginebra

Rain or Shine guns for back-to-back wins today when it faces Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Elasto Painters will be coming off a 109-103 overtime victory over the Alaska Aces Friday, a conference opener that thrilled ROS coach Caloy Garcia.

“I’m looking forward to meeting Ginebra again this conference, baka kasi mag-overtime kami uli,” said Garcia, referring to his team’s 99-91 loss to Ginebra in the previous Philippine Cup.

The game is at 6:45 p.m., after the match pitting Alaska and Blackwater at 4:30 p.m.. The Elite are out to snap a two-game losing start.

Rain or Shine import Reginald Johnson finished with 32 points and 22 rebounds in his PBA debut, Chris Tiu had 18 points, while Raymond Almazan and Maverick Ahanmisi contributed 11 points apiece against the Aces. Two-time league MVP James Yap added 10 points.

“It’s a good start for us, but we have to fix our lapses. Ang daming mali, daming errors, turnovers,” said Garcia, referring to his team’s 27 miscues.

Ginebra, on the other hand, will be without three players, most notably 7-foot-center Greg Slaughter, who is still recovering from an ankle sprain.

“We’re all looking forward to getting this conference started,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, who likewise will miss Jervy Cruz and Paolo Taha.

“Granted, Greg, Jervy and Paolo are still out and our import is having a hard time adjusting to the heat and humidity, but the rest of the guys are ready and excited to go,” said Cone. “Rain or Shine is always a tough, physical matchup for us, but we’re ready to battle.”

Ginebra will parade 6-foot-10 Charles Garcia, the team’s second choice after onetime Alaska reinforcement Shane Edwards, two inches shorter, was let go after a tuneup game.

Garcia is a nine-year pro who has played in Turkey, Mexico, Spain, Puerto Rico, Bahrain, South Korea and Iceland, and had stints in the D-League, the last with the Austin Spurs.

Back in 2011, he won a D-League championship with the Iowa Energy where he played alongside former Ginebra imports Othyus Jeffers and Curtis Stinson, and NBA player Courtney Sims.

Last season with the Austin Spurs, he averaged 13.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

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