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Barangay Ginebra dominates season debut, secure 100-86 victory vs FiberXers

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Barangay1, 2, 3, 4 DEBUT WIN. Barangay Ginebra opens its new PBA season debut with a rousing 100-86 win over Converge FiberXers at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on November 17, 2023. PBA PHOTOS

The Barangay Ginebra Kings secured a convincing 100-86 victory against the Converge FiberXers at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on November 17, 2023.

With uncertainties about their performance, the Kings delivered a strong effort, showcasing teamwork and solid individual contributions.

Import Tony Bishop, making his debut with Ginebra, played a pivotal role in the team’s success. 

Bishop, a finalist in the 2021 Governors Cup with Meralco, led the Kings’ decisive third-quarter breakaway, finishing with an impressive stat line of 34 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks. 

Christian Standhardinger also made significant contributions, contributing 25 points, 16 boards, and five assists.

Despite playing with only an eight-man rotation due to injuries sidelining Jamie Malonzo, Jared Dillinger, and Aljon Mariano, Ginebra managed to engage the FiberXers in a competitive first half. The game saw a seesaw battle until the Kings made a crucial separation in the third quarter, outscoring their opponents 26-15 to establish an 80-67 lead.

Scottie Thompson added 13 points and six rebounds, while Japeth Aguilar recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards. Ginebra’s coach, Tim Cone, acknowledged the challenges of the first game and praised his team for finding their rhythm. Cone emphasized the difficulty of keeping up with Converge but commended the Kings for their resilience.

The victory serves as a positive start for the defending Commissioner’s Cup champions as they prepare for a highly anticipated matchup against the Magnolia Hotshots on Sunday. Cone acknowledged the quick turnaround and expressed optimism about their performance, especially with recruit Maverick Ahanmisi and import Tony Bishop still adjusting to the team.

Ahanmisi, a transfer from Converge, contributed seven points, six rebounds, and two assists in his debut with Ginebra. Cone emphasized the need for the team to explore dynamics with the new additions and remains hopeful that they will have everything figured out by the playoffs.

The Converge FiberXers, on the other hand, faced their third consecutive loss in the season, with Justin Arana leading their efforts with 20 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. Import Tom Vodanovich was held to 13 points on a 6-of-13 shooting clip.

Ginebra’s victory not only secured a winning start to their Commissioner’s Cup title defense but also set the stage for an exciting clash with the undefeated Magnolia Hotshots, highlighting the competitiveness of the PBA season.

The boxscores: 

Ginebra 100 – Bishop 34, Standhardinger 25, Thompson 13, J.Aguilar 11, Pringle 8, Ahanmisi 7, Pinto 2, Pessumal 0, Cu 0, Gumaru 0.

Converge 86 – Arana 20, Vodanovich 13, Balanza 13, Zaldivar 9, Nieto 7, Melecio 7, Stockton 6, Winston 5, Caralipio 3, Racal 3, Wong 0, Fornilos 0, Maagdenberg 0, Tallo 0.

Quarters: 25-30, 54-52, 80-67, 100-86

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