Seven-footer Greg “The Gregzilla” Slaughter unleashed a monster of a performance as Ginebra San Miguel prevailed over Magnolia, 89-78, on Christmas Eve in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Philsports Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The tower of power dominated the paint and finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks to lead the Kings in preserving their winning tradition over the sister franchise formerly known as B-Meg and Star before rebranding to Magnolia before the start of the season.
Slaughter, the best player of the recent Governors Cup topped by Ginebra, capped his dominating performance with a three-point play off a foul by Ian Sangalang to peg the final tally en route to the debut win in the import-less conference.
It was the spectacular plays, though, by guard LA Tenorio and 6-9 Japeth Aguilar in the final two minutes that ensured a jovial Christmas celebration for millions of Ginebra fans.
Aguilar completed an alley-hoop power slam off a feed by Tenorio in the final minute that gave Ginebra a ten-point lead, 86-76. Paul Lee retaliated with a trey for Magnolia but there was not enough time to reverse the income.
Then Slaughter pegged the insurance three-point play as the Kings recorded their 10th win against only a loss in the PBA’s Manila Klasico Christmas games.
Magnolia suffered its first loss after winning over 108-95 Alaska Milk on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan.
GINEBRA 89 – Slaughter 24, Tenorio 15, Aguilar J. 12, Cruz 12, Ferrer 7, Caguioa 7, Thompson 6, Mariano 4, Taha 2, Aguilar R. 0.
MAGNOLIA 78 – Sangalang 25, Lee 16, Simon 15, Pingris 6, Barroca 4, Dela Rosa 4, Gamalinda 4, Herndon 2, Melton 2, Ramos 0, Brondial 0, Pascual 0.
Quarters: 22-17, 48-37, 66-60, 89-78.