Barangay Ginebra big man Greg Slaughter towers over his defender during the Gin Kings' Christmas Day "Manila Clasico" clash at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The crowd favorite Ginebra won, 89-78. | PBA Images
BOCAUE, Bulacan — Barangay Ginebra reasserted their mastery over its Manila Clasico rivals, beating the Magnolia Hotshots, 89-78, in their Christmas Day clash at the Philippine Arena here.
Greg Slaughter, as if to make up for the many Philippine Cup games he missed, scattered 24 points and hauled 12 rebounds to help the season-debuting Gin Kings in their wire-to-wire conquest of the Hotshots.
LA tenorio and Japeth Aguilar added to the effort with a one-two punch of their own, combining for 27 points.
“I’m really surprised with how well we played,” Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone said. “We weren’t perfect out there but we really played with good energy."
“This is really his conference,” Cone said of Slaughter.
Magnolia, which was coming off from a win last week, leaned on Ian Sangalang to keep their foes within striking range. Skipper Paul Lee and veteran PJ Simon churned out 16 and 15 points, respectively.
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But all that was for naught as the Gin Kings proved to be too deep.
Jervy Cruz tallied 12 points while Mark Caguioa added seven.
Ginebra, which scored its third straight 'Clasico' win, is now 10-1 over their opponents during Christmas Games. They take on Blackwater next on Jan. 12, 2018, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
GINEBRA 89 — Slaughter 24, Tenorio 15, J. Aguilar 12, Cruz 12, Caguioa 7, Ferrer 7, Thompson 6, Mariano 4, Taha 2, R. Aguilar 0, Manuel 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.