Game 1 : Decided by Barroca's first field goal

GGK dotcom, · Thursday, January 29, 2014 · 4:20 PM
Sports5 file/Paul Ryan Tan
Sports5 file/Paul Ryan Tan

PBA fans witnessed an exciting toe-to-toe battle last night. The encounter tagged as 'Manila Clasico' gives a preview on how the rest of the series would unfold. It was a great match up from their centers, their star players down to the Minions (Monfort and Melton).

At the end of the buzzer, it was Mark Barroca's jumper that broke the hearts of Ginebra fans. Barroca who didn't made any of his seven previous shots hit his eighth attempt at the expense of LA Tenorio's defense with 11.6 seconds left in the ball game.

Barangay Ginebra still has the chance to tie the score at 85 with a two-pointer but Tenorio went for a three that didn't went through. Immediately, Marc Pingris was fouled on the rebound. However, he missed his two charities giving their opponent another life. Due to lack of timeouts, Ginebra seems to be disorganize that saw a hay-maker shot of Tenorio launched from the other end of the court. It didn't hit the rim.

Barroca struggled offensively throughout the game. Coach Tim Cone didn't lose his confidence on the 5-foot-10 former national player. Together with recently impressive rookie Justin Melton, they formed a defensive combo that energized their team and put stops on Ginebra's backcourt. The two kept their main offensive weapons (Jame Yap and PJ Simon) in the bench for most of the fourth canto.

Joe Devance and DeOcampo are also key contributors. They made big shots just when Ginebra looks to break away at the latter part of the game. Devance led all scorers with 20.

"That can’t get any better than that. No one got far enough from anybody and we're just able to escape with the win. I got away from my coaching style. Justin and Mark were playing good defensively and they were playing so well. We were able to escape with a win. Justin and Mark were really the key down the stretch. It's a long series. There's no feeling of comfort leading one-to-nothing but it does give you an opportunity to dictate the series. Now it takes the pressure out of your team and it sets the tone for what you want to do." said Cone.

Second game is set on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

-GGK dotcom

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