ANTIPOLO CITY — Getting a big lift from new import Jackson Vroman, Barangay Ginebra rolled to its third win by downing Powerade, 105-96, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup last night at the Ynares Sports Center here.
A former draft pick by the Chicago Bulls in 2004 who played for two years in the NBA, the 6-foot-10 Vroman had 19 points,12 rebounds, four assists, three steals and five shot blocks in his PBA debut.
His numbers were enough to justify the request of the coaching staff to change original import Christopher Alexander.
Ginebra guard Mark Caguioa also had a solid performance as he fired 31 points, including 16 in the third period where the Kings took control of the game after a close first half with Ginebra ahead by a single point, 49-48.
A three-pointer by Caguioa capped a 27-10 run that gave the Kings an 18-point advantage, 76-64, late in the period.
The closest Powerade got was when rookies JV Casio nailed a triple and Marcio Lassiter added a lay-up that trimmed the deficit to nine points, 93-84 with 3:49 left in the fourth quarter.
However, Caguioa, Rudy Hatfield and rookie Dylan Ababou made the key baskets down the stretch that preserved Ginebra’s victory.
The win improved Ginebra’s record at 3-1, taking solo second behind the unbeaten defending champion Talk ’N Text (3-0). It was also its second straight after winning against Rain or Shine (89-88) in Dubai last Feb. 24.
Powerade dropped to 2-2, its second straight defeat after losing to Barako Bull (101-91) last Friday.
“If you see that your import can really do something to help the team, the level of confidence of the local players get high,” said Ginebra mentor Siot Tanquingcen of Vroman, who played for Lebanon as a naturalized player.
“Not to take anything away from Chris because he brought us (two) wins, but as a team, we always look for ways to improve. His (Vroman) versatility changes the complexion of the game,” added Tanquingcen.
Aside from his 31 points, the 6-foot-1 Caguioa also collected eight rebounds, three assists and the same number of steals. Mike Cortez finished with 15 points, while Ababou came off the bench to add 10 markers.
Gary David led the way for Powerade as he scored 23 points, while Lassiter and Casio added 19 and 18 points, respectively. Import Dwayne Jones was held to 13 points with 16 boards.
Ginebra 105 – Caguioa 31, Vroman 19, Cortez 15, Ababou 10, Hatfield 7, Villanueva 6, Wilson J. 5, Helterbrand 5, Raymundo 5, Mamaril 2, Labagala 0.
Powerade 96 – David 23, Lassiter 19, Casio 18, Jones 13, Kramer 10, Vanlandingham 6, Anthony 5, Lingganay 2, Calimag 0, Adducul 0, Crisano 0.
Quarters: 29-22, 49-48, 80-66, 105-96.
PETRON 110 – Santos 34, Cabagnot 24, Fazekas 22, Yeo 15, Ildefonso 7, Agustin 2, Reyes 2, Miranda 2, Tugade 2, Miranda 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 103 – Crews 41, Buenafe 11, Chan 10, Quinahan 10, Lee 9, Norwood 8, Belga 4, Crews 3, Arana 3, Uyloan 2, Tang 2, Matias 0, Jaime 0, Ibanes 0.
Quarters: 33-26, 57-51, 91-77, 110-103