Menk dials up vintage performance to lead Ginebra past B-Meg
Barangay Ginebra 89 vs. B-Meg Derby Ace 86
by rick olivares
November 28, 2010
The Barangay Ginebra Kings should have worn retro jerseys the way they were playing against B-Meg Derby Ace. Eric Menk and Mark Caguioa delivered vintage and stellar performances to lead Ginebra past the hottest team in the league, the B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados 89-86 in front of 14, 072 fans at the Big Dome.
Menk, despite being noticeably slower, used his smarts to ditch his defenders with a variety of moves down the post to score 20 points and pull down 7 rebounds in 19 minutes. Caguioa on the other hand shot 50% from the field (7-14) en route to scoring 18 points on his usual daredevil drives, pull-up and fadeaway jumpers. Finding some spring in his legs, the man known as “the Spark” pulled down eight boards (although Ginebra lost the rebounding battle 49-53.
Both Menk and Tubid scored 6 points each in the fourth period as Ginebra outscored B-Meg by three 27-24 which is ironically the margin of victory.
With both squads alternating with a run and a rally, the Kings bucked a 74-70 lead by the Llamados when Ronald Tubid hot consecutive three-pointers from a few feet beyond the arc to give Ginebra a two-lead at 81-79.
B-Meg’s Don Allado, in the midst of a superb game himself (10, points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists), hit a jumper from 15-feet to notch the count. But Menk hit four straight free throws to re-take the lead for good.
The Llamados tried to comeback on the individual brilliance of its trio of fearsome guards Peter June Simon, Roger Yap, and James Yap, but for Ginebra, it was all about execution as Rudy Hatfield (11 points and 12 rebounds) scored on a lay-up following a three-pass pick and roll for a 87-83 lead with 56 seconds left to play.
Roger Yap missed on lay-up but Ginebra failed to score on the end allowing Simon to hit a three-pointer over Caguioa to make it 86-87.
Miller hit two free throws with 9 seconds left for the final points as B-Meg missed a last gasp trey attempt to win the game. The 89-86 win put Ginebra one game up on closest pursuer Talk ‘N Text at 8-3 with three matches to play. As for the Llamados who saw their five-match win streak halted, they are now at .500 with a 6-6 record; two games behind the Tropang Texters. It also spoiled another fantastic performance by Simon who exploded for 26 points who shot a blistering 62% from the field.
“I was disappointed in my last game (ironically where he also played 19 minutes and scored 4 points to go with 2 rebounds 78-79 losing effort to San Miguel that stopped the Kings’ six-game win streak),” said Menk after the game. “And I think I started out slow as well tonight but I was just hoping for another chance to get in the game and help out. And I’m glad I did. It’s just a matter of compensating in certain areas. Now we’d really like to make sure we get one of those top two seats in the next round.”
Ginebra 89 – Menk 20, Caguioa 18, Tubid 12, Miller 12, Hatfield 11, Cortez 9, Mamaril 4, Wilson 2, Aquino 1, Villanueva 0, Helterbrand 0
B-Meg Derby Ace – Simon 26, Yap James 14, Gaco 13, Yap Roger 10, Allado 10, Maierhofer 4, Villanueva 43, Salvador 2, Canaleta 2, Adducul 0