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PBA Finals: Making Sense Of The MOA Massacre

What went wrong for Ginebra and what went right for San Miguel
by John Paulo Aguilera | Feb 26, 2017
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The first game of the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup Finals proved to be a letdown after the San Miguel Beermen demolished the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 109-82, looking every bit like the alpha dogs of the tournament they're hoping to rule for the third consecutive year.

The majority of the Mall of Asia Arena fell silent as Leo Austria's wards dismantled the Gin Kings, prompting some fans to head for the exit early. After the jump ball, everything happened so fast—the Beermen have already put up 33 points with one and a half minutes left in the first quarter, while Ginebra still hasn't hit double figures.

Ahead of Game 2, FHM tries to sum up the first meeting between San Miguel and Ginebra, and highlight some of the points that can affect the whole series.

Beermen led by 23 after the opening quarter (35-12)

This is the San Miguel offense we're talking about in the finals preview—only in its most lethal form. The scoring outburst was typified by Alex Cabagnot, who poured 11 of his 16 points in the first 12 minutes. The mighty Beermen even led by as many as 36 points at one point. Meanwhile...

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Ginebra's starting unit shot an atrocious 21.7%

That's a combined 7-31 shooting for Japeth Aguilar, Joe Devance, Aljon Mariano, Sol Mercado, and LA Tenorio. Tim Cone's starters can't afford to come out flat and expect to win, especially against arguably the best opening lineup and with the opposing bench players raring to go themselves.


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No SMB starter reached 30 minutes

According to RealGM, no one in the PBA's most overworked lineup suited up for two and a half quarters of burn. Unfortunately for the Gin Kings, June Mar Fajardo—17 points (7-8 shooting), 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, in just 22 minutes—and the rest of the troops will be well-rested come Game 2.

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Rookies saw the floor

Game 1 was a total rout that the players who were held during the opening game of the ongoing conference even got to play. This might be the only time we'll see Rashawn McCarthy, Michael Mabulac, and Arnold Van Opstal being called up in the Finals, but it was a confidence booster nonetheless.


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