Not knowing what to expect from themselves in their season debut, the Barangay Ginebra Kings got a big relief with a good effort leading to a 100-86 win over the Converge FiberXers Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tony Bishop played well in his first outing as a Ginebra import and Christian Standhardinger also came through with a sterling job as the Kings started their Commissioner’s Cup title defense on a winning note.
Scottie Thompson and Japeth Aguilar had solid contributions as the Kings managed to win even with just an eight-man crew in their season debut against the FiberXers whom they sent reeling to a third straight loss.
Bishop, a finalist in his first PBA stint with Meralco in the 2021 Governors Cup, led the Kings’ decisive third-quarter breakaway and finished with 34 points and 12 rebounds on top of three assists, three steals and two blocks.
Standhardinger also had a hand in their third-quarter assault and wound up with 25 markers, 16 boards and five dole-outs while Thompson chipped in 13 points and six rebounds and Aguilar tossed in 11 markers and 10 boards.
“We did worry we’re not as sharp as Converge as we’re playing our first game while they had a couples of games under their belt. We didn’t know what to expect of ourselves. They shot the ball well and we had a hard time keeping up with them. But we did find our legs and got to go,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
Cone was limited to an eight-man rotation with Jamie Malonzo, Jared Dillinger, and Aljon Mariano nursing injuries.