Jamie Malonzo drops career-high 32 as Gin Kings win PH Cup opener

Jamie Malonzo chose to let his performance speak for itself rather than dwell on the past. And speak volumes it did.

Malonzo was all business on the court and achieved a new career-high of 32 points, leading Brgy. Ginebra to an emphatic 113-107 victory over Rain or Shine in their opening game of the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-4 Gilas Pilipinas forward went 12 out of 24 from the field, including 5 out of 9 from three-point range. He also accumulated 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists and 2 steals as the Gin Kings commenced their campaign on a winning note after being swept by San Miguel in their recent Commissioner’s Cup semifinals encounter.

Many of Malonzo’s teammates were also in inspired form, comfortably overcoming the absence of Scottie Thompson as they inflicted a third straight defeat on the Elasto Painters.

Christian Standhardinger registered 18 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists while Maverick Ahanmisi also scored 18 points in addition to 9 rebounds and 9 assists.

From the bench, significant contributions came from Japeth Aguilar and Stanley Pringle with 17 and 12 points respectively.

Even so, the crowd darlings were made to work hard by the Yeng Guiao-mentored squad whose gritty performance was impressive despite Keith Datu’s early exit due to injury.

Anton Asistio achieved his own new career-high of 21 points to lead Rain or Shine who also received double-digit outputs from Santi Santillan (16), Gian Mamuyac (16), Andrei Caracut (16) and Adrian Nocum (12).

Beau Belga played extended minutes following Datu’s early departure and produced 9 points and 11 rebounds plus 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block against 5 turnovers.

Despite their small lineup, Rain or Shine put up a tough fight but Brgy. Ginebra were not to be denied with their hot shooting.

Successive three-pointers from Malonzo, Ahanmisi and Nards Pinto fueled the Gin Kings’ breakaway from a tied score late in the third quarter and it was all Brgy. Ginebra from thereon.

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