PBA Roundup: July 6-8, 2011

Tim Pickett had an auspicious
debut for Meralco
(image by Nuki Sabio/PBA.ph)
Meralco was about to put Air21 out of its misery, but it took a lot of doing going about it. The Bolts managed to fashion out a win over the Express, but only after going through some rough and anxious moments.

New import Tim Pickett debuted with 32 points and 11 rebounds as Meralco totally dominated the boards, but it was Sol Mercado taking charge at the finish that enabled the Bolts to completely hurdle Air21’s challenge.

Aside from Mercado’s 7  fourth quarter points, he was at the forefront of Meralco’s wind-up with two of his eight assists that pulled the team away from an 83-80 count and into an 89-80 spread.

In the end, Meralco cut short its two-game losing skid and improved to a 3-2 win-loss record due to what coach Ryan Gregorio later said was his charges adhering to their gameplan.

The loss, its fifth in as many outings in the eight-game eliminations, likely booted Air21 out of the running for a semifinals slot allotted to the top six teams.

Meralco 93 - Pickett 32, Taulava16,Mercado15,Aljamal10,Espinas 6,Isip 6,Omolon 6,Ritualo 2,Menor 0, Hugnatan 0.
Air21 86 - Bangura 31, Seigle 17, Arboleda 9, Urbiztondo 8, Najorda 6, Sharma 4, Canaleta 3, Avenido 3, Hontiveros 3, Espiritu 2, Salvador 0, Artadi 0.
QS: 18-22, 46-39, 66-56, 93-86

Arwind Santos wreaked havoc
on the Llamados.
(image by Nuki Sabio/PBA.ph)
The Petron Blaze Boosters followed up a close win the last time with yet another close one. Arwind Santos put in another huge double-double game with 23 points and 16 rebounds while Alex Cabagnot and Jeremy Wise combined for all of Petron’s last 12 points to run past the Llamados.

Nipping the Alaska Milk Aces, 82-81, in overtime Sunday, the Boosters squeezed through a tight battle anew on endgame heroics by Cabagnot and Wise. The Petron backcourt tandem delivered clutch baskets and the team made necessary stops at the finish to gain solo second place with a 4-2 win-loss record.

Either because of Petron’s defense, or the ill effects of jet lag, Darnell Hinson scored a mere 5 points after a 26-point debut versus the Talk n Text Tropang Texters in Dubai. Hinson, B-Meg’s import replacement for Stefhon Hannah, bled for that production, going 1-of-10 from the field and 2-of-5 from the stripe. It was the lowest by any import in the conference.

Wise, on the other hand, produced 20 points, including 7 in the last four minutes of the tight game marked by 14 deadlocks and 17 lead changes.

Petron 87 - Santos 23, Wise 20, Al-Hussaini 17, Cabagnot 13, Pennisi 7, Tugade 3, Duncil 2, Ildefonso 2, Hubalde 0, Salvacion 0.
B-Meg 84 - Yap J. 19, Simon 17, Pingris 16, Devance 15, Yap. R. 8, Hinson 5, Gaco 2, Allado 2, Fernandez 0, Escobal 0, Reavis 0.
QS: 15-15, 33-38, 62-65, 87-84

Cyrus Baguio and the Aces
overpowered the Powerade Tigers.
(image by Nuki Sabio/PBA.ph)
Sonny Thoss had another double-double performance – his third in the last four games – and the Alaska Aces overcome an erratic finish to beat the Powerade Tigers.

The 6-7 Thoss finished with 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and grabbed 11 rebounds. He also highlighted his all-around effort with excellent defense that took away the game of Powerade import Chris Porter.

Alaska outscored Powerade, 20-11, in the decisive third quarter, pulling away with a 9-0 run in the last three minutes of the period for a 60-48 advantage. They Aces never trailed again the rest of the way.

L.A. Tenorio finished with 20 points, including Alaska’s last 9 points. Import Jason Forte scored 16 and Cyrus Baguio 11 for the Aces, who bounced back from a jolting 82-81 overtime loss against Petron last Sunday and improved to 3-3 (win-loss) record.

Gary David led all scorers with 22 points but Porter managed just 13 points – his lowest in the conference -- on 6-of-16 shooting from the floor for Powerade, which fell to 2-4, making them a candidate for elimination.

Alaska 78 - Tenorio 20, Forte 16, Thoss 14, Baguio 11, Reyes 6, Dela Cruz 4, Borboran 3, Gonzales 2, Cablay 2, Custodio 0, Eman 0.
Powerade 70 - David 22, Porter 13, Macapagal 7, Cruz 7, Antonio 7, Lanete 6, Quinahan 4, Reyes J. 2, Gonzales 2, Allera 0, Reyes R. 0, Rizada 0, Espino 0.
QS: 20-17, 40-37, 60-48, 78-70

Mark "The Spark" Caguioa
buried the Express deeper in the standings.
(image by Nuki Sabio/PBA.ph)
Curtis Stinson was helpless on the bench with an injured right knee. Alpha Bangura was out there on the floor, but likewise helpless with hardly any energy in his game.

Barangay Ginebra bucked the absence of Stinson and Willie Miller as the Kings nipped the Air21 Express, 89-87, to enhance their semifinals bid in the PBA Governors Cup at the Araneta Coliseum Friday night.

Mark Caguioa, John Wilson, JC Intal and Ronald Tubid picked up the slack to help the Kings back on track after their loss to the Talk n Text Tropang Texters in their Dubai game where Stinson suffered his injury.

The Kings thrived minus an import against an Air21 side playing like they didn’t have one either. Bangura was nowhere to be found, making only 7 points on 3-of-15 shooting. The Kings sealed their third win in five starts with Bangura misfiring a jumper from the right flank in the dying seconds. The Express had two earlier chances to force overtime but Bangura fumbled a drive then was blocked on a short stab by Ronald Tubid.

Caguioa knocked in two treys and paced the Kings with a total of 21 points on top of 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Wilson, Intal and Tubid added at least 11 points apiece.

Ginebra 89 - Caguioa 21, Wilson 14, Intal 13, Tubid 11, Menk 9, Cortez 6, Helterbrand 5, De Ocampo 4, Labagala 2, Wilson 2, Mamaril 2.
Air 21 87 - Sharma 19, Arboleda 17, Canaleta 12, Bangura 7, Urbiztondo 7, Salvador 6, Avenido 6, Najorda 4, Artadi 4, Cabahug 3, Juntilla 2, Espiritu 0, Hontiveros 0.
QS: 18-24, 41-33, 60-56, 89-87

*stories compiled and adapted from PBA.ph

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