PBA Roundup: Mar. 28-31, 2012

Donnell Harvey continues to be a dominant presence
for the TNT Tropang Texters.

*Unless otherwise specified, all images are by Paolo Papa/InterAKTV.com

The Talk n Text Tropang Texters kept their dominating performance in the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup, repulsing the Petron Blaze Boosters to secure elimination-round top honors for the fifth time in the last six conferences. The Texters left nothing to chance, pummeling the Boosters for a league-best 7-2 win-loss record.

The Boosters lost their last four outings, sending them to a poor 3-6 wind-up – tied with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Air21 Express in the bottom. Petron went 0-2 with Will McDonald and, like last year, failed to advance to the  Commissioner’s Cup playoffs. Injuries to Jay Washington, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Dondon Hontiveros and Chris Lutz obviously took their toll on Petron.

Talk n Text simply outclassed Petron with the Texters imposing their game, outscoring the Boosters, 16-6, on fastbreaks and, 20-12, on second-chance points. Jason Castro topscored for the Texters with 19 points while playing off the bench. Jared Dillinger, Donnell Harvey, Jimmy Alapag and Kelly Williams added at least 10 points each for the Texters who, with their early semis entry, will get at least a 10-day rest.

TNT 107 - Castro 19, Dillinger 16, Harvey 15, Alapag 11, Williams 10, Aguilar 9, Reyes 7, Fonacier 6, Carey 6, De Ocampo 5, Gamalinda 3, Raymundo 0.
PBB 80 - Mc Donald 20, Santos 16, Yeo 11, Miranda 11, Ildefonso 6, Guevarra 4, Tugade 4, Al-Hussaini 2, Reyes 2, Lanete 2, Cabagnot 2, Rizada 0.
QS: 26-21, 49-39, 82-63, 107-80

Arwind Santos slams one home as the Boosters
get booted out of contention.
Chot Reyes will be leaving the Texters after this conference
to focus on his duties as National Team Head Coach.

Ginebra already had its own motivation against Air21 Wednesday and didn't need the Express’s Ogie Menor to add on to it. But Menor did, and the result was the Kings getting fired up even more for a victory that assured the Kings a playoff spot for an automatic semifinals slot in the PBA Commissioner's Cup.

Barangay Ginebra did not lose composure despite a fracas involving Menor, who was reactivated only last Friday in the course of Air21's 91-101 loss to Meralco. Menor, relegated to reserve status just before the team formerly known as Shopinas.com wound up its winless debut in the Philippine Cup, again showed his toughie side by incurring the ire of Kings import Jackson Vroman with a hard bump in the last 45 seconds of the second period.

The hard-nosed guard got a technical for that and was again teed up and promptly ejected following a confrontation with Ginebra forward Willie Wilson and assistant coach Allan Caidic while the teams were on their way to their respective dugouts at halftime.

Barangay Ginebra seemed to have gotten stoked up even more due to the incidents, putting on a mighty second half show that resulted in as much as a 22-point fourth quarter lead for the perennial crowd favorites.

Vroman did not see action in the last 25 minutes of the game but the Kings' locals, led by Mike Cortez, proved up to the task of carrying on the fight enroute to their third straight win ending the nine-game eliminations. The victory jacked Ginebra's win-loss record to 6-3, tying it with B-Meg.

Barangay Ginebra's win also meant Barako Bull nabs No. 5 and will be playing off in the best-of-three quarterfinals against No. 4 seed Alaska. The No. 3 seed takes on the winner of the do-or-die playoff, set also Friday, for No. 6 between Powerade and Meralco.

Marcus Douthit scored 19 points and grabbed 23 reboundes for Air21, which absorbed its fourth straight loss and wound up at 10th and last place for the second straight conference. RJ Jazul also finished with 19 points, anchored on six triples, while Nelbert Omolon, James Sena and Ren-Ren Ritualo each had at least 10 points for the Express.

All of their collective efforts, however, paled to the more balanced attack of their Ginebra counterparts. Vroman scattered 19 points and 13 rebounds while Cortez had 18 points and a game-high 9 assists. Mark Caguioa's 13 points was the only other double-digit output by a King, but eight of the nine other players fielded by Tanquingcen scored and five of those had at least eight each.

BGK 103 - Vroman 19, Cortez 18, Caguioa 13, Ababou 9, Raymundo 9, W. Wilson 8,
Villanueva 8, Hatfield 8, Labagala 6, J. Wilson 3, Canaleta 2, Mamaril 0.
A21 87 - Douthit 19, Jazul 19, Omolon 15, Sena 11, Ritualo 10, Hubalde 7, Isip 4, Escobal 2, Sison 0, Espiritu 0, Menor 0, Duncil 0.
QS: 26-25, 53-42, 78-67, 103-87

Marcus Douthit tried, and failed, to raise the
Air21 Express from the cellar.
Mark Caguioa and the Kings disposed of the Express
to barge into the Commissioner's Cup Playoffs.

Earl Barron delivered 33 points and grabbed 18 rebounds Friday night, hitting two free throws in the closing seconds that completed a resurrection of sorts for the Meralco Bolts.

The Bolts nearly blew a 13-point third quarter advantage, but hung on to eliminate the Tigers and catch the last bus to the quarterfinals, cramming themselves into the only available playoff space left.

They will face the loser of the Barangay Ginebra-B-Meg playoff in a three-game mini-series starting Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Three men, basically, alternated on guarding Powerade leading scorer Gary David – Mark Macapagal, Sol Mercado and Mac Cardona – and the result was revealing: 11 of 14 missed 3-point attempts and 8 of 10 bricks from within the arc for David.

MB 102 – Barron 33, Cardona 24, Taulava 16, Ross 12, Mercado 9, Hugnatan 4, Borboran 2, Macapagal 2, Timberlake 0.
POW 98 – Jones 20, Lassiter 20, David 20, Casio 14, Anthony 13, Kramer 5, Lingganay 4, Calimag 2, Vanlandingham 0, Allera 0, Cruz 0.
QS: 23-16, 45-43, 75-66, 102-98.

Earl Barron had another auspicious performance
as the Bolts beat the Tigers.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/InterAKTV.com)
Gary David and the rest of the Powerade squad
got the axe after losing to the Meralco Bolts.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/InterAKTV.com)

Barangay Ginebra top gun Mark Caguioa came crashing down in a nasty accident in the third quarter and never came back. This served no problem for the Kings, though, with reserve forward KG Canaleta picking up the slack.

Canaleta played his best game in a Ginebra uniform in an opportune time, leading the Kings to a come-from-behind win over the B-Meg Llamados in their battle for an outright semifinal passage in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

With Canaleta leading their charge, the Kings outmaneuvered and outgunned the Llamados in the fourth quarter for the crucial win sending them to an early Final Four entry together with top seed Talk N Text. B-Meg settled for third seeding in the playoffs, requiring the team to go through the quarterfinals versus Meralco. They begin their best-of-three showdown Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Canaleta put in his biggest output in a Ginebra jersey with 25 points, providing the Kings a huge lift as they overcame double-digit deficits in the first half and pulled through with plenty to spare. The Kings were still lagging behind at 72-74 before unleashing a mind-boggling 19-2 run to turn things around.

Ginebra did the trick with Caguioa on the dugout being attended for a nasty cut on the right eyelid he sustained on a fall early in the third quarter. Caguioa played only 22 minutes, getting five points, two assists and one rebound against four turnovers.

BGK 93 - Canaleta 25, Vroman 15, Cortez 15, Ababou 9, Hatfield 8, Labagala 5, Caguioa 5, J. Wilson 4, Mamaril 4, W. Wilson 2, Raymundo 1, Villanueva 0.
BML 84 - Yap 18, Bowles 12, Simon 11, Urbiztondo 10, De Ocampo 10, Devance 9, Intal 6, Pingris 4, Barroca 2, Reavis 2, Acuna 0.
QS: 17-27, 40-43, 64-68, 93-84

James Yap and the Llamados failed to sustain their
early momentum as they lost to the Gin Kings.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/InterAKTV.com)
Not even Mark Caguioa's early exit could prevent Ginebra
from beating the B-Meg Llamados.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/InterAKTV.com)

Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi has doubts about his new import's readiness to play, but he has not an ounce of uncertainty with his veterans.

The Energy's more seasoned players did not disappoint, showing their vintage style of play in conspiring for a win over Alaska Wednesday at the start of their PBA Commissioner's Cup best-of-three quarterfinals series.

Ronald Tubid scattered 24 points in just three quarters of play, his best game in a Barako Bull uniform, while Danny Seigle, Don Allado, Willie Miller , Leo Najorda and Dorian Pena made significant contributions for the Energy in overcoming a lackluster debut by new import Reggie Okosa.

Seigle came off the bench to add a personal conference-high 21 points and also became the 34th and latest member of the 2,000 defensive rebounds club with his six boards, four of them defensive, while Allado added 16 and nine. Miller and Najorda combined for 26 points while Pena snatched a team-high 12 rebounds.

Cyrus Baguio scored a team-high 20 points, LA Tenorio 19 and rookie Marnel Baracael 18 for Alaska, which drew only 11 points from import Adam Parada.  The seven-foot Mexican also had 14 rebounds, but he visibly faded in the late goings, just when Najorda and Seigle spearheaded a Barako attack that led to a 93-82 spread.

BBE 103 - Tubid 24, Seigle 21, Allado 16, Miller 14, Najorda 12, Pena 8, Arboleda 6,
Gatumbato 2, Okosa 0, Weinstein 0, Pennisi 0.
ALA 90 - Baguio 20, Tenorio 19, Baracael 18, Parada 11, Thoss 10, Custodio 8, Eman 2, Gonzales 2, Salamat 0, Bugia 0.
QS: 17-27, 48-47, 79-74, 103-90

Don Allado does another Tim Tebow pose as
the Energy manage to deflate the Aces.
Adam Parada had one of his worst performances
in an Aces uniform against Barako Bull.

Personally challenged by their top boss in practice Saturday, the Meralco Bolts didn’t disappoint in the game Sunday.

“I’ll be in the dugout after the game,” Meralco owner Manny V. Pangilinan told the Bolts.

Taking it rightly as Pangilinan's marching order, the Bolts fought with great resolve throughout as they blasted the B-Meg Llamados in the opener of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-three quarterfinal showdown.

Offensively, Earl Barron and Mark Cardona showed the way as the Bolts led from start to finish, winning their first-ever post-elim game in lopsided fashion. Meralco hardly gave B-Meg a chance in Game One, coming out smoking and opening a huge 23-point spread right in the first half.

Barron led all scorers with 34 points with Cardona adding 22, taunting the crowd each time he made a big shot. Asi Taulava also played big, churning out double-double numbers with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Taulava had a big hand defensively as the Bolts held Denzel Bowles down to 18 points and 7 rebounds. Going down the drain was James Yap’s first 20-point outing in the conference.

MB 103 - Barron 34, Cardona 22, Ross 12, Taulava 12, Mercado 10, Macapagal 8, Hugnatan 5, Timberlake 0, Borboran 0.
BML 81 - Yap 21, Bowles 18, Simon 12, Devance 9, Urbiztondo 5, De Ocampo 5, Pingris 4, Barroca 3, Intal 2, Reavis 2, Burtscher 0, Villanueva 0.
QS: 32-19, 54-38, 77-69, 103-81

Sol Mercado and the Bolts inflicted the Llamados'
second defeat in a span of 3 days.
Mac Cardona and the Meralco squad are gaining lots of
momentum in the Commissioner's Cup Playoffs.

Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from PBA.ph
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