2012 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals: May 2 & 4, 2012

More than 20,000 people trooped to the Big Dome to
watch Game 6 of the Commissioner's Cup Finals.

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

Of course, it had to go to a Game 7.

I was actually praying for this. Up there in Tagaytay City, in my school’s annual retreat, with my colleagues, reflecting on the previous year, I was also secretly asking the Man if He could just push this series to a seventh game.


Because this has just been so darn fun.

Fun to watch.

Fun for a returnee fan like me.

So come Sunday, I’ll be tuned in, raring to see who steps up and who takes the fall.

I’m traditionally for the Texters because of the plethora of Ateneo connections, but I’m in neutral zone right now because I think Pamboy Raymundo sucks.

Nevertheless, what really makes me excited about this whole shebang is that the PBA is attracting fans again, which is simply awesome.

Kudos to Commissioner Chito Salud (Atenean, folks), and his staff for steering the PBA to this return to the spotlight. Of course, the players deserve the most recognition for playing their hearts out in every game.

I guess the refs, too, for letting the players play so to speak. Some quarters might say the refs might have been allowing  a little too much leeway with the contact and all, but, hey, welcome to modern sports entertainment. In this time when the UFC is lording over the airwaves, and when the WWE is seeing its own resurgence, the PBA has to allow a bit of “physicality” to stay relevant.

And, well, since Manny’s gloves are holstered for the time being, I guess we can all enjoy the prospect of a Josh Urbiztondo-Pamboy Raymundo slugfest in Game 7.


Game Recaps:

Game 5:

B-Meg drew monster games from James Yap and Denzel Bowles and is now on the brink of the PBA Commissioner's Cup championship.

Yap and Bowles combined for 58 points and the Llamados handily beat the Talk N Text Tropang Texters to move within another win of capping the franchise's ninth title overall.

Before a crowd of almost 16,000, Yap, the two-time MVP, went 4-for-4 from beyond the arc and 10-for-16 from the field for a personal conference-high 30 points that went with nine rebounds despite an array of defenders thrown at him.

Jared Dillinger had a second straight 18-point game and Donnell Harvey had 13 points and 16 rebounds, but TNT found itself now taking its turn at trying to come up with an effort to match B-Meg's.

Bowles wound up with 28 points on top of a game-high 18 rebounds. His 13 points in the fourth period matched the entire Texters output, leading to the series' second straight blowout after the first three games were decided by an average margin of only four points.

Marc Pingris, who dislocated his left ring finger early in the game but had it taped to the middle joint and came back to finish the game, was especially cited by B-Meg’s coach Tim Cone, as well as Yancy de Ocampo, who finished with eight points and seven rebounds and helped defend Harvey and sustain B-Meg's attack in the middle quarters before fouling out late in the third period.

PJ Simon was held to only five points but that was offset by Texter Ranidel de Ocampo winding up with only three points.

Even Jimmy Alapag had just six points but those came too far between. His first triple, though, moved TNT within 53-54 before Yap strung up five straight points to make it a six-point game heading to the final 12 minutes of play.

Devance opened up the fourth quarter with a three-point play off a Simon feed and Pingris' teardrop made it 64-53, before Yap and Bowles took over.

Talk N Text would come no closer than seven points the rest of the way.

BML 82 - Yap 30, Bowles 28, De Ocampo 8, Simon 5, Urbiztondo, Devance 3, Barroca 2, Pingris 2, Gaco 0, Burtscher 0, Intal 0, Reavis 0.
TNT 66 - Dillinger 18, Castro 16, Harvey 13, Alapag 6, Peek 6, De Ocampo 3, Gamalinda 2, Fonacier 2, Aguilar 0, Reyes 0, Williams 0, Carey 0.
QS: 24-15, 41-33, 59-53, 82-66

A big crowd like this one is expected to witness the
rubber match on Sunday.

James Yap unloaded 30 markers to lead B-Meg within a
win of the Commissioner's Cup crown.
Tim Cone will be pulling out all the stops when
Game 7 gets underway.

Game 6:

The title showdown between proud reigning champ Talk n Text and mighty challenger B-Meg has turned to be a real classic, climaxing in a winner-take-all match Sunday.

As in Games Two and Four, the Tropang Texters fought back from a loss, pulling off a forceful win in Game Six to send the PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven series to full distance.

The Texters shook off a lethargic start and rode on Jayson Castro’s decisive flurry in the final canto as the Texters foiled the party anticipated by the Llamados and their part of the mammoth crowd of over 20,000 filling the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday night.

Castro delivered 25 points, including 14 in the last quarter and the other Talk n Text top guns found their old superb shooting as the Texters survived a third do-or-die game in the tourney.

B-Meg’s Tim Cone mentioned the lack of support Denzel Bowles and James Yap got from their teammates. The Tropang Texters put up a solid game together, easily negating the 33-point performance of Bowles and the 27-point showing of Yap. Curiously, no other B-Meg scored more than five.

Jarred Dillinger, Ranidel de Ocampo, Donnell Harvey and Ryan Reyes were four other Texters who logged double-digit outputs. Proving to be a big key was the 14-of-24 combined three-point shooting of Castro, Dillinger, De Ocampo, Reyes and Larry Fonacier. De Ocampo snapped off his personal slump, knocking in four three-pointers and finishing with 15 points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal in 28 minutes of action.

TNT 92 - Castro 25, Dillinger 16, De Ocampo 15, Harvey 11, Reyes 11, Fonacier 6, Alapag 4, Williams 2, Peek 2, Gamalinda 0, Carey 0.
B-MEG 82 - Bowles 33, Yap 27, Intal 5, Villanueva 5, De Ocampo 4, Barroca 2, Urbiztondo 2, Devance 2, Simon 2, Acuna 0, Gaco 0, Burtscher 0, Pingris 0, Reavis 0.
QS: 19-27, 50-48, 67-63, 92-82

Ever the colorful personality, Chot Reyes reacts
in Game 6 of the Finals.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/InterAKTV)
Jayson Castro delivered in crunch time as the
Texters survived to fight another day.
Former Chicago Bull took in the sights and sounds
of a rough and rowdy Game 6.

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