2012 PBA Governor’s Cup Roundup: June 22-24, 2012

Kerby Raymundo and the Gin Kings beat Alaska to
avoid back-to-back losses.

For 24 minutes, Barangay Ginebra appeared to be on the verge of experiencing its first set of back-to-back setbacks in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

Fortunately for the Gin Kings, Mark Caguioa once again sparked their comeback.

Caguioa scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the Gin Kings’ to a come-from-behind 90-81 triumph over the luckless Alaska Aces Friday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

He did more than just score in the victory, Ginebra’s fourth in seven matches. He had three steals and four assists while inspiring the rest of his squad to do their share to make up for a subpar gam from import Cedric Bozeman.

Enrico Villanueva came off the bench to score all of his 12 points in the second half. KG Canaleta also stepped up, contributing nine in the final 24 minutes of play while Dylan Ababou and Willie Wilson combined for 10 points as the Gin Kings’ shock troopers outplayed the Aces.

Overall, the Gin Kings got 55 points from their bench compared to 22 for the Aces.

The Aces posted their biggest lead at 17 points, 46-29, on a basket by import Jason Forte with still a minute to go before the end of the first half.

But the Gin Kings fought their way back slowly in the third period. A blistering 14-3 run capped by a Bozeman basket shoved the Gin Kings within one point, 55-54, with 4:27 left in the quarter.

In the fourth period, Caguioa led another 14-3 spurt by the Gin Kings, who posted a 79-68 lead with 8:05 left in the game. They were never seriously threatened from then on.

The alternating wins and losses trend continued for Ginebra, which is now a win away from reaching the semifinal round.

Ginebra’s inconsistency was a big concern both for both coach Siot Tanquingcen and Caguioa.

“We’re far from [being in good] shape. Knowing carryover ang semis, gusto naming makuha yung dating shape namin,” said Tanquingcen.

Caguioa, for his part, believes they need to execute better

“We need to get some flow from our offense. Meron kaming game na pangit, next naman super ganda, mahirap tantyahin,” said Caguioa.

GIN 90 - Caguioa 22, Bozeman 15, Villanueva 12, Cortez 12, Canaleta 9, Ababou 6, Hatfield 6, Wilson W. 4, Maierhofer 2, Raymundo 2, Maliksi 0, Wilson J. 0, Mamaril 0, Helterbrand 0.
ALA 81 - Forte 20, Tenorio 12, Espinas 12, Baguio 11, Thoss 9, Baracael 7, Jazul 6, Eman 2, Gelig 2, Thiele 0, Custodio 0, Sotto 0, Cablay 0, Dela Cruz 0.
QS: 10-23, 33-46, 65-65, 90-81

Mark Caguioa unloaded 22 big ones against the Aces.
Former Smart-Gilas teammates Dyla Ababou (L) and
Mac Baracael (R) faced off last Friday.

Zach Graham exploded for 51 points, the highest total for a PBA import in four years, to carry Air 21 to a stunning upset over streaking Powerade, 128-121, in a PBA Governors’ Cup shootout at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum Friday night.

The Express import tallied the most points in the PBA since Darius Rice score 56 for Purefoods in the 2008 Fiesta Conference.

But Graham did not go it alone, as he got plenty of help from other members of the Express, which set a franchise record for points scored.

Ren-Ren Ritualo scored 22 points on perfect 6-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, tying records set by Glenn Capacio (twice), Vic Pablo, and Dondon Hontiveros for most three-point field goals without a miss according to PBA head of statistics Fidel Mangonon. Nelbert Omolon contributed 17 points while James Sena and Mark Isip chipped in 10 for the Express.

Air 21 also played stellar defense early in the game, holding Powerade top gun Gary David scoreless for the first 21-and-a-half minutes. David didn’t make his first basket — a three-pointer — until the 2:30 mark of the second period.

Still, David masterminded a late rally by the Tigers that cut the lead into two points. Graham, however, proved to be a steady marksman from the free throw line, helping the Express put the game out of reach with clutch foul shooting.

The win, the second in seven games for the Express, kept their hopes of making the semifinals alive.

Powerade import Omar Sneed had his own monster game with 40 points, while David finished with 28 points to lead the Tigers, who saw their four-game streak snapped with their third loss in seven matches.

A21 128 - Graham 51, Ritualo 22, Omolon 17, Sena 10, Isip 10, Hubalde 5, Arboleda 5, Sison 4, Bagatsing 2, Espiritu 2.
POW 121 - Sneed 40, David 28, Vanlandingham 10, Al-Hussaini 10, Casio 8, Anthony 7, Lingganay 6, Martinez 5, Guevarra 4, Salvador 3, Allera 0, Calimag 0, Tugade 0, Antonio 0.
QS: 33-23, 68-44, 99-80, 128-121

Rudy Lingganay lies bloodied after getting hit against
the Air21 Express.
Zach Graham soars to the hoop for the
easy jam as Air21 tripped Powerade.

Rain or Shine brought its A-game to Dumaguete City, defeating the Petron Blaze Boosters, 103-82, Saturday at the Lamberto Macias Sports and Cultural Center.

Jireh Ibanes played his best game of the tournament, tallying 15 points while hounding Petron import Eddie Basden to just nine points.

Ibanes’ big game was more than enough to make up for the absence of Paul Lee, who sat out the game because of a dislocated shoulder.

Four other players finished in double figures for the Elasto Painters led by import Jamelle Cornley’s 22 points. Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan each contributed 16 points while Jervy Cruz added 14 points for the Elasto Painters, who outscored the Boosters 30-19 in the fourth period.

“We showed great character and I’m really happy with the way we played because we know Petron is one of the stronger teams in the league right now. They were playing at their best before this game,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

Petron was red hot from beyond the arc in the first half, but Rain or Shine tightened the screws on defense after the break.

“We felt we were playing good basketball. Despite the fact that they were able to hit 10 three-pointers, we were only down by three at the half,” said Guiao.

Rain or Shine remained in first place with its seventh win in eight games, while Petron’s win-loss record fell to 4-4.

ROS 103 - Cornley 22, Norwood 16, Chan 16, Ibanes 15, Cruz 14, Matias 5, Belga 4, Tang 4, Buenafe 3, Quinahan 2, Arana 2.
PET 82 - Washington 19, Santos 18, Lutz 10, Basden 9, Yeo 8, Cabagnot 7, Hontiveros 6, Lanete 3, Baclao 2, Pena 0, Miranda 0, Reyes 0.
QS: 27-25, 44-47, 73-63,103-82

Sol Mercado erupted for 15 points in the fourth period to lead Meralco to a 91-78 victory over Powerade in the PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Scoreless in the first three quarters, Mercado led the Bolts’ decisive rally to pull away from a tight game and notch their first back-to-back wins in the tournament.

“I just told him just to be patient. True enough, Powerade’s defense loosened up in the fourth quarter,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio of his prized guard.

“It was a great win for us. With other teams falling down, we are encouraged that our destiny lies in our hands. We need a victory over Barako Bull on Sunday to have a clear passage and finally nail one of the six slots,” added Gregorio.

Mario West had another solid performance for the Bolts with 29 points and nine rebounds and was responsible for limiting Gary David, the PBA’s leading local scorer, to 20 points.

“Our import takes pride on defending,” said Gregorio. “I told him for the game, he’ll be guarding the best scoring local player in the league. But Gary David is not Tyreke [Evans], nor Dwayne Wade nor Lebron James. These are the players (West) used to guard in the NBA.”

David got his shooting rhythm in the third quarter, when he exploded for 11 points to put the Tigers within striking distance, trailing by only two points, 68-66, going into the fourth period.

But it was Mercado who stole the show in the final period, leading 16-3 exchange to build an 84-69 advantage for the Bolts with 4:22 remaining.

Powerade failed to respond, absorbing its second straight defeat that dropped its win-loss record to 4-4. The loss also ruined the return of Nic Belasco to the PBA.

The 38-year old Belasco had 4 points and 4 rebounds in 14 minutes for the Tigers. Omar Sneed led Powerade with 23 points and 17 rebounds.

MER 91 - West 29, Mercado 15, Cardona 15, Hugnatan 14, Taulava 7, Bulawan 6, Macapagal 3, Ross 2, Reyes 0.
POW 78 - Sneed 23, David 20, Guevarra 12, Casio 6, Al-Hussaini 4, Belasco 4, Anthony 3, Lingganay 2, Salvador 2, Adducul 2, Vanlandingham 0, Tugade 0.
QS: 21-24, 43-42, 68-66, 91-78

Sol Mercado hit the big buckets to lead the Bolts
past the high-powered Tigers.
34-year old Nic Belasco returned to the PBA after a short stint
with the Malaysia Dragons in the AirAsia ABL.

Talk ‘N Text weathered the rally of Barangay Ginebra late in the game and held on for a 113-111 thrilling win and extend its winning streak to three games in the PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Jayson Castro scored the last six points of the Tropang Texters, including a miraculous bank shot that doused the uprising of the Kings.

Castro had a chance at a three-point play off a foul by Jayjay Helterbrand, but missed the bonus shot. But it gave Talk ‘N Text a 111-108 lead with 27.6 seconds remaining.

Mark Caguioa’s misfired a short jumper on the next play and Castro collared the board and sank two free throws to put the game away. Cedric Bozeman hit a three-pointer in the next possession for the Gin Kings, but Talk ‘N Text dribbled the time out.

“We want to get better in two things. To get better in things we normally do and to get better health-wise,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes.

“We were able to weather the storm and without our top defensive players, we have to find ways to win and this time by outscoring them.”

Paul Harris finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds for the Tropang Texters, who improved their win-loss mark to 4-3.

Ranidel de Ocampo added 21 points while Larry Fonacier chipped in 19, including booming three-pointer from deep left corner for a 107-101 spread. That ended Ginebra’s 12-1 assault, masterminded by Caguioa, that cut Talk ‘N Text’s lead to just three points.

Castro also netted double figures with 18 while Japeth Aguilar was huge off the bench with 10 points and five rebounds.

Caguioa had a conference-high 32 points, while Bozeman also scored 32 for the Gin Kings, whose record dropped to 4-4. No other Ginebra player hit double figures in scoring.

“It’s going to be a tough week. We are preparing ourselves for that,” said Reyes, whose next assignment is B-MEG on Wednesday.

TNT 113 - Harris 30, De Ocampo 21, Fonacier 19, Castro 18, Aguilar 10, Alapag 5, Reyes 3, Williams 3, Aban 2, Peek 2.
GIN 111 - Bozeman 32, Caguioa 32, Ababou 7, Wilson W. 7, Helterbrand 7, Hatfield 7, Cortez 6, Canaleta 4, Villanueva 4, Maierhofer 3, Raymundo 2, Menk 0.
QS: 27-24, 54-47, 83-78, 113-11

Old rivals Ali Peek and Rudy Hatfield jostle
for rebound position under the hoop.
Ranidel De Ocampo's 21 markers helped the Texters climb
to third in the standings.
No less than 7 teams have legit shots of
making the next round.

Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from InterAKTV. (Writing credit to Reynaldo Belen, Kris Lagman, and Rey Joble)

Images: All images are from InterAKTV. (Photo credit to Paolo Papa and Paul Ryan Tan) 
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