2012 PBA Philippine Cup Quarterfinals Roundup: December 12-13, 2012

A pair of surprising things happened this past Wednesday – Rain or Shine had an all too easy time disposing of the Gin Kings, while two highly-touted rookies seemed to sputter in their first taste of the PBA Playoffs.

I picked the Gin Kings to take this series against Rain or Shine, and they still can, but if the Kings continue to play as lackadaisically as they did in Game 1, then we might as well hand the semifinal slot to the Painters on a silver platter.

In the second game, it was interesting how the two best rookies of the current season, Alaska’s Calvin Abueva and Meralco’s Cliff Hodge, took the backseat as more seasoned players took charge. Veteran wingmen Cyrus Baguio and Mark Caguioa led the way for their respective teams as the Aces went up, 1-0, in the series.

Cliff Hodge slams one home even as his
Meralco Bolts lose Game 1 against Alaska.

The following day, a couple of other surprises happened – Petron actually took San Mig Coffee to overtime, while the Express disturbed the nerves of not a few TNT fans.

June Mar (or is it Junmar?) Fajardo finally broke out and showed everyone a glimpse of just how good he can be. The top overall pick of the 2012 PBA Draft registered his best game yet with 22 markers on top of 15 caroms and 3 rejections. It’s a pity, of course, that he won’t be able to strut his stuff until the Commissioner’s Cup starts in about a month or so.

The heavily-favored Texters, meanwhile, had an unexpectedly tough time getting rid of the 8-th seeded Express. Ranidel De Ocampo, one of the franchise’s old hands, was responsible for pushing TNT into the next round after hitting a key trey in the dying minutes to break a tense deadlock.

As we move a step closer to the semis, the big questions are:
1)   Can the Aces and the Painters close out their rivals, or will we see a Game Three for any or both series?
2)   Will Abueva and Hodge live up to their billing and give the fans a rookie rivalry worth remembering?

Game Recaps:

With his team taking a 10-point lead at halftime, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao implored the Elasto Painters to keep up their defensive intensity in the second half.

His team did him one better, as Rain or Shine opened the third quarter with a backbreaking 18-2 run en rute to a 82-65 victory over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in Game One of their best-of-three Philippine Cup quarterfinal series Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Elasto Painters turned a 39-29 lead at the break into a 57-31 advantage early in the third quarter, completely taking the fight out of the Gin Kings.

“Siguro naging prepared lang kami ngayon,” said Rain or Shine guard Paul Lee, who scored seven of his 11 points in that third quarter stretch. “Sinabi sa amin ni Coach Yeng, no let-up.”

Rain or Shine led by as much as 28 points, before extended garbage time in the fourth quarter allowed Ginebra to cut the deficit.

The Elasto Painters did it despite an off night from top gun Jeff Chan, who scored just a single point and did not make a shot from the field.

Chan missed all his eight attempts from the field, but that hardly mattered as Rain or Shine’s defense went to work double time.

The Elasto Painters buckled down to work in the first 24 minutes of play, holding the Gin Kings to just 26.5 percent shooting from the field (9-of-34).

The Gin Kings were held to only a single field goal in the last nine minutes of the second quarter. Their last field goal of the first half was scored by LA Tenorio at the 2:35 mark.

To start the second half, Lee, in only his second game of the season after suffering from a shoulder injury, combined well with rookie Chris Tiu, another player who spent a significant amount of time on the injured list for Rain or Shine, to pilot the Elasto Painters to the surprisingly easy win.

“Napakasarap kasabay ni Chris sa loob, parang coach maglaro,” said Lee. “Utak talaga ang pinapagana niya.”

Game Two of the series is set on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum at 7:30 p.m. Rain or Shine could repeat last year’s Philippine Cup result, when it swept Ginebra in two games in the quarterfinals.

ROS 82 – Cruz 14, Lee 11, Belga 11, Matias 9, Norwood 8, Rodriguez 8, Quinahan 8, Tiu 6, Tang 6, Chan 1, Uyloan 0, Jaime 0, Arana 0.
GIN 65 – Caguioa 16, Jensen 13, Ellis 7, Tenorio 6, Hatfield 6, Maliksi 5, Espiritu 5, Helterbrand 3, Taha 2, Maierhofer 2, Labagala 0, Wilson 0, Mamaril 0, Wilson 0.
QS: 18-15, 39-29, 61-40, 82-65

Gabe Norwood rises to the occasion as
the Painters rout the Gin Kings.


New faces have joined Alaska to change the fortunes of the Aces, but it was an old reliable who carried the cudgels come playoff time.

Cyrus Baguio scored 26 points to lead Alaska to a 90-84 triumph over the Meralco Bolts to start their best-of-three Philippine Cup quarterfinals series Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“There are six, seven new guys who have come in to this team, but Cyrus has been steady for us,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo. “He made good plays out there tonight.”

Baguio hit four three-pointers, including one at the four-minute mark of the third quarter that kicked off a 7-0 run that gave the Aces their biggest lead of the game, 69-47.

Alaska was still up by 16 points, 74-58, heading into the fourth quarter. The Aces kept the Bolts at bay for most of the period, before Sol Mercado and Jay-R Reyes teamed up to cut the lead to just six points late in the game.

But Meralco could not come any closer, allowing the Aces to come away with the victory.

“Let’s give credit to Meralco. Their energy was there. There are guys who are thoroughbreds out there, including Chris Ross and Mercado,” said Trillo.

Veteran Tony dela Cruz also gave Alaska a boost, posting 13 points and seven rebounds to make up for a subpar game from star rookie Calvin Abueva, who scored just six points before fouling out of the game in the fourth quarter.

Mercado, playing with an ankle injury, led the Bolts with 22 points.

Alaska can close out the series with a win in Game Two set on Friday, also at the Big Dome.

ALA 90 – Baguio 26, Espinas 19, Dela Cruz 13, Thoss 10, Baracael 9, Abueva 6, Casio 5, Jazul 1, Hontiveros 1, Eman 0, Belasco 0.
MER 84 – Mercado 22,Cardona 14, Reyes 13, Ross 9, Hodge 8, Buenafe 7, Hugnatan 5, Nabong 2, Bulawan 2, Sharma 2, Borboran 0, Salvacion 0.
QS: 18-20, 44-33, 74-58, 90-84

Calvin Abueva still finds reason to smile despite his below-par
performance against Meralco.


Ranidel De Ocampo hit a cold-blooded three-pointer with less than a minute left for the go-ahead basket in Talk ‘N Text’s thrilling 105-100 triumph over Air 21 in the Philippine Cup quarterfinals Thursday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

De Ocampos dagger, which broke the games last deadlock at 98-all, helped the versatile forward make up for the previous play that saw him getting blocked by Air 21s Noy Baclao on a drive to the basket.

“Ranidel was just our second or third option in the play. He’s there to set a screen then somebody would curl, in that case, it should be Larry Fonacier. But that left Ranidel wide open and he was able to take the three-pointer,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black.

The victory gave the two-time defending champion Tropang Texters the first semifinal seat in the tournament, awaiting the winner of the quarterfinals duel between Alaska and Meralco.

“I like my chances against any one of them. I’m a humble person, but I’m also confident,” said Black. “I admit, either team will be a tough matchup for us. Both squads play contrasting styles.”

Top seed Talk ‘N Text used a balanced effort — eight players scored at least eight points — to turn back eight-seed Air 21, which drew big games from KG Canaleta (25 points) and Mike Cortez (21 points, 18 assists, and nine rebounds).

TNT 105 – Reyes 16, Fonacier 16, Castro 15, De Ocampo 13, Alapag 13, Aban 10, Dillinger 8, Peek 8, Williams 4, Carey 2, Raymundo 0.
A21 100 – Canaleta 25, Cortez 21, Isip 18, Ritualo 14, Baclao 10, Custodio 9, Arboleda 3, Sena 0, Wilson 0, Reyes 0.
QS: 25-23, 51-47, 85-79, 105-100

Ranidel De Ocampo hit the biggest shot of the
game to deflate a gritty Air 21 side.


James Yap and Marc Pingris had excellent games for San Mig Coffee, but it was Mark Barroca who hit the biggest baskets in the Mixers’ pulsating 92-87 overtime victory in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals Thursday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

With the win, the Mixers booked a seat in the tournament’s final four, avoiding the complications of a do-or-die match against the dangerous Boosters.

“Talking about being put through a wringer gives you the idea of facing Petron,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone. “Our idea was to run and gun with these guys. We don’t want a second game with this team. It was a crucial performance for us to knock them out. If we didn’t win tonight, I don’t know how we’re going to win our second game against them.”

San Mig Coffee had reason to be wary. Then known as B-MEG, the team also had twice-to-beat advantage last season against the Powerade Tigers, but were victims of an upset against a team that caught fire at the right time.

This year, the Mixers made sure they advanced.

Barroca scored the final five points of regulation for San Mig Coffee, including a three-pointer that put the Mixers up 79-76 with just 26.3 seconds left. But Arwind Santos hit a tying three-pointer less than 16 seconds later to force the extra period.

San Mig Coffee was up by a slim 87-85 margin late in overtime when Barroca hit a floater and two free throws to put the game away for the Mixers. The second-year guard, who finished with 15 points, also took a key charge during that stretch.

Yap had 23 points and seven rebounds while Pingris added 20 and 11 to lead San Mig Coffee, which trailed by as much as 10 points in the third quarter.

The loss spoiled the performance of top overall pick June Mar Fajardo, who had the best game of his career with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocks.

SMC 92 – Yap 23, Pingris 20, Barroca 15, Devance 12, Simon 12, De Ocampo 4, Ramos 3, Reavis 3, Intal 0, Gonzales 0.
PET 87 – Fajardo 22, Cabagnot 21, Lassiter 16, Santos 13, Washington 8, Lutz 4, Faundo 2, Yeo 1, Lanete 0, Miranda 0, Pena 0.
QS: 17-17, 39-39, 61-63, 79-79, 92-87

June Mar Fajardo's career-best game was not
enough to tow the Boosters past the Mixers.

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

Images: All images are from InterAKTV. (Photo credit to Paolo Papa) 
Next Post »
0 Comment