2012 PBA Philippine Cup Semifinals Roundup: December 19, 2012

The Texters may be up 1-0 in their 2012 Philippine Cup Semifinals series, but that doesn’t mean they should take the Alaska Aces easy. The Aces, in fact, would be forgiven for shedding their underdog tag. If Game 1 was any indication, the Aces of coach Luigi Trillo aren’t ready to play the part of humble lower seeds. They’re ready and raring to pull off an upset.

With Sonny Thoss rediscovering his fine form, RJ Jazul hitting the mark, and rookie sensation Calvin Abueva rising to the occasion, the Aces almost upended the heavily favored Tropang Texters in the opening game of the race-to-4 series. Thoss rattled off a sublime double-double (14 points and 14 rebounds), Jazul hit three treys to finish with 11 points, and Abueva muscled in 10 markers along with 17 boards to lead Alaska’s charge in the low-scoring affair.

Talk N Text, however, grabbed the upper hand for the final time after Ryan Reyes’s lone triple. It was the duo of Jayson Castro and Ranidel De Ocampo, though, who really did damage. Castro registered his own double-double (17 points and 11 rebounds), while Ranidel was the only other Texter who finished in twin digits with 11 markers.

Harvey Carey and Kelly Williams celebrate their Game
One escape over the Alaska Aces.

In the second game, National Team shooter Jeff Chan finally broke out of his slump by unloading 18 points on the strength of 3 treys. Paul Lee, Larry Rodriguez, and Beau Belga all combined for 43 points to help lead the Painters’ Game One conquest of the Mixers.

San Mig Coffee actually played a good game, with six fellows finishing in double-figures, but things may have taken a turn for the worse as James Yap hyperextended his knee in the fourth quarter. With Yap almost certainly out for AT LEAST one game, the onus is on guys like PJ Simon, Yancy De Ocampo, Joe Devance, and Marc Pingris to step up and carry the fight. If Chan keeps on hitting his shots like he did in Game One, however, then the Mixers will definitely be in way over their heads.

Game Recaps:

Ryan Reyes hit the game-winning three-pointer with 14 seconds left to help the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters take Game One of the Philippine Cup semifinals against Alaska, 66-65, Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“I’m very happy with the win,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black, who is hoping to lead the Tropang Texters to their third straight title in the all-Filipino tournament. “We just grinded it out and Ryan Reyes hit a big shot.”

It was a defensive struggle for Talk ‘N Text, which won despite shooting just 29.7 percent from the field. Known for their offense prior to this season, Black’s entry as coach to replace Chot Reyes has given the team a strong defensive identity allowing the team to win the low-scoring affair.

“I’m quite happy with the way we played physically and quite happy with the way we played defense in the game,” said Black.

Talk ‘N Text’s defensive focus was apparent with Alaska star rookie Calvin Abueva, who did not score until the 2:57 mark of the third quarter. Once he got started, however, Abueva served as the spark plug for the Aces, scoring six points in a 13-0 run to bridge the third and fourth periods to allow Alaska to take a 52-47 lead.

The Aces held the advantage for most of the fourth quarter prior to Reyes’ big shot. A desperation attempt by Tony Dela Cruz in the game’s final possession bounced out, allowing Talk ‘N Text to escape with the win.

Jayson Castro led the way for Talk ‘N Text with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Sonny Thoss posted 14 points and 14 rebounds for Alaska, while Abueva scored just 10 points but grabbed 17 rebounds.

Game Two of the series is set on Friday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

TNT 66 – Castro 17, De Ocampo 11, Fonacier 8, Carey 8, Alapag 8, Reyes 7, Dillinger 3, Williams 2, Peek 2, Gamalinda 0, Aban 0.
ALA 65 – Thoss 14, Jazul 11, Abueva 10, Baguio 8, Espinas 7, Casio 6, Hontiveros 5, Baracael 2, Dela Cruz 2, Belasco 0.
QS: 17-11, 34-28, 47-50, 66-65

Calvin Abueva and the Aces fought tooth and nail
against the deeper TNT roster.

Jayson Castro led the way for the Texters
in this low-scoring affair.


Jeff Chan started the job, and Paul Lee finished it.

Chan broke out of his slump with 18 points, while Lee added nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter as Rain or Shine downed San Mig Coffee, 91-83, Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

After a miserable campaign in the quarterfinals, Chan shot 13 points in the first qurter to set the tone for the Elasto Painters.

The two stars got ample support from their big men, who helped Rain or Shine win the battle of the boards, 48-46. Jervy Cruz led the battle in the paint for the Elasto Painters, grabbing 15 rebounds including seven off the offensive end.

“Our biggest concern coming into the game was rebounding,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao. “We were confident that we can stay with them with the matchups.”

Beau Belga and Larry Rodriguez added 15 and 13 points, respectively, helping the Elasto Painters offset the Mixers’ edge in size.

San Mig Coffee tried to pound the point in the paint, with Yancy De Ocampo, Marc Pingris, and Joe Devance all scoring in double-figures. But Mixers main man James Yap was limited to just 11 points before leaving the game late in the fourth quarter because of an injury.

ROS 91 - Chan 18, Lee 15, Rodriguez 15, Belga 13, Cruz 7, Araña 7, Norwood 5, Quiñahan 5, Matias 4, Tiu 2, Ibanes 0.
SMC 83 - De Ocampo 17, Pingris 14, Simon 13, Barroca 12, Devance 12, Yap 11, Intal 2, Reavis 2, Ramos 0, Gonzales 0.
QS: 24-23, 41-38, 65-57, 91-83

Marc Pingris slams one home, but the Mixers
walked away the losers after Game One.

Paul Lee continues to shine for the Painters, and he gets
interviewed by the gorgeous Jessica Mendoza for his troubles.

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)

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