2012 PBA Philippine Cup Semifinals Roundup: December 21, 2012

The world didn’t end last night. Instead, things started to really get interesting in the 2012 PBA Philippine Cup as both the Aces and the Mixers tied up their respective semifinals series at 1-game apiece.

James Yap once again lived up to his moniker, “Big Game James,” by having, easily, his best game of the conference. The former UE Red Warrior dropped 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, both conference-highs for him, on the Painters, who were looking to go up, 2-0, after beating SMC in Game One. Yap shot 52% from the field, including rifling in 7 treys, in this important game. Along the way, he allayed fears that the injury he got in the first game would further hamper his performance. Mark Barroca and Joe Devance also stepped up big, scoring 17 markers each, even as PJ Simon continued to be a steady contributor with 13 points.

James Yap sizzled with 34 points as the Mixers
drew 1-1 with the Painters.

In the main game, a couple of young guns took over in leading Alaska past the deep, veteran-laden TNT roster. Super sophomore JV Casio and rookie sensation Calvin Abueva paired up for 42 big points as the Aces squared their series with the top-seeded Texters. Casio shot just 5-of-11 from the floor, but all those five makes were threes. He also was a flawless 7-of-7 from the stripe. Abuevae, for his part, grabbed 14 rebounds, easily outplaying any frontliner coach Norman Black tried to throw at him. Veteran Aces Cyrus Baguio and Sonny Thoss continued to be reliable, too, with 18 and 13 markers respectively.

Game Recaps:

Down in the Philippine Cup semifinals against a dangerous opponent, San Mig Coffee was playing with a sense of desperation.

And just like in past big games, it was Big Game James who carried the day for the Mixers.

James Yap scored 34 points, including 16 in the pivotal third quarter, and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead San Mig Coffee to a 106-82 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Game Two to level their best-of-seven series Friday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Yap, who injured his knee in Game One, did most of his damage from beyond the arc, shooting 7-of-12 from the three-point line.

“We had to play this game at a desperation level,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone. “We couldn’t go down 2-0.”

The Mixers won the third quarter, 37-22, to turn the game around after a tight first half. Trailing 38-40 at halftime, San Mig Coffee exploded for 68 points in the next 24 minutes with Yap and Joe Devance alternately scorching the Elasto Painters and avenged their 91-83 Game One loss.

Yap had plenty of support from the rest of the Mixers, as Mark Barroca and Joe Devance added 17 points apiece, while Peter June Simon added 13. Barroca also had seven rebounds and eight assists.

“We shortened our rotation and that put pressure on James (Yap), Mark (Barroca) and PJ (Simon), to play extra minutes. They did a wonderful job tonight but I’m not sure we can do that every game,” said Cone.

“We went to smaller lineup and got the match up we wanted. We were really determined to win the battle of match-ups and in the second half, it looks like we did.”

On the other end, the Mixers hounded the Rain or Shine’s top guns into woeful shooting. Jeff Chan shot just 3-of-10 from the field, while Paul Lee was 2-of-12.

The frustration was evident for the Elasto Painters, with coach Yeng Guiao getting ejected in the third quarter after his second technical foul.

“We just got frustrated with the calls. We felt that they were allowing too much contact against us while we couldn’t defend them with the same amount of contact they were giving (to the other team),” said Guiao.

SMC 106 – Yap 34, Barroca 17, Devance 17, Simon 13, Pingris 9, Gonzales 6, Reavis 4, Ramos 3, De Ocampo 3, Pacana 0.
ROS 82 – Rodriguez 12, Quinahan 12, Chan 10, Cruz 9, Belga 9, Lee 7, Matias 7, Ibanes 7, Arana 5, Norwood 2, Tang 2, Tiu 0.
QS: 18-27, 38-40, 75-62, 106-82

PJ Simon continued to play well for
San Mig Coffee.

Yeng Guiao and Beau Belga had no answers in Game 2.


JVee Casio bounced back from a poor series opener while Calvin Abueva was back in beast mode as they helped Alaska secure a series-tying 100-88 win in Game Two over Talk ‘N Text Friday in the 2013 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Casio drilled five three-pointers to finish with 22 points, 16 more than his Game One output, while Abueva tallied 20 points and 14 rebounds as the Aces tied the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.

Cyrus Baguio was also huge for Alaska with 18 points, including 10 in the final quarter, while slotman Sonny Thoss chipped in 13.

“We were able to impose our will. You can’t outscore Talk ‘N Text. We’re able to play our tempo and grind it out,” said Aces coach Luigi Trillo.

After dropping a close 66-65 decision in Game One, Alaska’s offense was in sync while denying the Tropang Texters’ top gunners, except for Jared Dillinger, from get their usual numbers.

Dillinger led all scorers with 26 points, two shy of tying his career-high, but the rest of his teammates were not much of a factor with Jimmy Alapag scoring just four points on 1-of-11 shooting from the floor.

Despite Alapag’s struggles, Talk ‘N Text was still in the thick of things early in the fourth with Dillinger’s heroics.

But the Aces unleashed a 13-4 assault capped by Abueva’s two free throws off Ranidel de Ocampo’s final foul to erect an 89-78 lead with 5:34 remaining,

Talk ‘N Text threatened at 91-85, but Baguio scored five straight points to spark another 8-3 exchange to give the Aces game for good with a little over a minute left.

Kelly Williams and Jayson Castro chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the Tropang Texters. Game One hero Ryan Reyes was held scoreless in 27 minutes as he attempted only thrice.

Game Three is set on Wednesday also at the MOA Arena

“We have tired legs. Time to refresh,” said Trillo. “Back to the drawing board and see what adjustments to do.”

ALA 100 – Casio 22, Abueva 20, Baguio 18, Thoss 13, Espinas 9, Jazul 7, Hontiveros 5, Baracael 2, Laure 2, Belasco 2, Reyes 0, Dela Cruz 0.
TNT 88 – Dillinger 26, Williams 13, Castro 12, Fonacier 10, De Ocampo 10, Peek 6, Carey 4, Alapag 4, Aban 3, Reyes 0, Alvarez 0.
QS: 21-27, 46-48, 74-68, 100-88

Harvey Carey and the Texters were surprised
by Tony Dela Cruz and the Aces.

JV Casio erupted for 22 points as the
Aces ambushed TNT.

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 Paul Ryan Tan) 
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