2012 PBA Philippine Cup Semifinals Roundup: December 25-26, 2012

Christmas wasn’t kind to everyone in the 2012 PBA Philippine Cup Semifinals.

The Alaska Aces and the San Mig Coffee Mixers were seemingly included in Santa’s naughty list as they each received sound beatings at the hands of the Talk N Text Tropang Texters and Rain or Shine Elasto-Painters respectively.

Once again, SMC’s James Yap struggled from the floor, converting just 1 of his 11 field goals, and, consequently, his team struggled to find its rhythm, too. As a team, the Mixers shot only 38% from the field, while the Painters’ success rate was at 46%. San Mig was also clobbered in almost every other aspect of the game, with ROS beating them in rebounds, assists, and steals. Coach Yeng Guiao’s wards also turned the ball over a lot fewer times.

Five guys finished in double-figures for the Painters, led by Paul Lee, Jervy Cruz, and Jeff Chan, who scored 15, 14, and 13 points respectively. In contrast, only PJ Simon was consistently on-target for SMC. Simon ended up with 22 markers on 9-of-14 shooting. Jireh Ibañes of ROS was named the Player of the Game, since he was principally responsible for putting the clamps on Yap.

Paul Lee's stroke was as smooth as velvet again as
the Elasto-Painters drubbed the Mixers.

A day after, the Texters rebounded from their Game 2 defeat by rolling past the Aces. After trailing by 5 points when the first period closed, coach Norman Black’s boys turned up the heat and rallied in the second frame to take a 5-point lead at halftime. They continued to be successful in the second half even as the Aces repeatedly tried to mount a counter-offensive.

Sonny Thoss registered a double-double for the second time in the series, finishing with 17 points and 14 rebounds, but even that was not enough for the Aces to get the jump on the Texters. Thoss’s awesome numbers were tempered by two things: the subpar play of both Calvin Abueva and JV Casio, and the twin explosions of TNT’s Kelly Williams and Larry Fonacier.

Abueva and Casio, both of whom led Alaska in its Game 2 win, were limited to just 7 and 4 points respectively. They shot a combined 3-of-16 from the floor as the Aces found the going difficult after the first canto. On the other end, Williams and Fonacier paired up for 44 points and 14 rebounds as TNT went up 2-1 in the series. Their production was backstopped by former Gilas players Ranidel De Ocampo and Jimmy Alapag. De Ocampo tossed in a dozen markers to go along with 7 boards, while Alapag added 11 assists to compensate for scoring just 4 points.

Game Recaps:

On Christmas Day, it is better to give than to receive… especially when it comes to lopsided beatings.

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters rebounded from its worst loss of the tournament with a 98-72 rout of the San Mig Coffee Mixers on Christmas Day at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

“Before the game, I just told them, ‘Let’s give ourselves a nice Christmas gift,’” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

“It’s also a way to redeem ourselves from our embarrassing loss last time.”

The Elasto Painters were coming off a 106-82 defeat at the hands of the Mixers in Game Two last week. The four-day break seemed to do wonders for Rain or Shine, which a tight 18-17 match in the first quarter into a 51-32 contest at the half.

Rain or Shine was never seriously threatened in the second half, leading by no less than 15 points the rest of the way. Seven players scored at least eight points for the Elasto Painters, led by Paul Lee who had 15 points, including nine in the third quarter to break the spirits of the rallying Mixers.

The Elasto Painters also got huge contributions beyond the box scores. Jireh Ibañes, who scored just four points, teamed with Gabe Norwood and Ryan Araña to hound San Mig Coffee superstar James Yap to just six points on 1-of-11 shooting.

Peter June Simon carried the fight with 22 points for San Mig Coffee, which shot just 38 percent from the field.

The victory gave the Elasto Painters a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

“This game is a nice gift for all the people who believed in us, said Guiao.

ROS 98 – Lee 15, Cruz 14, Chan 13, Rodriguez 12, Tiu 11, Norwood 9, Arana 8, Belga 6, Ibanes 4, Matias 3, Quinahan 3.
SMC 72 – Simon 22, Barroca 11, Pingris 10, Devance 9, Yap 6, De Ocampo 6, Reavis 4, Gaco 2, Pacana 2, Ramos 0, Ponferada 0, intal 0, Villanueva 0, Gonzales 0.
QS: 18-17, 51-32, 74-56, 98-72

Mark "The Coffee Prince" Barroca tries to
elude the defense of Jervy Cruz.

Jervy Cruz hoists one from in close as the
Painters beat the Mixers.


A day after Christmas, the Yuletide spirit was nowhere to be found in Wednesday’s Philippine Cup semifinals match between Talk ‘N Text and Alaska.

The Tropang Texters fashioned out a 93-79 victory over the Aces in a heated affair at the SM Mall of Asia to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series.

Kelly Williams had 23 points and nine rebounds, while Larry Fonacier scored 21 points to lead Talk ‘N Text, which had to survive a highly-physical contest that saw a couple of ejections and hard fouls.

“I thought our defense was much better today,” said Tropang Texters coach Norman Black. “I thought my guys executed well, both offensively and defensively.”

Black deflected questions about the game’s officiating, which drew numerous boos from the pro-Alaska crowd. In one sequence, the referees called a technical foul to eject Gabby Espinas, before changing the call to a flagrant foul penalty one.

Alaska coach Luigi Trillo gave credit to Talk ‘N Text after the game. “They outhustled us. Give them credit,” he said.

But he still had issues with the calls during the game, as his squad seemed to get the short end of the stick when it came to ejections. Calvin Abueva was thrown out after a flagrant foul penalty one and a technical foul, while Cyrus Baguio was ejected after a flagrant foul penalty two on Jayson Castro.

“You look for consistency,” said Trillo about the referees. “You hear the fans and you hear the crowd [booing].”

Alaska’s Game Two heroes, Abueva and JVee Casio, both struggled from the field. Casio scored just seven points on 2-of-9 shooting, while Abueva was held to four points, making just 1-of-7 shots. Sonny Thoss led the charge for the Aces with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

TNT 93 – Williams 23, Fonacier 21, De Ocampo 12, Carey 7, Dillinger 6, Castro 6, Reyes 5, Alapag 4, Peek 4, Raymundo 3, Aban 2, Gamalinda 0, Alvarez 0.
ALA  79 – Thoss 17, Baguio 13, Jazul 11, Baracael 11, Casio 7, Espinas 6, Abueva 4, Reyes 4, Dela Cruz 2, Hontiveros 2, Belasco 2, Eman 0.
QS: 14-19, 39-34, 69-57, 93-79

Kelly Williams led the way as TNT took a
2-1 series lead against Alaska.

Larry Fonacier stepped up anew as the
Texters rallied past the Aces.

Sonny Thoss's monster production was wasted
as the Aces bowed in Game 3.

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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