2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Playoffs Roundup: April 24-26, 2013

The 2013 PBA Commish Cup Semifinals cast became complete after the Mixers finished off the Bolts this past Wednesday, while the Gin Kings continued their inspiring run by routing the Texters in Game 1 of their Final Four series.

Denzel Bowles SLAAAAMS it home!

This past Wednesday, history repeated itself as San Mig Coffee beat Meralco, 90-82, to clinch the final semifinal slot in the conference. Down 0-1 in the PBA Commish Cup quarterfinals to the Bolts? No problem for the Mixers. They buckled down to win Games 2 & 3 to barge into the Final Four and dispose of the Bolts AGAIN. Denzel Bowles, of course, led the way with a huge double-double line -- 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks. In a sublime scene of sportsmanship, he and opposing import Eric Dawson hugged on the court postgame. Dawson finished his PBA stint with 24 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. Both Bowles and Dawson are in the running for PBA Best Import of the Conference.

Once again, Meralco squandered its many advantages. They lost their one game lead, and they wasted their +9 rebounding advantage. They probably shot a little too much from three-point land, too. They had 22 attempts compared to just 11 for SMC.

The game also saw the return of James Yap, or maybe just the MIRAGE of the real Big Game James. He shot 9-of-17 from the field and ended up with 20 points to help lift the Mixers. The big question, though, is will he continue to deliver, or was this more of an anomaly?

Just last night, Bgy. Ginebra blew Talk N Text out of the Big Dome, 104-81, in Game 1 of their Final Four series. The Gin Kings made up for their rebounding deficiency by taking great care of the ball (only 10 turnovers) and shooting the lights out from the field. Ginebra shot 52.5% from the floor, including 42% from rainbow country. Talk about hot shooting!

The Texters, meanwhile, were plagued by ice cold shooting from long range. TNT made just 1 of its 18 three-point attempts, with usual reliables Ryan Reyes, Larry Fonacier, and Jimmy Alapag combining for only 14 points.

Coach Alfrancis Chua’s wards unleashed an early haymaker on coach Norman Black’s Texters. The Kings' 10-2 run early in the game erected a lead that Ginebra would not relinquish and all but made the Texters backpedaling. With the lead not going any lower than 10 points, it's clear that this wasn't even a contest.

Game Recaps:
The defending champion San Mig Coffee Mixers are making a return trip to the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals after completing its comeback over with a 90-82 victory over the Meralco Bolts Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

With the victory, the Mixers fashioned a repeat result of last year’s best-of-three quarterfinals series against the Bolts that saw them rally from a 0-1 deficit to book its final four seat.

San Mig Coffee did it with defense, holding the dangerous Meralco offense to just seven points in the fourth quarter. Anchored by the manic effort by Marc Pingris, the Mixers held Bolts import Eric Dawson and top gun Mac Cardona scoreless in the final period.

“It seemed like they got a little tired at the end,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.

Pingris also starred on offense, scoring eight of his 14 points in the fourth period along with seven rebounds and five assists. His heroics completed a balanced attack led by reigning Best Import Denzel Bowles, who scored 23 points, and superstar James Yap, who bounced back from a prolonged slump because on an injury to score 20 points.

“It’s good to have James out there finally playing at a higher level,” said Cone. “It was really good effort.”

San Mig Coffee advances to a best-of-five semifinals series against the top-ranked Alaska Aces, Cone’s former team.

“Got a tough opponent coming up, playing the No. 1 seed,” said Cone. “They got some really tough players out there.”

SMC 90- Bowles 23, Yap 20, Pingris 14, Simon 11, Devance 9, Barroca 7, Mallari 6, Najorda 0, Reavis 0, DeOcampo 0
MER 82- Dawson 24, Cardona 19, Ross 13, Hugnatan 6, Salvacion 6, Hodge 5, Manuel 4, Vanlandingham 3, Reyes 2, Buenafe 0, Artadi 0
QS: 28-27, 53-46, 75-75, 90-82

Meralco's Eric Dawson crumples to the floor after
the defeat at the hands of SMC.

Beautiful ladies in the stands. #Inspiring

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel threw a knockout punch right in the first quarter, and the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters never recovered.

The Gin Kings rode a hot 10-2 start to cruise to a surprisingly easy 104-81 victory in Game One of their Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series Friday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum in front of a raucous crowd of 14,626.

Ginebra built a 33-15 lead in the opening quarter en route to a 59-36 advantage at the half. The Gin Kings never led by less than 18 points the rest of the way to draw first blood in the best-of-five series.

“We beat a very strong team, a very organized team,” said Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua. “But the Never Say Die attitude, we went there just to play. Ayun, nakuha namin ang gusto naming mangyari.”

Ginebra shot the lights out from the field, shooting 52.5 percent, including 10-of-24 from beyond the arc. In stark contrast, the usually sharp Talk ‘N Text couldn’t buy a three-point basket, shooting just 1-of-18 from long distance territory.

Chua credited the momentum from the Gin Kings’ upset victory in the quarterfinals over Rain or Shine as a key for their performance.

“Yun ang ginamit naming motivation coming into this game,” said Chua. “Ang laking bagay nung pinagdaanan namin dun, nag-gain ng confidence ang mga bata.”

Seven players scored at least eight points for the Gin Kings, led by import Vernon Macklin, who rebounded from a conference-low performance in his last outing against Talk ‘N Text. He finished with 25 points and nine rebounds.

Import Jerome Jordan led the way for Talk ‘N Text with 21 points and eight rebounds.

GIN 104- Macklin 25, Raymundo 14, Ellis 13, Baracael 12, Urbiztondo 12, Tenorio 8, Helterbrand 8, Maierhofer 5, Labagala 2, Wilson 2, Hatfield 2, Taha 1, Espiritu 0.
TNT 81- Jordan 21, Castro 18, De Ocampo 12, Al-Hussaini 6, Reyes 6, Ferriols 5, Fonacier 4, Alapag 3, Raymundo 2, Aban 2, Carey 2, Dillinger 0.
QS: 33-15, 59-36, 81-56, 104-81

Chris Ellis stepped up big in Game 1!

Jerome Jordan and the Texters were thwarted
by Yousef Taha and the Kings.

Jessica Mendoza is a sight to behold!

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

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