2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Roundup: April 17, 2013

The elimination round is (finally) done. Two teams have bitten the dust – GlobalPort and Barako Bull – and the brackets are all set! Meralco won a close one against Rain or Shine in OT while Petron throttled past TNT to finalize the quarterfinal pairings in the 2013 PBA Commish Cup!

In yesterday’s first game, Meralco leaned on the “resurrection” of Eric Dawson to beat Rain or Shine, 118-116, in the extra session. Now I'll say it again -- why isn't Dawson in the "next Gilas naturalized player" conversation? Two 50+ point games in one conference? Are you effin' kidding? Plus 14 rebounds, 5 steals, and 4 assists tonight? WOW.

Both Dawsona and Mac Cardona were money here, but the yeomen like Jay-R Reyes, Reynel Hugnatan, and Vic Manuel were the unheralded valuables for the Bolts. That trio combined for 29 points and 21 rebounds!!!

On the other end of the floor, I sincerely hope Beau Belga can have his emotions in check. Belga can be effective at times, but other times, he can be just plain entertaining (and nothing more). In this game, he was the latter. The starting PF for the Painters missed the potential game-winner in OT, tried to scuffle with Mac Cardona in frustration, and produced a big fat egg in 14 minutes. And he will be a PBA All-Star why again?

So, yeah. That's an awkward moment right there.

In the main game, Petron overcame Talk N Text, 87-76. Petron’s Henry Sims outplayed TNT’s Jerome Jordan despite this being a no-bearing game. Sims, in what is maybe his best outing so far, scored 22 points, grabbed 23 rebounds, got 2 steals, and had 2 blocks to lead Petron in only its first win over TNT this season.

The Texters continued to miss the A-game of sniper Larry Fonacier as the Gilas standout continued to struggle in this conference. Fonacier shot just 1-of-6 from the field and produced only 2 points in 27 minutes of action.

All this while his fellow Gilas hopeful, June Mar Fajardo, was a crackin' Kraken. Man, if Fajardo can put together this kind of game more often -- 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks, shooting 7-of-13 form the field, then he would be a living legend in no time. If he can do that in Gilas, then even better!

Quarterfinals preview coming up later today!

Game Recaps:
MERALCO over RAIN OR SHINE, 118-116 (OT)
Eric Dawson got hurt in the crucial stretch of the overtime period, but the Meralco import returned and came up with a big basket inside the final minute as the Bolts survived the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 118-116, in their final elimination round game of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

The former Player of the Year of the NBA D-League finished with 50 points, 14 rebounds and five steals. It was the second 50-plus performance of Dawson this conference, making him the first player since Jerod Ward of Talk ‘N Text in 2001 Commissioner’s Cup to score at least 50 points twice in a conference.

Dawson and Mac Cardona delivered the last four points of the game for their team, enabling the Bolts to secure a spot in the best-of-three quarterfinals against the San Mig Coffee Mixers.

“Tonight’s game, Eric Dawson towed us to victory. Playing with one leg, he still managed to make the important basket,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.

The high-scoring Meralco import, who previously scored 57 points, hurt his knee with still more than two minutes left in the game after stepping on the foot of Beau Belga.

He came back to come up with an important basket that put the Bolts on top, 116-115, but Gabe Norwood answered back with split charities at the other end.

Cardona’s floater with 56.4 seconds left proved to be the marginal basket and the Bolts, who had to watch Beau Belga missed a potential game-winning triple at the buzzer.

The burly Rain or Shine center missed the shot completely and had an altercation with Cardona, who challenged the shot and embraced Belga after the final buzzer. Not liking the gesture shown by the Meralco swingman, Belga shoved Cardona before cooler heads prevented the thing from going out of hand.

The Bolts squandered a 19-point, second quarter lead (52-33).

The Elasto Painters lost their head coach, Yeng Guiao, barely 10 minutes gone by in the first period after being called for a flagrant misconduct, but that proved to be the rallying point of the reigning Governors Cup, who made a game out of it.

The Bolts will face San Mig Coffee in the quarterfinals series beginning Friday, but this win over Rain or Shine will get the Bolts ready for the playoffs.

“It’s an important win for us. It primed ourselves an opportunity via the best-of-three series,” added Gregorio.

MER 118  – Dawson 50, Cardona 19, Reyes 10, Hugnatan 10, Manuel 9, Buenafe 6, Artadi 6, Salvacion 5, Hodge 3, Ross 0.
ROS 116  – Sundov 31, Chan 18, Lee 16, Norwood 16, Tiu 11, Cruz 9, Arana 5, Rodriguez 4, Ibanes 4, Matias 2, Belga 0, Quinahan 0.
QS: 34-26; 62-48; 86-80; 110-110; 118-116.

Eric Dawson went down with an injury, but he came back
strong to deliver the most telling blow.

Jeff Chan flashed his fine shooting form in vain.

PETRON over TALK N TEXT, 87-76
Playing in a no-bearing game, the best thing Petron Blaze could do in the situation was salvage some pride against an opponent they’ve yet to beat this season.

The Boosters did exactly that, as well as gain some momentum heading into the playoffs, whipping the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, 87-76, on the final play date of the elimination round of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Henry Sims and June Mar Fajardo combined for 39 points while Denok Miranda continued his solid showing as the Boosters closed their campaign with an 8-6 record and set up a best-of-three quarterfinals duel with its latest opponent.

“It’s hard to motivate a team when there’s nothing at stake, but for this game, we played with some measure of pride because we haven’t defeated Talk ‘N Text yet,” said Petron coach Olsen Racela, whose team earned some payback for their heartbreaking loss to the Tropang Texters last month.

Racela knows the important of dictating the tempo of the series and which ever draw the first blood will have better chances of advancing to the semis.

“Best of three lang yan eh, so importante makauna agad,” he added.

PET 87 – Sims 22, Fajardo17, Miranda 14, Tubid 10, Santos 8, Lassiter 5, Lutz 4, Washington 3, Sison 2, Cabagnot 2, Pena 0.
TNT 76 – Jordan 18, Alapag 17, De Ocampo 13, Castro 8, Dillinger 7, Reyes 5, Al-Hussaini 4, Fonacier 2, Peek 2, Raymundo 0, Gamalinda 0, Aban 0, Carey 0.
QS: 19-19, 37-33, 56-53, 87-76

Jerome Jordan skies for a wicked slam!

June Mar Fajardo had another great showing
for the Blaze Boosters.

Ronald Tubid tries to get around the defense of Jared Dillinger.

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 Paul Ryan Tan) 
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