2013 PBA Philippine Cup Roundup: November 23, 2013

Two marquee performances highlighted Saturday action in the 2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup. Rookie guard Terrence Romeo scorched the nets for a career-high 34 points, while Arwind Santos dropped a 15-15 double-double in Petron’s drubbing of defending champs Talk N Text.

The day’s opener saw GlobalPort beat Air21, 114-100.

I kinda knew Terrence Romeo would eventually be a great scorer in the pros, but I didn't know that "eventually" would mean that, just in his second game, the former King Tamaraw would torch the nets for 34 big ones. Romeo connected on 6 of his 9 three-point attempts on his way to his first 30+ game in the PBA. He was pretty much unconscious from all spots on the floor, as his teammates, Sol Mercado in particular, made it a point to find him in his sweet spots. Bro also added 6 rebounds, 3 dimes, and 1 steal to his impressive stat-line.

Terrence Romeo has officially made a whale of
an impact in the PBA.

Despite Romeo's hot hand, the Express didn't really get blown out till the fourth period, but if there is one thing that coach Franz Pumaren should be really unhappy about, it's definitely his wards' free throw shooting. As a team, Air21 shot just 60% from the line, missing 15 of their 37 attempts. Asi Taulava shot 5/10 from the line, BonBon Custodio missed all four of his charities, while Vic Manuel struggled, too, going 2/5. Air21's atrocious performance all but canceled out the fact that they actually shot better from the field -- 47% compared to GlobalPort's 42%.

With the influx of a lot of young talent, this new-look Batang Pier quintet seems poised to really make a splash this conference. Heck, even the veterans seem to be reinvigorated. In this game, Jay Washington and Sol Mercado both shone brightly, and modeled the kind of play that the team's young core should follow. J-Wash drilled in 19 markers and grabbed 12 rebounds, while the Sol Train pumped in 14 points and dished out 7 assists in a superb quarterbacking effort.

In the main game, Petron Blaze overcame Talk N Text, 77-63, with the MVP of the 2012-2013 season turning in a performance worthy of that accolade. Arwind Santos silenced his doubters (ahem) with a sublime 15-point, 15-rebound, 3-block line. Santos shot 7/14 from the field here, pretty much dominating a decimated TNT frontline, which missed the services of Gilas PF Ranidel De Ocampo. Santos also helped limit the other bigs of the Texters. Kelly Williams, Ali Peek, Sean Anthony, and Harvey Carey all combined to score just 13 markers.

One of the main weapons of coach Norman Black's squad is the three-point shot, and when his snipers fire blanks, then, chances are, the Texters will be in for a very rough night. That's exactly what happened here, as TNT went 4/25 from beyond the arc. Jayson Castro and Jimmy Alapag had a combined 3/14 shooting effort from rainbow country, while Larry Fonacier missed all five of his trey attempts. Overall, TNT shot just 27% from the floor and 63% from the line. This compounded the fact they lost the battle of the boards, too, 49-58.

When most of Petron's guns are clicking, this is a very hard team to beat. Coach Gee Abanilla had five guys break into double-digit scoring, led by Santos. The other Boosters who scored 10 or more were Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz, June Mar Fajardo, and Doug Kramer. Aside from the fact all those guys were on-target, credit must also go to the underrated playmaking of Chris Ross and Paolo Hubalde, who filled in for the injured Alex Cabagnot. This game showcased, once again, why Petron is, hands down, one of the deepest and most balanced teams in the PBA.

Game Recaps:
GLOBALPORT over AIR21, 114-100
Rookie guard Terrence Romeo sizzled 34 points, including 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc, to carry the GlobalPort Batang Pier to a 114-100 victory over the Air 21 Express on Saturday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player sparked the Batang Pier explosion in the second half, scoring 26 of GlobalPort’s 77 points after halftime.

“Sinusunod ko lang yung mga pinapagawa sa akin ng mga coaches,” said Romeo, who needed just 17 shots to reach his total.

The win improved GlobalPort’s record to 1-1 in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup and gave rookie coach Richie Ticzon the first victory of his career.

“It’s a monkey off my back,” he said. “Having that first win really inspires me to work harder as a coach.”

The youthful coach deflected all the credit to Romeo’s stellar performance.

“He’s really special. Everybody knows that. Even in the UAAP, we knew he was really special,” said Ticzon, who coached Romeo in college as an assistant to Nash Racela.

Romeo had plenty of help, with Jay Washington posting 19 points and 12 rebounds while Sol Mercado added 14 points and seven assists.

It was a close affair at the half until Romeo caught fire, scoring 14 points in the third period to help GlobalPort open an 83-74 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Batang Pier led by as much as 19 points, 101-82, on back-to-back three-pointers by Jaypee Belencion.

The Express threatened a late rally in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to just nine points. But Romeo scored seven straight points to push GlobalPort’s lead back to 16 points, 110-94.

Joseph Yeo led Air 21 with 24 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, while Asi Taulava added 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Express, which dropped its second straight game to open the season.

GLO 114 – Romeo 34, Washington 19, Mercado 14, Ponferrada 8, Menk 7, Salvador 7, Garcia 7, Belencion 6, Najorda 6, Salva 4, Hayes 2.
AIR 100 – Yeo 24, Taulava 21, Jaime 13, Canaleta 11, Custodio 8, Manuel 8, Camson 6, Espiritu 3, Sharma 3, Ritualo 3, Menor 0, Arboleda 0.
QS: 20-18, 47-46, 83-74, 114-100

Jay Washingto had a great double-double
for the Batang Pier.

Asi Taulava and the rest of the Express are in a 0-2 hole.

The Petron Blaze Boosters cruised to a surprisingly easy 77-63 victory over three-time defending champion Talk ‘N Text on Saturday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The win, Petron’s second straight to open the tournament, gave the Boosters a share of the early lead in the standings of the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup in a tie with Rain or Shine.

“We were really happy with the effort we had tonight,” said Petron coach Gee Abanilla, whose wards took a 22-12 lead in the first quarter and didn’t look back.

“It’s a good thing we played good defense, in the first half especially.”

Petron held Talk ‘N Text to just 27.2 percent shooting, as Arwind Santos (15 points, 15 rebounds, three blocks) and June Mar Fajardo (10 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks) ruled the paint for the Boosters.

Three other Petron players finished in double-figures — Marcio Lassiter (13 points), Chris Lutz (12), and Doug Kramer (10).

Talk ‘N Text couldn’t open up Petron’s defense, with top guns Jimmy Alapag and Larry Fonacier firing blanks from beyond the arc. Alapag made just one three-pointer in eight attempts, while Fonacier missed all five of his long distance shots.

It was the second straight blowout win for Petron despite missing key guards Alex Cabagnot, Chico Lanete, and Ronald Tubid, along with newly-acquired center Yousef Taha.

Jayson Castro finished with 15 points to lead Talk ‘N Text while Noy Baclao added 10 for the Tropang Texters, which played without injured stars Ranidel De Ocampo and Ryan Reyes for the second straight match.

PET 77 – Santos 15, Lassiter 13, Lutz 12, Fajardo 10, Kramer 10, Hubalde 8, Ross 6, Deutchman 3, Duncil 0.
TNT 63 – Castro 15, Baclao 10, Alapag 9, Fonacier 8, Anthony 7, Poligrates 4, Williams 3, Aban 2, Ferriols 2, Carey 2, Peek 1, Reyes 0.
QS: 22-12, 55-32, 68-51, 77-63

Arwind Santos played like the MVP
last night.

Chris Lutz has been super-efficient of the Boosters so far.

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

Images: Unless otherwise specified, images are from InterAKTV. (Photo credit to Pranz Kaeno Billones)

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