2013 PBA Philippine Cup Roundup: December 1, 2013

San Mig Coffee finally broke through the win column, but not after having to play a grueling double-overtime affair. Also, the Rain or Shine Elasto-Painters enjoyed breakout performances from two rookies as they dealt Barako Bull its first defeat of the season.

Beanpole Raymond Almazan was a solid contributor as
the Painters beat the Energy Cola.

In the first game, San Mig Coffee beat Air21, 92-83. The frontline pairing of Rafi Reavis and Marc Pingris did wonders for the Super Mixers last night. Both bigs reeled in sublime double-doubles and combined to register 30 points, 27 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 blocks. Reavis, in particular, was extra impressive, shooting 6/6 from the field and 3/4 from the line. Pingris was the requisite workhorse, too, playing 48 minutes in the marathon match that went to two extra innings.

The point guard spot really looks to be the Achilles heel of the Express. In this game, starting playmaker Simon Atkins sputtered big time, scoring 0 points and handing out just 2 assists in 20 minutes of play, while veteran floor general Wynne Arboleda didn't fare much better, too. Arboleda alaso laid a big fat egg in 6 minutes of token play. Coach Franz Pumaren had to got to guys like Joseph Yeo, BonBon Custodio, and Mac Cardona to play pseudo-PGs when things got really rough.

Finally, after three failed attempts, the Super Mixers notched that all-important first win. Aside from the awesome production of their frontline, coach Tim Cone's wards, once again, got a big lift from Mark Barroca, who has really blossomed into a dangerous scoring threat. In this game, Barroca finished with 19 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 block in a great all-around performance. Rookie slotman Ian Sangalang also made the most of his time on the floor with 14 points, 6 boards, and 2 rejections.

In the main game, Rain or Shine overcame Barako Bull, 91-83. Jervy Cruz might have struggled here, but  fellow big man JR Quiñahan picked up the slack. The big guy from the Visayas dumped 13 points on the bigger Barako frontcourt while also grabbing 9 rebounds. Big Beau Belga also had a good game, scoring 8 points as he started alongside rookie Raymond Almazan in the frontcourt for coach Yeng Guiao. Cruz had to deal with a bit of foul trouble in this one, and his production has been inconsistent of late, so it will be interesting to see how things pan out for the Elasto-Painters.

The Energy Cola fell behind early and couldn't complete a payoff period comeback despite the combined 37 points of Willie Miller and Ronjay Buenafe. In the end, they just gave up too many rebounds and turned the ball over too many times. ROS outrebounded Barako, 54-42, and had 17 second-chance points. The Painters also forced the Energy Cola to cough up the ball 24 times, and, consequently, scored 17 points-off-turnovers.

Almazan and fellow rookie Jeric Teng shone in this game for coach Yeng. Almazan was solid as a starter, scoring 8 points, hauling 11 rebounds, and blocking 1 shot in 22 minutes. He also didn't get tagged with any fouls, though he did turn the ball over 5 times. Teng, for his part, seems to be playing inspired ball after his McDonald's promo that went viral over the weekend. The former UST Tiger shot 3/5 from the field to score 10 points total in just 16 minutes of action.

Game Recaps:
SAN MIG COFFEE over AIR21, 92-83 (2 OT)
The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers finally broke into the win column in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup, but not before going through the eye of the needle with a 92-83 double-overtime victory over Air 21 on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Rookie Ian Sangalang scored eight of the Mixers’ 13 points in the second extra period to finally give his team a win after opening the tournament with three straight losses.

“We just needed to win, that’s the bottom line,” said San Mig Coffee coach tim Cone. “We didn’t care if it’s a beautiful win or an ugly win.”

The Mixers began the game on an ugly note, trailing 16-2 early in the first quarter. San Mig Coffee slowly chipped at the deficit, staying within striking distance but not taking the lead until the 6:19 mark of the fourth quarter on a basket by Marc Pingris, 61-59.

San Mig Coffee was still trailing with seven seconds left in regulation, before Alex Mallari coolly sank a baseline jumper with 4.9 seconds left to force the first overtime.

The lefty guard had a chance to ice the game in the first overtime period, but he could only manage a split of his free throws to give San Mig Coffee a 79-76 edge with 8.5 seconds left.

“We thought we had the game won twice, and we didn’t win it,” said Cone.

Air 21 drew up a play for top gun KG Canaleta, who was fouled with three-tenths of a second left by Rafi Reavis from beyond the arc. The PBA’s reigning Most Improved Player sank all three of his free throws to tie the game anew and force the second overtime.

Express center Asi Taulava fouled out early in the second extra period, leaving Air 21 vulnerable in the middle. Sangalang took advantage of the size difference, catching fire to give San Mig Coffee the win.

“That was huge,” said Cone. “Ian just kinda dominated inside at that point.”

San Mig Coffee won despite missing James Yap, who missed the game because of a hyperextended right elbow. He joined fellow starter Joe Devance (injured knee) and rookie Justin Melton (broken hand) in sick bay.

The Mixers got a bit of good news with the return of Peter June Simon, who managed to score 11 points. Marc Barroca led San Mig Coffee with 19 points, while Rafi Reavis (15 points, 15 rebounds) and Marc Pingris (15 points, 12 rebounds) ruled the paint for the Mixers.

Sangalang finished with 14 points while Mallari chipped in 11.

Joseph Yeo led the way for Air 21 with 21 points while Canaleta finished with 20 for the Express, which lost its fourth straight game to open the conference. Mac Cardona, making his Air 21 debut, added 13.

SMC 92 – Barroca 19, Pingris 15, Reavis 15, Sangalang 14, Mallari 12, Simon 11, Acuna 3, Cawaling 3, De Ocampo 0, Gaco 0, Holstein 0.
AIR 83 – Yeo 21, Canaleta 20, Manuel 14, Cardona 13, Camson 6, Jaime 5, Taulava 4, Espiritu 0, Arboleda 0, Sharma 0, Custodio 0, Atkins 0.
QS: 11-20, 30-35, 47-50, 69-69, 79-79, 92-83

Ian Sangalang snipes over Mac Cardona.

Captain Hook tries to go around the D of Alex Mallari.

Coming into Rain or Shine’s duel against Barako Bull on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena, Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao had two goals: getting a victory and giving his rookies enough time on the floor.

Done and done.

The Elasto Painters fashioned out a 91-83 victory while showcasing its depth, as Guiao balanced out the minutes of all 14 players on his roster.

Third overall pick Raymond Almazan saw the most playing time for Rain or Shine with just 22 minutes, finishing with eight points and 11 rebounds. Second round pick Jeric Teng also had the best game of his young PBA career so far, as he finished with 10 points in 16 minutes of play.

The third rookie in Rain or Shine’s lineup, Alex Nuyles, was not as productive, going scoreless in 13 minutes of play.

“I really gave them a lot of playing time to get their confidence and get a feel of the game,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, who played all 14 men in his lineup.

He had the luxury of going deep after a hot start by Rain or Shine led to a 28-17 first quarter behind TY Tang, who top-scored for the Elasto Painters with 14 points.

Barako Bull kept within striking distance for most of the game behind the efforts of Willie Miller, who finished with 23 points.

“We survived a great game by Willie Miller,” said Guiao, who dispatched Teng and Nuyles to guard the two-time Most Valuable Player for stretches during the match.

“We just considered it a learning experience, especially the rookies. We wanted them to guard somebody with the talent of Miller.”

Barako Bull made a last-ditch effort in the fourth quarter, cutting a 10-point Rain or Shine lead to just four points, 87-83, on a basket by JC Intal with 1:43 remaining.

But they couldn’t come any closer as Miller missed three shots from beyond the arc, before Gabe Norwood’s alleyoop slam put the icing on the cake for Rain or Shine to end the game.

Ronjay Buenafe added 14 points while Willy Wilson and Mark Macapagal chipped in 10 apiece for Barako Bull, which suffered its first loss of the season after winning their first two matches.

ROS 91 – Tang 14, Quinahan 13, Chan 11, Teng 10, Lee 10, Belga 8, Almazan 8, Cruz 6, Rodriguez 5, Arana 4, Norwood 2, Tiu 0, Nuyles 0, Ibanes 0.
BAR 83 – Miller 23, Buenafe 14, Macapagal 10, Wilson 10, Villanueva 8, Isip 6, Intal 5, Pennisi 5, Pena 2, Jensen 0, Labagala 0.
QS: 28-17, 47-44, 73-63, 91-83

Paul Lee pulls up over Mick Pennisi.

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

Images: Unless otherwise specified, images are from the PBA. (Photo credit to Nuki Sabio)

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