2013 PBA Philippine Cup Roundup: December 13, 2013

GlobalPort continued to rise even as Ginebra withstood Barako Bull in last night’s action from the 2013 PBA Philippine Cup.

The Gin Kings' motto is infectious!

In the first game, GlobalPort handed Alaska its fifth loss, 94-84. Terrence Romeo bounced back from his slump by shooting 8/15 from the field on his way to 21 points as the Batang Pier rose to 4 wins and 3 losses. This was a big win for GlobalPort, which is hoping to be among the top four teams when the elimination round ends. So far, neophyte head coach Richie Ticzon's balanced reliance on his veterans and rookies has been, generally speaking, paying off. That was very evident in this game, as Sol Mercado also dropped a big game on the Aces. The Sol Train erupted for 26 markers along with 5 boards and 4 dimes, while Romeo added 6 rebounds and 2 assists to his tally.

Alaska was in hot water from the get-go. Coach Luigi Trillo's wards, despite shooting relatively well from the field, just didn't take care of the basketball. They gave up 16 turnovers, which GlobalPort translated into 23 points-off-turnovers. Coupled with how Alaska lost the battle of the boards, 49-43, and shot just 57% from the stripe, well, the end result should not be very surprising. The Aces have been terribly inconsistent to start this season, and they are now mired in 2-5 hole near the bottom of the standings.

Aside from Mercado and Romeo, other guys who really did well for GlobalPort were veterans Jay Washington and Mark Yee, as well as rookie playmaker RR Garcia. J-Wash scored 13 points, hauled down 9 rebounds, handed out 5 assists, and stole the ball twice in a rock-solid effort. In the meantime, Yee and Garcia combined to shoot 5 triples and score 23 points. If coach Ticzon can push his wards to continue playing in a very balanced manner, then we might be looking at a sleeper championship contender right here.

In the main game, Ginebra held off Barako Bull, 85-79. Greg Slaughter came out not just to play, but to dominate in this encounter. The former Ateneo and Gilas slotman was a behemoth here, scoring 15 points, grabbing 15 rebounds, and blocking 2 shots. The top overall pick of the 2013 PBA Draft did struggle from the field (6/13) and from the line (3/8), but those were grossly overshadowed by the fact he just outplayed Barako's aging duo in the middle --  Mick Pennisi and Dorian Peña.

Barako Bull was on the short end of fortune in this encounter. They didn't get a lot of breaks in the game, and didn't really attack the rim with a lot of aggression. The Energy Cola did shoot better from the field (43% vs 38%), but they were gifted with just 7 free throw attempts the entire match. In contrast, the Gin Kings were more active around the basket and were given 29 free throws. They made 21.

Former Gilas teammates Mac Baracael and Japeth Aguilar were very effective against Barako. Baracael connected on three triples on his way to scoring 15 points, while Aguilar continued his stellar play this conference with 16 points, 5 boards, 3 blocks, and 2 assists. Barako Bull just had no answer for the athleticism and aggressiveness of Ginebra's frontline.

Game Recaps:
Sol Mercado scored 26 points while Terrence Romeo added 21 to lead GlobalPort to a 94-84 win over Alaska, the Batang Pier’s third straight win in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The win was the Batang Pier’s fourth in the tournament, tying the franchise record total for wins in a conference set in last season’s Governors’ Cup.

“We don’t care about the wins and the losses. All we care about is playing hard and staying together,” said GlobalPort coach Richie Ticzon. “Hopefully, the wins will come.”

Romeo broke out of his two-game scoring slump to spark the Batang Pier with 13 points in the first quarter. With Alaska’s attention on the GlobalPort rookie, it was Mercado’s turn to explode in the second period, scoring 16 as the Batang Pier opened up a 21-point advantage.

GlobalPort brought a 55-35 lead into the second half and nursed the advantage through most of the game. The Batang Pier never led by less than double figures until a three-pointer by RJ Jazul with just 20.9 seconds left put Alaska within eight points, 92-84.

It was all over but the shouting by that point for GlobalPort, which drew 13 points apiece form Jay Washington and RR Garcia. Mark Yee added 10 points for the Batang Pier, whose win-loss record improved to 4-3.

JVee Casio led the fight for Alaska with 28 points. Sonny Thoss had 13 points while RJ Jazul added 10 for the Aces, who stumbled to its second straight loss and fourth in five games.

Alaska played without star forward Calvin Abueva, who sustained an ankle injury during practice.

GLO 94 – Mercado 26, Romeo 21, Washington 13, Garcia 13, Yee 10, Chua 3, Hayes 3, Lingganay 2, Nabong 2, Menk 1, Salva 0, Salvador 0.
ALA 84 – Casio 28, Thoss 13, Jazul 10, Espinas 9, Baguio 8, Ramos 7, Exciminano 6, Buenafe 3, Belasco 0, Dela Cruz 0, Hontiveros 0, Eman 0.
QS: 27-20, 55-35, 77-58, 94-84.

Jay Washington collars the rebound and gives
Gabby Espinas something to think about.
Sol Mercado goes up strong against Tony Dela Cruz.

Terrence Romeo broke out of his slump.

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel quelled a fourth quarter from Barako Bull to book an 85-79 victory in PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup action on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“Nanalo kami dahil we were able to control the tempo of the game,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin. “Nanalo kami sa boards. Maganda yung defense namin.”

Japeth Aguilar led Ginebra with 16 points while Greg Slaughter added 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Gin Kings, who won the rebounding battle, 54-43.

But Ginebra had to go through a tough challenge from Barako Bull, which sprung a zone defense in the final period to slow down the Gin Kings’ offense.

Trailing by 11 points heading into the fourth quarter, Barako Bull slowly chipped away at the deficit to trail by just a single point, 73-72, on a corner three-pointer by Keith Jensen.

But Emman Monfort, in the game for Ginebra after LA Tenorio had to be subbed out because of cramps, hit a crucial three-pointer to push the lead back to four points with less than five minutes left. That touched off a 9-2 run that gave Ginebra an 83-74 lead to wrap up the ballgame.

“Buti na lang lamang kami nung nag-zona sila,” said Agustin, who admitted that his players were a little rattled by Barako Bull’s defensive adjustment before regaining their poise in the endgame.

Ginebra won despite main man Mark Caguioa barely being a factor as he continues to suffer from effects of a recent illness. “Sinubukan ko nga kung pupuwede pero wala pang legs,” said Agustin, adding that Caguioa had missed several practice sessions because of his ailment.

The 2012 Most Valuable Player played eight minutes and finished scoreless after missing both his shots.

LA Tenorio provided the leadership in Caguioa’s absence, finishing with 10 points, six rebounds, and nine assists for the Gin Kings. Mac Baracael added 15 points for Ginebra, which won for the fifth time in six games to keep solid hold of second spot behind unbeaten Petron.

Willie Miller and Mick Pennisi paced Barako Bull with 14 points apiece. But top gun Ronjay Buenafe was held to just five points on just 2-of-7 shooting from the field for Barako Bull, which lost its fourth straight game to fall to a 2-4 record.

GIN 85 - Aguilar 16, Slaughter 15, Baracael 15, Tenorio 10, Ellis 8, Reyes 7, Monfort 7, Helterbrand 5, Urbiztondo 2, Ababou 0, Mamaril 0, Caguioa 0.
BAR 79 - Miller 14, Pennisi 14, Isip 13, Jensen 8, Labagala 8, Lastimosa 6, Buenafe 5, Intal 5, Wilson 4, Pena 2, Maierhofer 0, Fortuna 0.
QS: 19-19, 41-32, 66-55, 85-79

LA Tenorio and Greg Slaughter form a very potent pair.

Japeth Aguilar continued to fly high for Ginebra.

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 and AKTV. (Photo credit to Paolo Papa)

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