2013 PBA Philippine Cup Roundup: December 14-18, 2013

Early leaders Petron and Ginebra continued their dominant play, while TNT, Alaska, and San Mig Super Coffee all got separate wins in the past few days of action from the 2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup.

Ranidel De Ocampo saved the day for TNT.

This past Sunday, Petron beat Meralco, 77-73. For a while there, it seemed like the Meralco found a way to contain Petron's loaded lineup, but the Boosters leaned on a great running game and suffocating defense to survive the Bolts. Petron forced 19 Meralco turnovers, scoring 15 points off those errors, while also adding 13 total fastbreak points. Petron struggled against the collapsing defense utilized by coach Ryan Gregorio's wards, but the Boosters eventually found a way to scrape past the Bolts for their seventh win in a row.

The Bolts were the smaller team here, but they still managed to outrebound Petron, 58-52. Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Reynel Hugnatan, and Jared Dillinger combined for 34 of those caroms. The Bolts, however, couldn't complete their upset effort as they sputtered from long range. Meralco usually relies on its snipers for those all-important three-point bombs, but they just didn't fall in this one. As a team, the Bolts connected on only 3 of their 18 three-point attempts, with John Wilson, Dillinger, and Sunday Salvacion combining for 0/10 shooting from beyond the arc.

Sure, as expected, June Mar Fajardo was rock-solid again with 12 points, 19 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots, but it was the dynamic play of veteran playmaker Alex Cabagnot that really pushed Petron to this victory. Cabaggie made good on three triples, grabbed 8 rebounds, and dished out 6 assists as the Boosters remained unbeaten in the new season. Needless to say, this performance further underscored Cabagnot's status as one of the country's best point guards.

Two days later, San Mig Super Coffee rallied to defeat Barako Bull, 90-88. Marc Pingris and James Yap combined for 32 points, 20 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals as the Mixers rallied in the payoff period to pull the rug from under the Energy Cola. Rookie big man Ian Sangalang also did really well, registering 15 points and 7 rebounds along with big play after big play in the fourth quarter.

On the other end, Barako Bull just dropped the ball in this one. They were firmly in control in the second half before SMC's surge in the last stanza. JC Intal exploded for 21 points here, nailing 4 threes, including a pair late in the game that really put a scare into SMC coach Tim Cone. This was Intal's best game so far this season, and coach Bong Ramos definitely hopes to see more of Intal's high-flying acrobatics and sharp-shooting as the season wears on.

In Tuesday’s main game, Talk N Text escaped Rain or Shine, 90-87. The Tropang Texters nearly got blindsided here, and, in spite of the win, coach Norman Black looked far from satisfied on the sidelines. Still, TNT will take this W, as it gives them third place in the team standings. Ranidel De Ocampo came up big in the clutch here, and was practically effective the entire game. RDO nailed three triples on his way to 20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 block, leading the Texters to their fourth win in six games. He was backstopped by Jayson Castro and Sean Anthony, who scored 12 and 10 points respectively. Harvey Carey, meanwhile, anchored the interior with 15 rebounds.

ROS fell behind by as many as 20 points here mainly due to poor shot selection and even poorer percentages in the first half. They were, however, able to right the ship somehow in the third quarter and make a game of it. Still, the Painters weren't able to finish the comeback. Suffice to say they probably got a huge lashing from coach Yeng Guiao afterwards. They were outrebounded, 64-47, by TNT, and, frankly, missed too many threes -- 23. Now ROS is sitting in a tie for fourth place with a 4-3 slate.

Last night, Ginebra overcame Air21, 78-69. After the game, Air21 center Asi Taulava had this to say, "You cannot coach height." Coming from a guy who's listed 6'9 and who has seen more than his fair share of big guys from the Philippines and beyond, that comment is big. And who was he talking about? Why, Ginebra's twin towers no doubt! In this contest, both Japeth Aguilar (6'10) and Greg Slaughter (7'0) were stellar. Aguilar 22 points, 12 rebounds, and, hold on to your horses, EIGHT BLOCKED SHOTS, while 2013 top pick Slaughter added 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks of his own. Both young bigs combined to shoot 16/24 from the two-point area. Wow. Just unstoppable.

It was actually a very very good thing Ginebra's towering tandem was on-target, mainly because the Kings' outside shooting left much to be desired. As a team, Ginebra knocked down only 2 of their 23 three-point attempts. Chris Ellis, LA Tenorio, and Jayjay Helterbrand combined to shoot 0/9 from beyond the arc, while Mark Caguioa and Mac Baracael were the only ones who made threes, shooting a combined 2/8 from rainbow country.

Despite the loss, though, here's one thing the Express can be proud of (I guess) -- they are responsible for the resurgence in the Joseph Yeo's game. Dubbed "The Ninja," the former DLSU cager seems to have finally found a niche with Air21, as he has been putting up much better numbers than last year. It sure looks like his being reunited with collegiate coach Franz Pumaren has a lot to do with that!

In the nightcap, Alaska won over Meralco, 91-82. Veterans DonDon Hontiveros and Cyrus Baguio rose to the occasion in this one as the Aces beat the Bolts to move up to a tie for fifth spot in the team standings. Hontiveros shot 11/16 from the field in a performance reminiscent of his San Miguel Beer days. He finished with 24 points on top of 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Baguio, meanwhile, connected on 9/16 field goals and scored a total of 23 markers. He also grabbed 4 rebounds and handed out 3 dimes. Alaska was able to show how good it can be when its vets are all clicking.

Meralco was just outworked in this one. Despite coming up with more rebounds, 50-48, the Bolts were outscored on the offensive glass, 12-4. Meralco also ended up with more turnovers, 13-8, which led to the Aces scoring 15 points off those errors. John Wilson was the main culprit here with 4 TOs. Meralco wasted a great effort by Reynel Hugnatan, who stepped up with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Bolts are now tied at fifth place with their tormentors.

Gabby Espinas isn't exactly top-of-mind when one talks about the top rebounders in the PBA, but, man, he cleaned glass like there was no tomorrow in this one. The former PCU Dolphin racked up TWENTY-THREE boards here, which was nearly half of Alaska's total output. If he can be consistent with this kind of rebounding performance, then the Aces might just be a dark horse come the quarterfinals.

Game Recaps:
The Petron Blaze Boosters had enough cushion to stave off a furious charge by the Meralco Bolts for a 77-73 victory in PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup action in Dipolog City on Saturday.

June Mar Fajardo finished with 12 points, 19 rebounds, and three blocks to extend the Boosters’ winning streak to seven games to open the conference.

The game was still tied, 46-all, midway through the third quarter before a 17-7 kick gave Petron a double-figure lead.

The Boosters continued its onslaught in the fourth quarter, opening up its biggest lead to 17 points a couple of times, the last at 73-56 on a three-pointer by Marcio Lassiter.

But John Wilson caught fire for the Bolts, who whittled down the imposing lead in the final period. His three-point play with 41 seconds remaining capped a 17-4 run that whittled down the Petron lead to just four points.

Meralco had a defensive stop in the ensuing possession, but Wilson could not complete his heroics, missing two three-pointers to end the game.

The Bolts’ record fell to 3-4 after the loss.

PET 77 - Cabagnot 17, Lassiter 16, Santos 14, Fajardo 12, Ross 8, Kramer 7 Lanete 3, Lutz 0
MER 73 - David 16, Wilson 16, Hugnatan 15, Al-Hussaini 11, Dillinger 8, Cortez 3, Caram 2, Sena 2, Timberlake 0, Salvacion 0, Guevarra 0 Allado 0
QS: 17-18, 34-37, 64-53, 77-73

Marc Pingris had 16 points and 11 rebounds while James Yap added 16 and nine to lead the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers to a hard-earned 90-88 victory over Barako Bull on Tuesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

It was only the second victory in seven games in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup for the Mixers, who had to rally from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter before finally pulling through.

“It’s not supposed to be this hard to win, but it is,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone after the game, as the Mixers had to turn back a furious final push from Barako Bull for the victory.

San Mig Coffee took control of the game behind the hot shooting of Yap, who scored 12 points in the first half. But the Mixers turned cold after halftime, allowing Barako Bull to open up a 10-point spread.

Barako Bull was still ahead, 73-63, before the Mixers went on a 18-5 run behind Pingris, who scored 13 points in the final period.

San Mig Coffee looked like it had the game in the bag after Yap hit two free throws to give his team a six-point lead, 88-82, with just 15.2 seconds remaining.

JC Intal, who led all scorers with 21 points, answered back with a three-pointer to make it a single possession deficit, 88-85.

Joe Devance split his free throws for San Mig Coffee in the ensuing possession. Intal hit another three-pointer with 3.1 seconds left to cut the deficit to one point, 89-88, before Barako Bull sent Peter June Simon to the free throw line.

The Mixers’ super sub split his free throws, and Pingris committed a loose ball foul on the rebound play with 2.7 seconds remaining, giving Barako Bull one final chance to tie or win the game.

But Ronjay Buenafe’s desperation attempt at the buzzer failed to find the mark, sending Barako Bull to its fifth straight defeat after winning its first two games.

Ian Sangalang added 15 points and seven rebounds for San Mig Coffee, while Simon and Mark Barroca chipped in 13 apiece.

After the game, Cone tried to put his team’s struggles in perspective.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. We’re going to live by that,” he said. “We hope we don’t get killed in the meantime.”

SMC 90 – Pingris 16, Yap 16, Sangalang 15, Barroca 13, Simon 13, Devance 9, De Ocampo 3, Reavis 3, Cawaling 2, Mallari 0.
BAR 88 -Intal 21, Miranda 14, Buenafe 12, Isip 10, Maierhofer 7, Miller 6, Pennisi 6, Jensen 4, Wilson 4, Lastimosa 2, Labagala 2, Marcelo 0.
QS: 24-19, 43-41, 58-66, 90-88

Gilas coach Chot Reyes presents the commemorative coffee table
book for FIBA Asia 2013.
Ian Sangalang isn't playing like a rookie at all.

Willie Wilson tries a jumper for Barako Bull.

The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters squandered a 20-point first half lead before holding on late behind the heroics of Ranidel De Ocampo to defeat Rain or Shine, 90-87, on Tuesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

De Ocampo finished with 20 points, scoring 18 of Talk ‘N Text’s 41 points in the second half to keep the Tropang Texters’ head above water in the face of Rain or Shine’s furious rally.

It was the fourth win in six games in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup for the Tropang Texters, who looked well on their way to booking a victory when they took a 43-23 advantage midway through the second quarter.

But the Elasto Painters slowly chipped away at the lead, cutting the deficit to 14 points, 49-35, at halftime. Rain or Shine continued its rally in the third quarter, when it scored 31 points to come within just six points, 72-66, heading into the final period.

Rain or Shine finally took the lead for the first time, 83-82, with just 3:22 left in the game after a jumper by Jervy Cruz, who led the Elasto Painters with 14 points and nine rebounds.

The game was still tied at 86-all before De Ocampo broke the game’s final deadlock with a jumper with under a minute remaining in the game.

Rain or Shine had a couple of chances to grab back the lead, but three-point attempts by Beau Belga and Paul Lee with under a minute remaining failed to find the target.

De Ocampo split his free throws with 12 seconds remaining to push the Talk ‘N Text lead to three points, 89-86. Rain or Shine gunner Jeff Chan drew a foul in the ensuing possession, but he could make just one of two attempts from the line.

The Elasto Painters sent Danny Seigle to the stripe in the next play, and the veteran forward split his free throws to give Rain or Shine one more shot to tie the game. But Chan turned the ball over in the final possession, allowing Talk ‘N Text to come away with the win.

Jayson Castro and Sean Anthony added 12 and 10 points, respectively for the Tropang Texters, which saw seven players score at least seven points.

Gabe Norwood finished with 13 points while Chan and Lee chipped in 12 apiece for Rain or Shine, which lost its second straight game to drop to a 4-3 win-loss record.

TNT 90 - DeOcampo 20, Castro 12, Anthony 10, Seigle 9, Williams 9, Fonacier 8, Carey 8, Alapag 7, Reyes 3, Celiz 2, Poligrates 2, Baclao 0
ROS 87 - Cruz 14, Norwood 13, Chan 12, Lee 12, Belga 9, Arana 7, Nuyles 5, Quinahan 4, Tang 4, Rodriguez 4, Almazan 2, Tiu 1, Teng 0, Ibanes 0
QS: 26-18, 49-35, 72-66, 90-87

Kelly Williams tries to go around the very
rotund Beau Belga.

Gabe Norwood gets bottled up by Kelly Williams.

GINEBRA over AIR21, 78-69
Japeth Aguilar had 22 points and 12 rebounds while frontcourt partner Greg Slaughter added 19 and 10 to power Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to a 78-69 victory over the Air 21 Express in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Aguilar added eight blocks while Slaughter had three as the Gin Kings rolled to their sixth victory in seven games.

With their twin towers dominating the paint, the Gin Kings opened up a 15-point spread at halftime, 41-26.

But the Express slowly whittled away the deficit behind the hot hands of Joseph Yeo, who 21 of his 28 points in the second half. The Express cut the Ginebra lead to just five points several times in the fourth quarter.

Each time Air 21 got within striking distance, Ginebra always had an answer by going to Aguilar and Slaughter, who combined for 15 of Ginebra’s 21 points in the fourth quarter to quell the Express rally.

Chris Ellis was the third member of the Gin Kings with 10 points and 11 rebounds, helping make up for limited minutes from superstar guard Mark Caguioa. The 2012 Most Valuable Player played just 16 minutes as he continued to recover from an illness, managing to score eight points.

“Nakaka-recover na siya. Siyempre galing sa sakit,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin, who noted that Caguioa remained a big factor for the team by providing vocal leadership from the bench.

Veteran center Asi Taulava battled gallantly for Air 21, finishing with eight points and 13 rebounds. But top gun Mac Cardona was held to just four points after making just 2-of-13 shots from the field.

“It’s a big help na na-control namin si Mac-Mac,” said Agustin. “Si Joseph yung nag-take over. OK sa amin yung isa lang yung mag-take over.”

KG Canaleta added 14 points for Air 21, whose win-loss record fell to 1-7.

GIN 78 – Aguilar 22, Slaughter 19, Ellis 10, Caguioa 8, Baracael 7, Tenorio 4, Reyes 2, Helterbrand 2, Mamaril 2, Forrester 2, Monfort 0, Urbiztondo 0.
A21 69 – Yeo 28, Canaleta 14, Taulava 8, Camson 8, Cardona 4, Jaime 2, Burtscher 2, Custodio 2, Arboleda 1, Matias 0, Espiritu 0, Sharma 0, Ritualo 0.
QS: 15-16, 41-26, 57-46, 78-69.

Japeth Aguilar continues to be a force of
nature for Ginebra.

KG Canaleta tries to shoot over Greg Slaughter.

ALASKA over MERALCO, 91-82
The Alaska Aces used a collective effort to turn back the Meralco Bolts, 91-82, and end their two-game losing skid in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Aces were struggling coming into the match, having lost four of their last five games.

“Things didn’t go as planned, and they were tough losses,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo. “Sometimes you have to roll with punches.

“I’m blessed to have character guys in the room with me.”

It was a long list of heroes for Alaska, which drew 24 points from Dondon Hontiveros, 23 from Cyrus Baguio, and 20 from Sonny Thoss. But just as big were the contributions from Gabby Espinas, who hauled down a career-high 23 rebounds.

“I’ve never seen Gabby so motivated, diving for loose balls, controlling his temper for the benefit of the whole team,” said Trillo.

Alaska was in control for most of the game, opening up double-figure leads several times. But Meralco always remained in striking distance, always coming up with a run to close the gap.

The game was still tied at 77-all midway through the fourth quarter before Hontiveros, Baguio, and Espinas teamed up for a 10-2 run. That gave the Aces an 87-79 advantage with just 2:23 remaining, and proved to be the finishing kick Alaska needed.

For Trillo, it was the perfect bounce-back game after the Aces “got embarrassed” in a blowout loss at the hands of GlobalPort in their last outing.

“For me, I’m proud of them. Just nice that it was a collective team effort through and through,” he said.

Mike Cortez led the fight for the Bolts with 22 points, while Gary David and Reynel Hugnatan chipped in 15 apiece.

Alaska improved its win-loss record to 3-5, in a tie with Meralco, which lost for the second straight game.

Meralco made amends on the defensive end during the last five minutes of play, holding Alaska to just one bucket while uncorking their next 12 points from the line or in the paint, 66-66. But Thoss prevented the Bolts from edging ahead, draining an elbow jumper with 24 seconds left, 68-66, heading into the fourth.

After Meralco trailed by as much as seven points, a Gary David trey jumpstarted a 10-2 Bolts rally, 77-all, halfway through the final quarter. But Cyrus Baguio delivered the gut punch, as he drained two triples during a 12-4 run, then connected on charities with 1:34 to play to reinstate a double-digit lead, 91-81.

Mike Cortez scored 22 points and had eight assists to lead the Bolts. Gary David and Reynel Hugnatan tallied 15 points apiece and combined for 17 boards, while John Wilson notched 10 points and eight rebounds.

Alaska shot 35-of-86 (40.7 percent) from the field, while Meralco was 29-of-73 (39.7 percent). The Aces also led in second-chance points (12-4) and turnover points (15-6). - AMD, GMA News

ALA 91 - Hontiveros 24, Baguio 23, Thoss 20, Abueva 9, Espinas 7, Casio 4, Dela Cruz 2, Jazul 2, Exciminiano 0, Eman 0
MER 82 - Cortez 22, David 15, Hugnatan 15, Wilson 10, Al-Hussaini 8, Dillinger 8, Sena 4, Timberlake 0, Salvacion 0, Guevarra 0
QS: 22-19, 50-45, 68-66, 91-82

James Sena splits the Alaska D.

JV Casio gets through for the easy twinner.

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, Paul Ryan Tan, and Pranz Kaeno Billones)

Next Post »
0 Comment