2013 PBA Philippine Cup Roundup: December 8, 2013

The Batang Pier booked another win, while Japeth Aguilar rose up as the Kings pulled the from under TNT in last night’s action in the 2013 PBA Philippine Cup.

In the first game, GlobalPort overcame Rain or Shine, 90-88, behind, once again, its veterans. Jay Washington and Sol Mercado combined to score 40 points in leading the Batang Pier to their third win in six starts. J-Wash also grabbed 13 rebounds and connected on two triples for coach Richie Ticzon, whose wards had to survive a late rally by the Painters. Mercado also did well, shooting 9/13 from 2-point range and dishing out 7 assists.

Jay Washington had another great outing for the Batang Pier.

ROS and GlobalPort turned the ball over 17 times each, but the Batang Pier were able to capitalize much better, scoring 17 points off those turnovers. The Painters, on the other hand, were able to score 6 points off GlobalPort's errors. To compound things, ROS missed 9 of its 29 free throws, with Ryan Araña continuing to struggle with his shot. The former DLSU sniper made just 3/7 FTs, while Big Beau Belga connected on just 1/3.

Terrence "Bro" Romeo struggled for the second straight game, missing all six of his field goals. He ended up with just a solitary point in 23 minutes of play, though he did haul down 3 rebounds and hand out 4 assists. In contrast, fellow rookies RR Garcia and Justin Chua paired up for 25 markers. Oh well, at least Romeo can take solace in the fact Nico Salva didn't play.

In the main game, Ginebra beat Talk N Text, 97-95, and there was no bigger story here than the emergence of Japeth Aguilar. The Gilas Pilipinas mainstay delivered big time with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and SEVEN huge blocks, including a key rejection on Ranide De Ocampo in the endgame that iced the W for the Kings. Prior to that defensive gem, Aguilar hit the go-ahead triple, his second of the match, to pad the final score. Aguilar is currently averaging nearly 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks, registering three double-doubles already. Oh, and did I mention that he's shooting 75% from beyond the arc?

The big difference in this game was outside shooting. Ginebra shot 10/25 (40%) from rainbow country, while TNT made good on just 6/22 (27%). Jimmy Alapag, RDO, and Larry Fonacier combined for 14 of those misses. Despite having the advantage on the glass (56-50), second-chance points (20-10), and points-off-turnovers (20-8), the Tropang Texters just couldn't put the Kings away. The result? TNT is now sitting in fourth place behind Petron, Ginebra, and ROS.

Two of Aguilar's Gilas teammates, Jayson Castro and Larry Fonacier, exploded in this one. The Blur dropped 27 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds, while Larry Legend added 23 markers, 6 boards, and 3 dimes for TNT, which was hoping to cop solo second had they won. Coach Norman Black is certainly not happy with his team wasting the sublime production of Castro and Fonacier, but things won't get easier for the Texters as they square off against the Elasto-Painters next.

Game Recaps:
The GlobalPort Batang Pier booked their first winning streak of the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup, but not before holding off a late charge from Paul Lee and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters for a 90-88 victory on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Veterans stars Jay Washington and Sol Mercado scored 20 points apiece for the Batang Pier, who followed up their win over Meralco on Friday night for their first pair of back-to-back triumphs this season.

GlobalPort took control of the game early in the second half, taking advantage of a sluggish start from the Elasto Painters to open up a double-digit lead.

The Batang Pier took a 10-point advantage, 70-60, heading into the final period, before Lee began to take charge for Rain or Shine.

The former University of the East hotshot scored 13 of his 20 points in the period as Rain or Shine erased the deficit. His three-pointer tied the game at 87-all with less than three minutes remaining.

Mercado replied with a hard drive, and was rewarded with two free throws. The stocky guard scored a split from the line to break the game’s final deadlock.

GlobalPort forced a stop on the other end, and Mercado set up rookie Justin Chua for a baseline jumper for a 90-87 advantage.

Beau Belga bullied his way to the paint to get fouled, splitting his free throws to cut the deficit to two points, 90-88.

After a Mercado miss from beyond the arc, Lee took a challenged three-point attempt of his own that failed to hit the target. GlobalPort had a chance to put the game away, but Belga came up with a big block on Washington to give Rain or Shine one final chance.

But Lee’s three-point attempt at the buzzer again failed to find the target, allowing GlobalPort to escape with the victory.

Washington added 13 rebounds for the Batang Pier, whose win-loss record improved to an even 3-3. RR Garcia and Chua added 13 and 12 points, respectively, making up for a miserable performance from fellow rookie Terrence Romeo, who had just a single point.

JR Quinahan had 14 points and eight rebounds for Rain or Shine, whose record dropped to 4-2.

GLO 90 – Washington 20, Mercado 20, Garcia 13, Chua 12, Nabing 8, Yee 5, Lingganay 5, Hayes 4, Salvador 2, Romeo 1, Menk 0, Belencion 0.
ROS 88 – Lee 20, Quinahan 14, Norwood 11, Belga 10, Cruz 9, Chan 8, Arana 7, Teng 4, Nuyles 3, Tiu 2, Almazan 0, Ibanes 0, Rodriguez 0.
QS: 18-22, 36-35, 70-60, 90-88.

Justin Chua was solid against ROS.

Sol Mercado and Paul Lee engaged in a great individual match-up.

Japeth Aguilar made the game-winning three-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining before making the game-saving block at the buzzer to give Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to a 97-95 victory over Talk ‘N Text in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Aguilar, who was playing against his former team, scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half to power the Gin Kings to the comeback victory, their fourth in five games in the conference.

Ginebra did it despite getting limited minutes from main men LA Tenorio and Mark Caguioa, who were both suffering from the effects of illness.

Talk ‘N Text looked poised for victory, taking control with an 80-70 lead heading into the final period. But Ginebra, energized by the entry of reserves Emman Monfort and Mac Baracael, came charging back in the fourth quarter.

“Nag-adjust ako nung second half. Maganda yug hugot ko kay Monfort. Of course, maganda din yung pagpasok ko kay Mac Baracael,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin.

A 14-4 run capped by a Baracael three-pointer tied the game at 84-all midway through the final period.

Another three-pointer from Mac Baracael broke the game’s final deadlock to give Ginebra a 91-88 edge with 2:20 to play. Moments later, Chris Ellis split his free throws to push the Gin Kings lead to four points, 92-88.

But Talk ‘N Text, the three-time defending champion of the tournament, wasn’t about to go quietly. Jimmy Alapag nailed three free throws after drawing a foul from beyond the arc, before a putback by Kelly Williams gave Talk ‘N Text the upper hand anew, 93-92, with 1:02 left.

Aguilar and Fonacier exchanged baskets in the next two possessions. Noy Baclao came up with a defensive gem in the ensuing play, foiling a drive by Aguilar with 24 seconds left.

Ginebra had no choice but to send Baclao to the line, but the former Ateneo forward muffed both foul shots to give the Gin Kings a final possession.

With 22.9 seconds left in the game, Tenorio dribbled down the clock before finding Aguilar open from beyond the arc. The athletic forward confidently launched a jumper which found nothing but the bottom of the net with 1.1 seconds left.

Agustin said the play originally called for Aguilar to go hard to the basket. “Swerte lang, tinira sa three points, pumasok,” said the coach.

Talk ‘N Text sued for time and set up a baseline jumper for Ranidel De Ocampo. But after De Ocampo lost his defender, Aguilar came flying into the scene to swat the ball away, saving Ginebra’s win.

Aguilar added 12 rebounds and seven blocks for Ginebra, which bounced back from its first loss of the season to improve its win-loss record to 4-1. Ellis added 17 points while Greg Slaughter added 16 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks.

Jayson Castro led Talk ‘N Text with 27 points, but managed just two in the final period. Larry Fonacier added 23 points for the Tropang Texters, which saw its two-game winning streak snapped for a 3-2 record.

GIN 97 - Aguilar 21, Ellis 17, Slaughter 16, Baracael 12, Ababou 7, Helterbrand 7, Reyes 6, Urbiztondo 6, Caguioa 3, Tenorio 2, Monfort 0
TNT 95 - Castro 27, Fonacier 23, Anthony 12, De Ocampo 8, Williams 8, Alapag 7, Seigle 5, Baclao 4, Carey 1, Ferriols 0, Poligrates 0
QS: 19-25, 40-43, 68-80, 97-95

Danny Seigle in a Talk N Text uniform! Who woulda thunk?!
(image by KC Cruz/GMANews)

Japeth Aguilar was nothing short of awesome against his former team.

Japeth Aguilar's heroics against Talk N Text:

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 Nuki Sabio and Paolo Papa)

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