2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup Roundup: January 10, 2014

In last night’s action from the 2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup, Gary “El Granada” David erupted for 24 points as Meralco upended Alaska, while Petron welcomed back June Mar Fajardo by beating the Batang Pier.

In the first encounter, Meralco leaned on David’s shooting to throttle Alaska, 74-65. El Granada continued to wax hot in the Philippine Cup, scoring 24 points, including 7 points in a key fourth quarter stretch, to lead the Meralco Bolts to their fifth win in twelve games. David hit three triples and 10/20 field goals overall to top-score for Meralco. David has been on fire lately, with this performance coming on the heels of his 34-point explosion against Air 21. He remains one of the PBA's deadliest scorers. He's top five in points-per-game and top four in total three-pointers made.

In contrast Calvin Abueva continued to struggle in his sophomore season. The 2013 Rookie-of-the-Year put up just 6 points on 3/11 FG shooting in this game, while also turning the ball over thrice and getting into a scuffle with Meralco's Jared Dillinger in the fourth period. Abueva has been on a bit of a dry spell lately, as he's scored in single digits in four of Alaska's last five games. His player efficiency rating is also down this year at 22.5 EFF compared to 26.4 EFF last season.

Calvin Abueva battles Cliff Hodge for the rebound.

The Alaska Aces are on a tailspin right now. They've lost three of their last four games and eight of twelve overall. They're mired in a tie for eight place with GlobalPort and are in danger of missing the bus to the next round. Not the best start to a season where they were expected to continue their growth and really challenge the established hierarchy in the league.

In the main game, Petron Blaze relied on reigning MVP Arwind Santos to beat GlobalPort, 98-87. Santos continued his strong play this season with a greta outing against the Batang Pier, who fell to 4-8 in the team standings. Santos racked up 25 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal to lead the Boosters in halting a slump that saw the erstwhile league leaders lose three of four games. Santos has been playing splendidly of late, registering double-doubles in three of Petron's last five games. His current player efficiency rating (39.7 EFF), in fact, is a career-high.

In terms of the frontline, GlobalPort was able to match-up well with Petron, despite having much smaller big men. It was in the backcourt, however, where things unraveled for coach Richie Ticzon. Despite his two starting guards -- Jaypee Belencion and Sol Mercado -- combining for 37 points, GlobalPort's playmaking sputtered here. As a team, the Batang Pier were -9 in assists and had twice as many turnovers as Petron -- 22-11.

Super sophomore June Mar Fajardo returned to action last night, but it was clear he still wasn't 100%. There were times he was slow to react and slow to get to his spots on the floor. He still had a respectable outing, though, producing 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots in 24 minutes of play. Despite not being at full strength, he was still a significant presence inside, as Petron stayed within striking distance of the top spot with 9 wins and 3 losses.

Game Recaps:
MERALCO over ALASKA, 74-65
With Meralco’s campaign in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup winding down, Gary David went back to doing what he does best: putting points in the bucket.

‘El Granada’ exploded for 24 points to lead his Bolts to a crucial 74-65 victory over the Alaska Aces on Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“I told him, it’s time to detonate the grenade,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio. “That’s the language he understands.”

David was coming off a 34-point performance in the Bolts’ last game versus Air 21. Against Alaska, he was at his best down the stretch, scoring seven of the Bolts’ nine points in the fourth quarter when the Aces were making their run.

His scoring brilliance paired with Meralco’s impregnable defense was enough to give the Bolts the win, which lifted their win-loss record to 5-7.

“We like this win because of the way we defended,” said Gregorio, whose Bolts held the Aces to just 33 percent from the field.

“That’s what you call tenacity on defense.”

The game was marred by a heated incident between Meralco’s Jared Dillinger and Alaska’s Calvin Abueva at the 10:11 mark of the final period.

Abueva had challenged Dillinger, and the contact left the Bolts wingman with a bloody nose. The two men remained tangled after the play, with Abueva appearing to pull Dillinger toward him on the baseline. Dillinger lost his cool, pinning Abueva over the baseline railing as cooler heads tried to intervene.

Both men were called for technical fouls after the incident.

Gregorio also got into it with his Alaska counterpart Luigi Trillo, as the two men exchanged words on the court.

“Just heat of the moment,” said Gregorio, who downplayed the tiff. “We’re both gentlemen and we’re both adults. I shook his hand after the game."

Jared Dillinger added 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and two blocks in his second game filling in for the injured Mike Cortez as Meralco’s starting point guard. Cliff Hodge added 10 points while Reynel Hugnatan chipped in nine points and nine rebounds for Meralco, which won its second straight game.

JVee Casio scored 15 points while Sonny Thoss added 14 and 12 rebounds for Alaska, which lost its second straight game to fall to a 4-8 record.

MER 74 – David 24, Dillinger 10, Hodge 10, Hugnatan 9, Salvacion 8, Wilson 7, Artadi 4, Ildefonso 2, Al-Hussaini 0, Guevarra 0.
ALA 65 – Casio 15, Thoss 14, Espinas 13, Baguio 7, Abueva 6, Ramos 5, Dela Cruz 2, Jazul 2, Hontiveros 1, Exciminiano 0, Eman 0.
QS: 24-17, 40-32, 65-51, 74-65.

Calvin Abueva winces in pain.

Cyrus Baguio tests the D of Gary David.

The Petron Blaze Boosters sleepwalked through the first half before finding their form in the third quarter for a 98-87 victory over GlobalPort on Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Coming off a defeat against Barako Bull two days ago, the Boosters avoided a second straight upset for their ninth win in 12 games.

“Tough win for us. We had to grind it out in the second half,” said Petron coach Gee Abanilla. “Guys stepped up especially in the second half.”

Arwind Santos scored a season-high 25 points along with 10 rebounds, while Alex Cabagnot posted the first triple-double of his career with 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assist for the Boosters.

But Petron had to contend with a feisty GlobalPort side, who took a 51-39 spread at halftime behind the surprise contributions of Ilonggo sharpshooter Jaypee Belencion. The former Letran wingman scored 12 points in the first half as the Batang Pier bucked the early loss of star forward Jay Washington because of a foot injury.

The Boosters came out with a different fire in the third quarter, tying the game at 68-all heading into the final period.

GlobalPort had its last taste of the lead, 80-79, after a jump hook by Jondan Salvador. Petron then rattled off the next 11 points of the game to put the game away, 90-80.

Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz added 16 and 13 points, respectively, for Petron. June Mar Fajardo also made his return from a three-game absence, finishing with 12 points, six rebounds, and two blocks in 24 minutes of action off the bench.

Doug Kramer chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds for Petron, which remained in the hunt for one of the top two playoffs seeds, which carry a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.

“The record is really favorable for us at this point,” said Abanilla. “We just have to win all the remaining games that we have.”

Belencion finished with 21 points to lead GlobalPort. Sol Mercado and Kelly Nabong added 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the Batang Pier, who dropped to a 4-8 record after losing their fifth straight game.

PET 98 – Santos 25, Lassiter 16, Lutz 13, Fajardo 12, Kramer 11, Cabagnot 10, Tubid 7, Deutchman 2, Ross 2, Lanete 0.
GLO 87 – Belencion 21, Mercado 16, Nabong 15, Chua 9, Salvador 8, Garcia 8, Romeo 4, Menk 2, Salva 2, Najorda 1, Hayes 1, Washington 0.
QS: 20-22, 39-51, 68-68, 98-87

Chris Lutz hurls one over Jaypee Belencion.

June Mar returned fro sick bay.

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 Sports 5. (Photo credit to Paolo Papa)

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2 Comment

"EL Granada" is improper Spanish. It should be "LA Granada" the same way Juan Carlos Navarro is "La Bomba” (the bomb). Hopefully this gets corrected before Gilas goes to Spain and the Spaniards start laughing at Gary David's nickname.


I am neither the one who coined "El Granada," nor someone well-versed in Spanish, but doesn't EL also mean "the?" A quick google, dictionary, and wiki search yielded that result for me. Not sure if there are any differences between using EL or LA in terms of one being a masculine article or otherwise, though. I did check other common EL terms like El Niño (The Boy) and El Cid (The Lord) and everything seems to fit and check out. Can you enlighten us more about the big (laughable) difference between EL and LA? Di ko talaga alam e.