2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup Roundup: January 11, 2014

In last night’s action from the 2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup, Yancy De Ocampo and PJ Simon stepped up to lift San Mig Coffee, while Extra Rice, Inc. delivered big time as the Painters scraped by the Texters.

Big smile on the grill of Big Beau!

In the curtain-raiser, San Mig Super Coffee overcame Air 21, 67-60. In the absence of key player James Yap, the Mixers got hefty outputs from erstwhile subs PJ Simon and Yancy De Ocampo. Simon, who usually comes off the pine to spell Yap, drilled in 7 of 13 field goals on his way to a team-high 20 points. He also added 6 rebounds and 1 assist in a sterling effort. De Ocampo, meanwhile, started at the slot and contributed heavily with a 12-point, 12-rebound game. He shot 6/12 from the floor and also blocked 1 shot. Just like other veteran bigs, it looks like Yancy wants to prove a point to the league's crop of new, young centers.

Air 21's Joseph Yeo was shackled in this game. Prior to this encounter, he was doing so well, averaging around 14 points and more than 6 assists per game. He wasn't nearly as effective against the Mixers. Yeo shot 2/10 from the field, finishing with just 9 points on top of 4 assists. He also had 4 turnovers.

After a really slow start to the season, it seems like the Mixers have turned over a new leaf. They have won four of their last six games, including going undefeated so far in 2014. Mark Barroca's play has been a big factor in that run, but one cannot discount the effect of one Marc Pingris, too. They're in the thick of the playoff race, but it'll be very interesting to see how far coach Tim Cone can take his squad without superstar James Yap.

In the nightcap, Rain or Shine escaped Talk N Text, 90-88.

Last week, it was ROS rookie Raymond Almazan who shone, but this time his "elders" were the ones who took center stage. JR Quiñahan and Beau Belga, the duo dubber "Extra Rice Inc." who could pass for brutish pro wrestlers, combined to score 35 points against TNT. As a pair, they shot 4 triples and 14/25 FGs overall. They had some trouble trying to contain TNT's Ranidel De Ocampo, who exploded for 24 points and 13 rebounds, but, hey, they were the ones who ended up with the W. More importantly, the Painters remained in second place with a solid chance at securing one of the coveted twice-to-beat advantages in the next round.

TNT struggled without Kelly Williams, who was placed in the injured reserve last January 10. Without Kelly's size and athleticism, the Texters struggled mightily containing the burly ROS frontcourt. Sean Anthony, Ali Peek, Noy Baclao, and John Ferriols all combined for just 5 points and 10 rebounds.TNT was outrebounded, 55-47, and it was -10 in second-chance points.

Former Adamson Soaring Falcon Alex Nuyles seems to have settled into a groove for ROS. The rookie wingman followed up his 16-point performance against GlobalPort last weekend with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists against the Texters here. He has been a solid contributor post-Christmas Day. In four games since then, Nuyles has put up a player efficiency rating of 26.8 EFF. In fact, he was the one who stayed on the floor late in the fourth, and NOT old reliable Jeff Chan.

Game Recaps:
SAN MIG COFFEE over AIR 21, 67-60
The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers banked on tough defense to turn back the Air 21 Express in a low-scoring slugfest, 67-60, on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.

With their second straight victory, San Mig Coffee improved its record to 5-7 and took a step closer to booking a playoff seat after starting the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup with a 1-5 slate.

“We’re playing with more effort now than we did earlier in the conference,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone, who missed the last week of the team’s practices after flying to the United States to scout player in the NBA D-League.

Playing without superstar James Yap, the Mixers turned to Peter June Simon, who scored 20 points to carry the scoring load.

But it was on defense and rebounding where the Mixers made hay. San Mig Coffee limited Air 21 to just 28 percent shooting while winning the battle of the boards, 61-51.

Yancy De Ocampo scored 12 points and 12 rebounds, outplaying Air 21 counterpart Asi Taulava, who finished with just five points and nine rebounds after going 1-of-6 from the field.

Marc Barroca scored all 11 of his points in the final period and had four steals, while Marc Pingris chipped in seven points and 12 rebounds for the Mixers to help make up for the absence of Yap, who is suffering from back spasms.

Despite the win, Cone said the Mixers were far from the form they need to go deep into a playoff run, noting how the team shot just 37 percent from the field. They were miserable from beyond the arc, going 1-of-16 from that distance.

“I told the players we just wanna get better little by little,” said Cone.

KG Canaleta led Air 21 with 22 points. Mark Cardona scored 11 points as the only other player in double-figures for the Express, whose record dropped to 3-10 to kiss their playoff chances goodbye.

SMC 67 – Simon 20, De Ocampo 12, Barroca 11, Pingris 7, Devance 6, Sangalang 6, Mallari 3, Reavis 2, Melton 0.
A21 60 – Canaleta 22, Cardona 11, Yeo 9, Taulava 5, Manuel 4, Arboleda 3, Sharma 2, Custodio 2, Camson 2, Matias 0, Espiritu 0, Menor 0.
QS: 17-12, 29-25, 44-43, 67-60.

How long can San Mig win without James Yap?

Marc Pingris had some hurdling to do last night.

Asi and Air 21are booted out of contention.

The big boys came out to play for Rain or Shine on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena as its Extra Rice, Inc. duo led the Elasto Painters to a 90-88 escape over the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters.

It was the fifth straight victory in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup for the Elasto Painters, who improved their win-loss record to 9-3, in a tie with Petron. They remain a half game behind No. 1 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, which has a 9-2 record.

All three teams remain in the hunt for one of the top two seeds in the playoffs, which come with a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

JR Quinahan finished with a team-high 19 points while Beau Belga added 16, including a tough jumper with 1:10 remaining that proved to be the game-winning basket.

After the teams exchanged defensive stops, Talk ‘N Text had one final shot to tie or win the game with 6.6 seconds remaining. Ranidel De Ocampo, who led all scorers with 24 points, had a good look from beyond the arc, but his attempt found the back rim at the buzzer.

“We just rode on our energy. We just tried to stay aggressive all the way until the endgame,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

“The good thing about it is that we’re beating good teams in tough situations. We showed maturity, we showed a desire to win.”

Rookie Alex Nuyles also stepped up for the Elasto Painters, scoring 13 points, grabbing five rebounds, and dishing out six assists. He earned minutes in crunch time as Guiao left him in the lineup in place of star wingman Jeff Chan.

De Ocampo added 13 rebounds for Talk ‘N Text, which lost its second straight game and third in the last four to see its record drop to 7-5.

Danny Seigle and Jayson Castro contributed 18 and 17 points, respectively, for the Tropang Texters.

ROS 90 – Quinahan 19, Belga 16, Nuyles 13, Lee 8, Chan 7, Cruz 6, Tiu 5, Arana 4, Rodriguez 4, Norwood 4, Tang 2, Ibanes 2, Almazan 0.
TNT 88 – De Ocampo 24, Seigle 18, Castro 17, Alapag 9, Fonacier 8, Aban 4, Anthony 3, Reyes 3, Baclao 2, Peek 0, Ferriols 0, Poligrates 0, Carey 0.
QS: 24-18, 45-46, 71-70, 90-88

Alex Nuyles stepped up anew for ROS.
Harvey Carey and the rest of TNT's bigs
struggled in this game.

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 Pranz Kaeno Billones and Paul Ryan Tan)

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