2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup Roundup: January 12, 2014

The 2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup closed the weekend with two nail-biters. In the first game, GlobalPort leaned on unheralded heroes to beat Alaska in OT, while, in the second game, Ginebra’s Emman Monfort sparked a late run as the Kings neared a twice-to-beat edge after defeating Barako Bull.

Ginebra is nearing a sure twice-to-beat edge in the
2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup.

In the first game, GlobalPort bucked Sonny Thoss’s big game to beat Alaska, 91-88, in overtime.

The last time Terrence Romeo shot relatively well in a game was waaay back in December 13, 2013. In that game, Romeo shot 8/15 from the field (53%) and ended up with 21 points. Incidentally, GlobalPort won that game, too! In this one, Romeo shot 7/15 from the floor, leading the Batang Pier with 18 points. One thing seems clear -- if Romeo'a shot finds the bottom of the net, then GlobalPort has a great chance of winning.

Alaska sure could have used the talents of Calvin Abueva. Too bad he sat this one out (due to injury or otherwise). Abueva has been under the spotlight lately, mainly because of how people perceive him as, well, a dirty player. In his eyes, he's just doing what he needs to win, but, especially to his opponents, there are times Abueva's antics can get a little too much. Is it too early to say he's the PBA's version of Metta World Peace?

Where did Kelly Nabong come from? In the absence of Jay Washington, the native of California has really stepped up. In this game, the Sta. Rosa Junior College alum reeled in 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists in a great starting effort. This comes on the heels of his 15-point, 11-rebound effort against Petron a couple of days prior. Looks like we have a new big man to watch out for in the PBA!

In the main match, Ginebra overcame Barako Bull, 90-83, thanks to Emman Monfort. With his team down 10 in the fourth period, Monfort put the Kings on his shoulders and sparked a huge late-game rally that delivered Ginebra's tenth win in twelve games. Monfort drained two triples and was instrumental in several other plays as the Kings battled back from what could've been a dangerous tie for first with Rain or Shine and Petron Blaze. Now, thanks to the pint-sized former Ateneo Blue Eagle, the Kings have the inside track to a twice-to-beat edge.

The Energy Cola played really good game here, but they could close it out. Barako Bull left the Kings open a little too many times, and the Energy Cola paid for it, falling for the eighth time in the conference. They're tied for seventh place with GlobalPort and are still in the thick of the fight for a playoff spot. They wasted the fact that they outrebounded the taller Ginebra frontline.

After two lackluster outings where he averaged just 3 points, 1.5 assists, and shot 2/17 overall, Mark Caguioa did well here. The Spark shot 5/9 from the field, totaling 14 points in 23 minutes. If Ginebra can have the real Caguioa in time for the Playoffs, then, man, these Kings might just run away with their first Philippine Cup since 2007.

Game Recaps:
The GlobalPort Batang Pier snapped its five-game losing skid just in time, defeating the Alaska Aces, 91-88, in overtime on Sunday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The win improved GlobalPort’s record to 5-8 and giving them a bit of headway in the playoff race for the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup. The Batang Pier moved one game ahead of the Aces, who dropped to 4-9.

“At least we were able to bounce back,” said GlobalPort coach Richie Ticzon, whose last victory came last December 13.

“We always compete with other teams but we’re not always consistent.”

The Batang Pier looked poised for an easy win after taking a 68-55 lead at the end of the third quarter. But the Aces came charging back, taking the lead, 78-77, after four straight free throws from Cyrus Baguio with 2:38 remaining.

GlobalPort briefly grabbed the advantage back on a Sol Mercado three-pointer, but Sonny Thoss responded with a basket.

After a scoreless stretch, JVee Casio broke the deadlock with a layup with 25.2 seconds remaining for an 82-80 advantage. But second-year big man Kelly Nabong tied the game with 14.6 seconds left, and the Batang Pier foiled Casio’s final attempt to force overtime.

The Batang Pier scored the first five points in extra period and kept the Aces at bay for most of that stretch. But Alaska had one final run, with Casio nailing a three-pointer with 43.5 seconds left to cut the GlobalPort advantage to a single point, 89-88.

GlobalPort still had the ball with 19 seconds remaining, but the Batang Pier turned the ball over. That led to an open look for RJ Jazul from beyond the arc, but his shot failed to find the target.

The Aces sent Nabong to the line with 1.4 seconds remaining. He hit the insurance free throws before Mercado stole a pass to seal the game for the Batang Pier.

Without Jay Washington who is still out with a foot injury, a number of heroes stepped up for the Batang Pier. Terrence Romeo led the scoring attack with 18 points, while Nabong had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Mercado chipped in 11 points and eight assists, Eric Menk had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Jondan Salvador finished with eight points and 16 rebounds.

The players met the challenge, and they were able to deliver.

GlobalPort has a chance to seal a playoff spot in its last assignment against Ginebra.

“Laban naman kami,” said Ticzon. “We were able to compete against them in the first round.

“We just hope we can play 48 minutes of our basketball.”

The loss spoiled the monster effort from Thoss, who had 21 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks for the Aces. Casio added 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals, while Baguio had 20 points, four rebounds, and five assists, for Alaska, which needs to win its last assignment against Barako Bull to keep its slim hopes for a playoff seat alive.

GLO 91 – Romeo 18, Nabong 13, Mercado 11, Menk 10, Belencion 9, Salvador 8, Salva 7, Najorda 6, Garcia 5, Hayes 4, Revilla 0, Chua 0.
ALA 88 – Casio 21, Thoss 21, Baguio 20, Espinas 14, Dela Cruz 7, Buenafe 3, Eman 2, Laure 0, Jazul 0, Hontiveros 0, Ramos 0, Exciminiano.
QS: 15-19, 34-31, 68-55, 82-82, 91-88

Kelly Nabong stepped up big time for GlobalPort.

Cyrus Baguio tries a fadeaway J.

Terrene Romeo gets hacked by Gabby Espinas.

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel got back on the winning track on Sunday with a 90-83 victory over Barako Bull at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Rookie center Greg Slaughter led the way with 14 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and two steals for the Gin Kings, who improved its pace-setting win-loss record in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup to 10-2. More importantly, Ginebra got inside track on one of the top two seeds in the playoffs, which come with a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.

Ginebra only has to win one of its two remaining assignments against GlobalPort on Friday and Talk ‘N Text on Sunday to get one of the coveted top seats.

Coming off a tough loss last week to the San Super Mixers, Ginebra started off strong, taking a double-digit advantage in the first half.

But Barako Bull came alive in the third period, outscoring the Gin Kings 30-17 to take a 68-60 spread heading into the final quarter.

“When they played zone defense, medyo dun na-rattle kami because we weren’t hitting our shots,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin.

The Gin Kings were down by 10 points, 70-60, before Emman Monfort’s three-pointer sparked a 15-5 run that tied the game.

Denok Miranda hit a three-point play to give Barako Bull a 78-75 edge, but Ginebra responded by with a 13-2 blast that put the game away.

Agustin credited Ginebra’s intensity on the defensive end for the fourth quarter rally. “Nag-start yung paghabol naming nung naging aggressive kami on defense,” said Agustin.

Mark Caguioa added 14 points for Ginebra, while Japeth Aguilar finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Ellis and LA Tenorio chipped in 11 apiece for the Gin Kings.

Miranda led Barako Bull with 16 points. JC Intal and Mick Pennisi added 15 points apiece for Barako Bull, which saw its two-game winning streak snapped as its record fell to 5-8.

GIN 90 - Slaughter 14, Caguioa 14, Aguilar 13, Ellis 11, Tenorio 11, Baracael 9, Helterbrand 6, Monfort 6, Reyes 3, Urbiztondo 3, Ababou 0, Mamaril 0, Forrester 0
BAR 83 - Miranda 16, Intal 15, Pennisi 15, Macapagal 14, Maierhofer 10, Jensen 9, Isip 2, Pena 2, Lastimosa 0, Wilson 0, Miller 0, Buenafe 0
QS: 21-12, 43-38, 60-68, 90-83

Denok Miranda outplayed Ginebra's LA Tenorio. 
Rico Maierhofer and Japeth Aguilar tangle
in mid-air.

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 and Pranz Kaeno Billones)

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