2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup Roundup: January 27-28, 2014


The 2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals kicked off with ultra-entertaining games the past two days. Rain or Shine countered Petron’s size with speed to rout the Boosters in game 1, while fans were delighted last night with another awesome Manila Clasico match-up. Ginebra and San Mig Super Coffee engaged in a superbly-played back-and-forth affair, with the Mixers coming out on top and securing a 1-0 series lead.

Two days ago, Rain or Shine overpowered Petron Blaze, 103-95. This time around, speed beat size, with the Painters going full throttle to run rings around the Boosters. Paul Lee, Ryan Araña, Alex Nuyles, and Gabe Norwood all took turns filling the lanes to leave a bigger Petron squad playing catch-up, and it worked wonders as Rain or Shine turned a tight 28-all game in the first half into a clinic in run-and-gun hoops. Lee was awesome here, braving the Petron D for daredevil drives while also hitting all ten of his free throws. The former UE Red Warrior led ROS with 18 points and 2 steals.

June Mar Fajardo and the Boosters fell in Game 1.

Petron Blaze was outclassed in transition here as the Painters netted 35 fastbreak points to 29 for the Boosters. What compounded things even more was Petron’s penchant to turn the ball over. Coach Gee Abanilla’s wards coughed the rock up 25 times here (ROS had 15 turnovers only), which led to 24 points-off-turnovers for the aggressive and unforgiving Painters of coach Yeng Guiao. June Mar Fajardo was a beast with 23 points and 15 rebounds, but he also led everyone with EIGHT turnovers. Alex Cabagnot and Chris Lutz also didn’t do a swell job of taking care of the ball, combining for 9 errors.


Despite having a relatively small frontline (and without JR Quiñahan at that), ROS was able to compete in the paint. Jervy Cruz and Beau Belga took care of the scoring, combining for 26 points on 10/19 shooting from the two-point range. Rookie slotman Raymond Almazan also stepped up, grabbing 10 boards and blocking 3 shots as coach Yeng’s balanced attack came to fore.


In the Manila Clasico match last night, San Mig Super Coffee slid past Ginebra, 85-83. This was Manila Clasico at its best, and, man, we still have, potentially, six more games of this rock ‘em sock ‘em back-and-forth action. Bring it on!!! #HoopsHeaven

Saddled by foul trouble for the entire game, Mark Caguioa only really became relevant in the dying minutes, hitting two “nakaw” lay-ups to spark Ginebra’s last fightback. Sadly, things turned sour for the Kings, with Mac Baracael turning from hero to zero in the end. Moments after he stole the ball and connected with LA Tenorio on a momentum-changing fastbreak play, Baracael’s indecisiveness (maybe coach Ato could have had a different inbounder after Baracael muffed his first try, too) started a chain reaction that led to this Game 1 defeat.

Lead SMC playmaker Mark Barroca struggled with his shot all night. He shot 0/7 from the floor for about 26 minutes, but he did come up big in the game’s biggest moment. With less than 12 ticks to go, the former FEU Tamaraw rose up and hit the eventual game-winner over LA Tenorio. That was his only field goal of the entire game. Clearly, Barroca has blossomed into a big time clutch player, and I think Ginebra really has to think of unique ways to try and stop him because that shot will probably trigger a huge game from the Coffee Prince in Game 2.


Game Recaps:
RAIN OR SHINE over PETRON BLAZE, 103-95
Up against a team bannered by the most dominant center in the league, Rain or Shine kept things simple in their bid to outplay Petron Blaze – play run and gun basketball to wear the big man down.

The Elasto Painters scored 35 points on fastbreaks and outlasted the Boosters, 103-95, to open their PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinals series at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“This is the way we want it, we want it fast, we want it open court. Petron also plays the open court really well, but with our rotation, we feel we could sustain it a lot longer, perhaps in seven games if needed. We’re ready to play a long series. We’re ready to play a fast, furious pace and we’ll see what happens,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

The Elasto Painters, who stretched their winning streak to nine games, also picked up 24 points coming off turnovers.

All but one player fielded in by Guiao scored with Paul Lee leading the way with 18 points, including a perfect 10-for-10 shooting from the free throw line.

He made several nifty moves while taking the ball strong to the basket, defying the defense of Arwind Santos.

Jervy Cruz contributed 15 points and six rebounds while Beau Belga added 11 markers as the two more than made up for the absence of JR Quinahan, who had to sit out due to a swollen knee.

“JR Quinahan has a slight swelling on his knee, but he should be OK the next game,” added Guiao.

“We need him because we need the match up of big bodies against June Mar.”

June Mar Fajardo led Petron with 23 points and 15 rebounds, but his stamina was tested due to the fast-paced action.

He was held to only two points in the fourth period and was outplayed by Belga in the first half.

ROS 103 – Lee 18, Cruz 15, Belga 11, Arana 10, Nuyles 9, Almazan 7, Rodriguez 7, Norwood 7, Chan 6, Teng 6, Ibanes 5, Tiu 2, Tang 0.
PET 95 – Fajardo 23, Lassiter 20, Santos 20, Ross 8, Hubalde 6, Cabagnot 4, Lutz 4, Duncil 2, Tubid 3, Lanete 2, Kramer 2.
QS: 28-20, 49-40, 76-63, 103-95.

Gabe Norwood shoots over Chris Ross.

Jeff Chan and the Painters outran the Boosters in Game 1.

SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE over GINEBRA, 85-83
The Manila Clasico turned out another instant classic.

Mark Barroca nailed a tough jumper over LA Tenorio with 11.6 seconds left to lift the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers to an 85-83 victory over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in Game One of their PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup semifinals series.

“That can’t get any better than that,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone on the thrilling win. “We were able to escape with a win.”

The spitfire guard from Zamboanga struggled on offense all night long, finishing with just five points. He missed his first seven field goal attempts before he came up with the biggest plays in the endgame for the Mixers.

Ginebra still had the basketball with 32.3 seconds remaining and the game tied, 83-all. The Gin Kings encountered trouble on the inbound play, forcing coach Ato Agustin to burn the team’s final timeout.

Despite the extra time to draw up a play, Mac Baracael’s inbound pass was still tipped by Joe Devance. Barroca grabbed the ball and raced downcourt, calling for a pick from Yancy De Ocampo before making his game-winner.

With no more timeouts, LA Tenorio took the ball upcourt, but missed the potential go-ahead three-pointer. Marc Pingris recovered the ball with 2.3 seconds left, but proceeded to muff two free throws, giving Ginebra one final shot.

But Tenorio’s prayer from the backcourt wasn’t answered, allowing the Mixers to take the 1-0 lead.

Ginebra was in control after a strong third quarter, taking a 65-57 lead heading into the final period.

But the Mixers came charging back with intense pressure, rattling off a 10-2 run to tie the game, 67-all, early in the fourth quarter.

“Justin (Melton) and Mark were playing good defensively, they were playing so well,” said Cone, who kept backcourt stars James Yap and Peter June Simon glued to the bench during those crucial moments. “Justin and Mark were really key down the stretch.”

San Mig Coffee looked like it was about to seal the game after three-pointers from Yancy De Ocampo and Melton gave the Mixers an 80-75 lead.

But Ginebra came charging back with Mark Caguioa and LA Tenorio combining for an 8-2 run. Tenorio’s breakaway layup gave Ginebra an 83-81 lead with 35.1 seconds left.

With his last timeout, Cone drew up a play that opened up Devance, who led all scorers with 20 points, for an easy layup with 32.3 seconds remaining, setting up Barroca’s heroics.

Cone downplayed the significance of the first game of the series, while admitting that it was a good opportunity for his team.

“It’s a long series, there’s no feeling of comfort leading 1-0. But it does give you an opportunity to dictate the series. Now it takes the pressure out of your team. It sets the tone for what you want to do,” said Cone.

SMC 85 – Devance 20, Simon 16, Pingris 10, De Ocampo 9, Sangalang 8, Melton 8, Barroca 5, Yap 5, Mallari 4, Reavis 0.
GIN 83 – Tenorio 16, Aguilar 14, Baracael 12, Slaughter 10, Ellis 9, Caguioa 8, Reyes 5, Helterbrand 4, Monfort 3, Mamaril 2.
QS: 26-28, 43-40, 57-65, 85-83

LA Tenorio rises from beyond the arc.

Mark Barroca splits the Ginebra defense.

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 Paul Ryan Tan)


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