2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup Roundup: February 3-5, 2014

The 2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals heated up even more with coaches getting ejected (and then suspended and fined), players getting injured, and leads vanishing in the blink of an eye. Rain or Shine built a commanding 3-1 series lead sans head coach Yeng Guiao, while Ginebra weathered a furious San Mig rally in the fourth quarter to tie their own series at 2-all.

Mac Baracael stepped up in Game 4 for the Kings.

This past Monday, Rain or Shine outlasted Petron Blaza, 88-83. It was a total team effort from the Elasto-Painters, who had nobody scoring more than 12 points, but had ten guys scoring 6 or more. Rain or Shine shot 44% from the field, including 36% from beyond the arc, while limiting Petron to just 37% FG shooting. Sure, June Mar Fajardo had a huge game for the Boosters, but ROS slowed him down significantly in the payoff period. The Painters also finished with more assists and forced 18 Petron turnovers, which resulted in a +10 advantage in points-off-TOs. The Painters also played tighter defense down the stretch, forcing some tough shots, which the Boosters ended up missing.

Petron Blaze struggled with the long toms in this one. Outside of Chris Lutz, who connected on 3 of 5 three-pointers, the Boosters managed just 3/20 shooting from beyond the arc. Arwind Santos missed 4, Marcio Lassiter missed all 6 of his tries, Ronald Tubid missed 3, and Alex Cabagnot also missed 3. Their anemic 66% FT shooting also didn’t help, with Fajardo going 5/10 from the line. Right off the bat, shooting is definitely one of the things coach Gee Abanilla will look to improve in Game 5.

No Lee, No Yeng, No Problem -- Paul Lee went out in the first half because he sprained his ankle. Coach Yeng Guiao, for the second game in a row, got ejected from the playing court. Without their most creative playmaker and their fiery coach, coupled with the spotty officiating, ROS could have simply hung their heads and waited for the final buzzer, but, instead, they buckled down and played even harder. Now it’s Petron’s collective backs who are against the wall. How will the Boosters respond?

Just last night, Ginebra survived San Mig Super Coffee, 85-82. Mac Baracael came to play in this one, scorching the Mixers from long range as a way of making up for getting ejected in Game 3. The former FEU Tamaraw connected on four of his five three-point attempts on his way to a game-high 20 points. He shot 6/8 overall from the field, 4/4 from the stripe, had 1 steal and 1 block in leading the Kings into a 2-2 series tie with the Mixers.

Despite the win, the Kings can’t rest easy, not after squandering a 16-point second half lead. After Ginebra erected a 16-point bubble late in the third (thanks to a Jayjay Helterbrand trey), the Mixers uncorked a searing 18-0 blast that put a major scare into the hearts of the Ginebra faithful. Luckily, the Kings were able to right the ship just in the nick of time behind the heroics of Emman Monfort and LA Tenorio. San Mig enjoyed a great performance from James Yap, but it didn’t fully make up for the subpar scoring of usual reliables Mark Barroca, Marc Pingris, and PJ Simon, all of whom combined for just 22 points.

The Tenorio conundrum – LA Tenorio had his best shoting game of the series so far, shooting 55% from the field to finish with 16 points. He did, however, commit a season-high 6 turnovers, which contributed to San Mig Coffee recording a +8 advantage in points-off-turnovers. Tenorio has been having an up-and-down series so far, and his performance has been put under the microscope in the face of Mark Barroca’s sterling play. In terms of player efficiency, Tenorio’s rating in the semifinals is at 28.6 EFF, but Barroca’s is a little higher at 32.3 EFF. The Lieutenant has just found it really difficult to keep pace with the younger, faster Barroca. How long can the Ginebra playmaker last?

Game Recaps:
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters showed great character to hack out a 88-83 victory over the Petron Blaze Boosters on Monday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The win gave a 3-1 lead in the PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup semifinals for the Elasto Painters, who bucked an injury to top gun Paul Lee in the second quarter and an ejection on coach Yeng Guiao in the third period before fashioning out the win.

“The guys just did not give up. They won this game on their own. I have nothing to do with this victory,” said Guiao.

“They lost Paul, they lost me, but they kept their fighting hearts with them. We beat them against the odds.”

The Elasto Painters also survived a monster effort from June Mar Fajardo, who finished with 27 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks in the losing cause.

Fajardo tied the game with a three-point play at 82-all with still 5:50 to play. Jeff Chan responded with a layup to give Rain or Shine the edge, 84-82.

Neither team scored until Beau Belga, who struggled on offense all night while guarding Fajardo, swished in a three-pointer from right corner for an 87-82 lead with just 1:53 remaining.

With Fajardo tiring down, the Elasto Painters foiled the rest of the Boosters, who didn’t score again until Chris Lutz hit two one of two free throws with 21.4 seconds left.

Lee left the game in the second quarter after suffering a first-grade ankle sprain on challenging a layup attempt by Chris Ross. Guiao, who was ejected for the second straight game, was called for his second technical foul in the third period for complaining against the referees.

“I thought there were a lot of bad calls. Any team made of softer material would have folded up. It’s a testimony to the character of the guys,” said Guiao, who paid tribute to assistant coach Caloy Garcia for taking over after the ejection.

“I take my hat off to Coach Caloy for not giving up where I gave up.”

Ryan Arana picked up the slack for Lee by scoring 12 points, while Jeff Chan scored nine of his 11 points in the third period to give Rain or Shine a lift. Jireh Ibanes added 11 points while Gabe Norwood chipped in 10 for the Elasto Painters, who found good balance with nine players scoring at least six points for the team.

Aside from Chris Lutz who went 3-of-5, the rest of the Boosters shot miserably from beyond the arc, going just 3-of-20 (15 percent).

Rain or Shine has a chance to make a return trip to the finals in Game Five on Friday also at the Big Dome.

ROS 88 – Arana 12, Chan 11, Ibanes 11, Norwood 10, Cruz 8, Rodriguez 8, Quinahan 7, Lee 7, Nuyles 6, Belga 3, Tang 3, Almazan 2, Tiu 0.
PET 83 – Fajardo 27, Santos 14, Lutz 13, Lassiter 10, Ross 9, Tubid 5, Cabagnot 5, Duncil 0, Taha 0, Kramer 0, Hubalde 0, Deutchman 0.
QS: 33-28, 48-50, 72-69, 88-83

Yeng Guiao got ejected, suspended, and fined.
Oh, but his team is one win away from the Finals.

June Mar Fajardo tries to barrel his way against JR Quiñahan.

Beau Belga tries to go around the much bigger June Mar Fajardo.

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel squandered a 16-point third quarter lead before eking out an 85-82 over the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“At the start of the game, we did a good job on our defense. We were able to control the tempo, but when they started pressuring us, marami kaming mistakes,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin.

“The breaks went on our side that’s why we won the game.”

The Gin Kings looked on pace for the easy victory after opening up a 70-54 spread after a Jayjay Helterbrand three-pointer near the end of the third period.

But the Mixers came roaring back, scoring the next 18 points of the game behind James Yap, Mark Barroca, and Justin Melton to take a 72-70 edge.

San Mig Coffee continued the onslaught, taking a 76-72 advantage. But a banked three-pointer by Emman Monfort sparked an 8-4 run that gave Ginebra back the advantage, 80-78.

Ginebra still led by four points before Joe Devance’s three-pointer cut the Mixers’ deficit, 83-82. LA Tenorio sank two free throws to give the Gin Kings more breathing room with 5.4 seconds left.

San Mig Coffee had one final shot to tie the game, but Yap’s three-point attempt failed to hit the target, allowing Ginebra to tie the PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup semifinals series at 2-all.

“The players didn’t lose their composure, veterans namin nagdala, tapos nag-contribute lahat,” said Agustin.

Mac Baracael led Ginebra with 20 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting, bouncing back strong after being ejected in Game Three.

Yap led San Mig Coffee with 20 points, but usual suspects Barroca (10 points) and Peter June Simon (five points) were less effective than usual.

“Na-contain namin nang konti, na-limit namin yung guards nila, PJ and Barroca,” said Agustin.

GIN 85 – Baracael 20, Tenorio 16, Slaughter 11, Ellis 9, Aguilar 7, Caguioa 7, Helterbrand 5, Monfort 5, Reyes 3, Mamaril 2.
SMC 82 – Yap 20, Devance 13, Barroca 10, Melton 9, Pingris 7, Sangalang 7, Mallari 6, Simon 5, Reavis 5, De Ocampo 0.
QS: 21-20, 46-43, 70-56, 85-82

James Yap tries to negotiate with the referee in Game 4.

LA Tenorio tries to carry Ginebra in Game 4.

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 Nuki Sabio)

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