2014 PBA Commish Cup: Jeff Chan and Brian Butch waxed hot as they led their respective clubs to separate wins!

Both Jeff Chan and Brian Butch hit 6 triples, leading their respective teams to big wins in the 2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Chan tallied 24 markers as Rain or Shine humbled Alaska, while Butch’s season-high 42 towed Meralco past GlobalPort.

Jeff Chan (L) and Brian Butch (R) caught fire for their
teams last night.
(composite image by Enzo Flojo/Hoop Nut)

In the curtain-raiser, Rain or Shine dominated Alaska, 92-78. Jeff Chan’s offensive game went from night to day as he scored all 24 of his points in the second half after laying a big fat egg in the first two periods. Chan hit 6 threes in all, including 4 in the final canto that sparked the game-clinching run and put the outcome beyond doubt. The Gilas Pilipinas sniper shot 8/13 overall from the floor, spacing the Alaska defense with his accurate shooting. Aside from connecting on most of his field goals, the former FEU standout also handed out 2 assists and got 1 steal.

Reigning Best Import Rob Dozier continued his strong play for the Aces, but his effort was all for naught as nobody else broke the double-digit barrier. RJ Jazul and Sonny Thoss came the closes with 9 and 8 markers respectively, but usual reliables like JV Casio, Calvin Abueva, and Gabby Espinas bled for their points. In all, coach Luigi Trillo’s locals shot just 17/61 (28%) from the floor, further fueling the notion that they’re just not ready to defend the title they won last year in dramatic fashion.

Alex Ain’t Leaving Yet: ROS import Alex McLean didn’t exactly have the most impressive debut in the Painters’ first loss of the conference, but he made up for it with a sold double-double here. McLean continues to struggle from the field, shooting just 7/25 field goals, but he did clean the glass with 18 boards and was great on D with 1 steal and 2 blocks. He still doesn’t seem to be the potentially dominant reinforcement who can take over a game, but he does fit in nicely with ROS’s small-ball, run-and-gun style.

Meralco capped off the evening by beating GlobalPort, 104-99. As if the Bolts didn’t have enough shooters already, it looks like Brian Butch just added another consistent perimeter threat to the Meralco’s deadly array of weapons. The 6’11 former  Team USA player (he played for Team USA in the 2011 Pan-Am Games) connected on 6 of his 11 three-point attempts, 6 of his 10 two-point field goals, and 12 of his 15 free throws to finish with a game-high 42 markers. He was clutch, too, hitting many important buckets in the second half that stymied repeated runs by the stubborn Batang Pier. Butch also hauled down 24 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal.

On the other end, the duo of Evan Brock and Terrence Romeo kept things interesting for the winless GlobalPort franchise. Brock was splendid offensively, hitting 11 of his 17 FG attempts to finish with 32 markers, but he just couldn’t contain Butch’s hot hand from long range. The former ABL import also collared 23 boards and handed out 3 assists. Romeo, for his part, finished with 21 points, shooting 7/17 from the field. He also did well with 4 rebounds and 6 dimes, but this was offset by his committing 6 personal fouls. GlobalPort actually won the battle of the boards and shot better overall, but they just couldn’t come up with the clutch plays that could have given them their first win of the conference.

Guard Duty: Aside from Butch, Meralco also enjoyed great production from its guard corps, what with Gary David, Anjo Caram, and John Wilson all stepping up to combine for 33 points. David hit 2 triples in this game on his way to 16 markers, while Caram and Wilson backstopped him with 9 and 8 points respectively. Even substitute playmaker AJ Mandani did well, scoring 6 points in just 11 minutes of play for coach Ryan Gregorio’s crew. Meralco now finds itself in a tie for second place in the standings with 2 wins against 1 defeat.

Game Recaps:


Rain or Shine leaned on the hot hand of gunner Jeff Chan as they defeated Alaska, 92-78, to enter the winning column in the PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Saturday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Despite being held scoreless in the first half, Chan was red-hot over the last two periods to finish with 24 points, including four three-pointers in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory.

Chan shot 6-for-10 from three-point range in the game.

Import Alexander McLean finished with 19 points while Paul Lee had 11 to help Rain or Shine improve to 1-1 after they dropped their opening assignment in the conference.

A balanced Rain or Shine crew, led by starters Ryan Arana and Chris Tiu, helped the Elasto Painters keep a slim margin after the first quarter, 18-17, despite an 11-point, 3-block performance from Alaska import Rob Dozier.

Lee then took over as he opened the second quarter with back-to-back three-pointers en route to scoring the first seven points in a 10-3 run that gave Rain or Shine a 28-20 lead.

The Aces would come back to within two, but a 7-0 run led by rookie Raymond Almazan brought the Elasto-Painters lead up to nine, 36-26, before settling for a 38-32 lead at the half.

It was the Jeff Chan show in the second half, though.

He opened the third quarter with a three-point play on the fastbreak. He then topped that with a four-point play on their next possession after getting fouled by Dondon Hontiveros while making a three.

He added a layup and a three-pointer, scoring a total of 12 points in the first six minutes of the quarter as Rain or Shine took a 56-42 lead.

The Elasto Painters looked like they were on their way to a rout, taking the lead to as high as 19 points, 69-50, late in the third.

Alaska had one big run left in them, though, as they mounted an 18-3 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to come to within four, 72-68.

But Chan caught fire yet again, answering every Alaska basket with a three-pointer to keep Rain or Shine in front.

His third trey sparked a 10-1 run that was capped by his fourth and final triple, restoring Rain or Shine’s lead to a whopping 17 points, 90-73, with 2:47 remaining.

The Aces’ early struggles continued as they fell to 1-3 in the tournament.

Dozier, the reigning Best Import from last year’s Commissioner’s Cup, finished with 29 points but was the only Alaska player in double figures.

ROS 92 – Chan 24, McLean 19, Lee 11, Almazan 9, Tiu 9, Arana 8, Rodriguez 4, Cruz 3, Belga 2, Tang 2, Norwood 1
ALA 78 – Dozier 29, Jazul 9, Thoss 8, Hontiveros 7, Baguio 5, Espinas 5, Casio 5, Manuel 5, Abueva 3, Dela Cruz 2.
QS: 18-17, 38-32, 69-58, 92-78.

Gabe Norwood rises through the air against Gabby Espinas.

Jeff Chan connected on 6 triples for ROS.

The struggle continues for Rob Dozier and the defending champions.


Meralco import Brian Butch capped a dominating performance with a cold-blooded three-pointer in the final minute to help clinch a 104-99 victory over GlobalPort in a tight PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup contest on Saturday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-11 center scored 42 points, grabbed 24 rebounds and hit six three-pointers – the second straight game where he made that many threes – as the Bolts improved to 2-1 for the tournament.

Gary David added 16 points while Anjo Caram and veteran Reynel Hugnatan each finished with nine.

Meralco let a 17-point third quarter lead slip away in the fourth as GlobalPort, led by import Evan Brock, tied the game at 97-all late in the game.

But Butch made sure to save his best for last as he knocked down a huge trey that gave Meralco a 100-97 lead with just 46 seconds remaining. The Bolts knocked down a couple of free throws down the stretch to come away with a second straight win.

The first quarter was a tight contest, with GlobalPort taking a 28-27 lead behind 11 points from rookie Terrence Romeo.

But the Bolts swung the game to their favor with seven unanswered points from AJ Mandani, Cliff Hodge, and Danny Ildefonso to open the second. They closed the period just as strong with Reynel Hugnatan leading the charge in a 9-0 blast that extended the Meralco lead up to 15 points, 53-38.

Mark Macapagal and Anjo Caram exchanged three-pointers to close the half with the Bolts comfortably ahead, 56-41.

Meralco import Brian Butch already had 17 points and 13 rebounds at the break.

In the third quarter, GlobalPort tried to mount a comeback and got to within 10 points, 62-52, on an Alex Cabagnot three-pointer that capped a 9-1 run for the Batang Pier.

But Butch once again took over for the Bolts, scoring seven of their next eight points as they went up 70-54 on a trey from their import.

Butch, who finished with 12 points and five rebounds in the third, was far from done, though, knocking down another three-pointer a few minutes later to make it a 17-point advantage, 77-60.

But GlobalPort, with an aggressive pressure defense, chipped away at the lead and cut it back down to just eight points, 82-74, before Meralco beat the buzzer to push the lead back to 10 points at the end of the third quarter.

Romeo scored eight of GlobalPort’s last 12 points in the third.

Romeo, though, was forced to take a seat on the bench early in the fourth after getting whistled for a flagrant foul for hitting Butch, who knocked down two free throws.

With Romeo out, Brock took over, scoring nine points in a 13-3 run that brought the Batang Pier to within two, 89-87.

He punctuated the comeback with a huge slam off an assist from Romeo, who returned to the floor, and a strong finish in the interior.

But Butch would refuse to just let Meralco’s lead slip away. He took care of two free throws to push the lead back up to four and then answered a Romeo basket with a big three-pointer from the corner to give the Bolts a 94-89 lead with about four minutes to play.

Jewel Ponferrada then came up big, scoring the next six GlobalPort points and Brock finally brought GlobalPort all the way back a little later, tying the game at 97-all with a little over a minute left to play.

Brock had the chance to be the hero after he earned another trip to the charity stripe but muffed both of his attempts.

But Butch knocked down a clutch triple off an offensive board from Hodge to give Meralco a 100-97 lead and Caram added two more free throws to make it a five-point lead with 29.2 remaining on the clock.

Brock finished with 32 points while Romeo added 21 for the Batang Pier, which remained winless in four games this conference.

MER 104 – Butch 42, David 16, Caram 9, Hugnatan 9, Wilson 8, Mandani 6, Hodge 6, Ildefonso 5, Guevarra 3, Al-Hussaini 0, Artadi 0.
GLO 99 – Brock 32, Romeo 21, Ponferrada 10, salvador 6, Custodio 6, Washington 5, Macapagal 5, Salva 4, Yee 3, Cabagnot 3, Nabong 2, Garcia 2, Chua 0.
QS: 27-28; 56-41, 84-74, 104-99

Anjo Caram unfurls an acrobatic shot against GlobalPort.

Brian Butch unloads a kick-shot over Justin Chua.

Terrence Romeo's 21 points went down the drain.

Recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV.

Imiages by Paul Ryan Tan (Sports 5) and Justin Gener (InterAksyon).

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