2014 PBA Commish Cup: Lamizana leads Air 21 rout even as the Texters beat the Beermen!

In Friday’s PBA action, Herve Lamizana unloaded his best game yet as the Express blew out the Energy Cola, while Richard Howell and the Texters bucked the ejection of coach Norman Black to zoom to a 3-0 slate at the expense of the Beermen.

In the opener, Air 21 routed Barako Bull, 103-85. Herve Lamizana is really known more for his defense than his offense, but in this game, he showed how he can actually excel in both departments. The Ivory Coast national player put the clamps on Barako Bull’s prolific scorer, Josh Dollard, and dropped 30 markers of his own as the Express won their second game in three tries. Lamizana shot 50% from the field and 11/15 from the line to finish with his first 30-point output of the conference. He also added 13 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal in an impressive showing. Perhaps the most important thing he did, however, was showing up Dollard, who, prior to this game, averaged more than 44 points per outing for the Energy Cola.

Against the Express, Dollard struggled to put the ball in the basket, shooting just 4/16 from the field as Lamizana covered him all night and the other Air 21 cagers helped out when he got a bit of daylight. Dollard also didn’t do much else offensively, as he recorded 0 assists and had 7 turnovers. He did pull down 9 boards, but that did little to stem the tide as Air 21 ran roughshod all over Barako Bull.

Here comes Aldrech Ramos!: The former Gilas pool and FEU standout had a great game for Air 21, making all 4 of his three-point shots on his way to 17 points in just 20 minutes of burn time. In addition, Ramos also grabbed 3 rebounds and even blocked 3 shots, helping the Express solidify their unexpected rout of the Energy Cola. Ramos is expected to be one of the main forwards for coach Franz Pumaren, so if he becomes consistent with this kind of play, then no team can count the Express out.

Aldrech Ramos had an excellent game as the
Express blew out the Energy Cola.

In the nightcap, Talk N Text overcame San Miguel Beer, 107-99, despite losing coach Norman Black in the third canto.

When Richard Howell shoots 57% from the field, grabs 20 rebounds (11 on the offensive glass), dishes out 4 assists, and steals the ball 4 times, I doubt if any team in the PBA can stop the Tropang Texters. The NC State alum was just all over the place here, giving new SMB import and former Cleveland Cavalier Kevin Jones a rude welcome. Howell is wasting no time proving just how great an acquisition he is for TNT, which hopes to bounce back big time after failing to defend its Philippine Cup crown in the previous conference. The Texters are on top of the heap at 3-0.

Two names made a lot of noise heading into this game — the aforementioned Jones and fresh-fron-injury June Mar Fajardo. Jones, despite the loss, got his numbers — 35 points on 16/27 FG shooting, 13 boards, and 2 blocks. He was, at least on an individual level, better than previous import Josh Boone, but the former failed at what the latter did twice — get a W. Of course, part of the blame can be pinned on Fajardo, too. The 6’10 juggernaut of a human being played just 22 minutes, shooting just 2/5 from the field to score a pedestrian 7 points. Oh, but his most noticeable contribution were his flailing elbows and his 6 personal fouls. Yes, folks, the Kracken had 6 fouls in 22 minutes. Tsk tsk.

No Black? No problem!: For a while there, I thought the Texters might actually lose another coach, as assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga also got a T from the officials. It’s a good thing his wards hang tough, though, as TNT pulled out a great win in generally convincing fashion. This despite coach Norman Black being ejected in the third period. Even without their bemedaled head tactician, TNT was able to weather the storm thanks to great shooting and leadership from its veterans, namely Jimmy Alapag and Ranidel De Ocampo. Alapag hit some key triples to finish with 18 markers while fellow Gilas Pilipinas teammate Ranidel De Ocampo also did well, scoring 16 points. 

Game Recap:

AIR 21 over BARAKO BULL, 103-85

Coming into Friday’s game against Air 21, Barako Bull import Josh Dollard had been on fire, averaging 44.5 points per game.

Knowing this, the Express clamped down on the prolific reinforcement to fashion out an easy 103-85 blowout in their PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Air 21′s taller import Herve Lamizana hounded Dollard while the rest of the Express stepped in for help defense as Barako Bull looked listless the whole game.

“Our primary concern is to try to hold down Dollard, minimize his input,” said Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren. “Herve was able to limit the point production of Dollard, he gave us another dimension.”

Dollard finished with just 12 points.

The Express locals dominated the first half as the team took a 45-32 lead despite Lamizana going scoreless in the first two quarters.

The Ivorian import took over in the second half, scoring 24 points as the Express led by as many as 30 points.

“He’s like on diesel, it’s in the second half that he gets his rhythm,” said Pumaren of his import.

New acquisition Aldrech Ramos also had a triumphant debut for Air 21, scoring 17 points and blocking four shots.

The victory improved Air 21′s win-loss record to 2-1, while Barako Bull lost for the second time in three games.

AIR 103 – Lamizana 24, Ramos 17, Cardona 15, Taulava 14, Burtscher 8, Matias 7, Villanueva 5, Yeo 5, Jaime 2, Poligrates 2, Sharma 2, Atkins 2, Borboran 0, Camson 0.
BAR 85 – Intal 18, Miranda 18, Dollard 12, Miller 10, Pennisi 9, Lastimosa 6, Jensen 4, Buenafe 4, Fortuna 3, Wilson 1, Deutchman 0, Isip 0, Marcelo 0, Pena 0.
QS: 16-17, 45-32, 75-57, 103-85

Sel Guevarra is one reason to watch live.

Mac Cardona with his patented teardrop.

JC Intal's good game was wasted as
Barako Bull lost to Air 21.


The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters overcame the third-quarter ejection of coach Norman Black to repulse a late comeback by San Miguel Beer, 107-99, in the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“It’s very lonely in the locker room sitting there all by yourself,” said Black. “It’s my first time in 28 years, and I don’t even think I deserve it, so be it. There was a TV in the locker room so I was able to watch the game. Of course, Jimmy Alapag hit some big shots towards the end and helped us win.”

The Tropang Texters took control early, leading by as many as 19 points in the first half.

Talk ‘N Text was still in the driver’s seat, 73-63, with 55.2 seconds left in the third period when Black was called for two straight technical fouls for complaining about calls.

Paolo Hubalde nailed both technical free throws, touching off a 13-6 run that brought San Miguel Beer within three points, 79-76.

The Tropang Texters responded by scoring the next 13 points as the lead ballooned anew, 92-76.

But the Beermen did not fold, riding on the hot shooting of Marcio Lassiter to come within four points, 97-93, with two minutes remaining.

Alapag and Chris Lutz exchanged three-point baskets, before Talk ‘N Text scored six straight points to finally put the game away, 106-96, with 27 seconds remaining.

The victory gave Talk ‘N Text a 3-0 win-loss record, the best in the tournament. The Beermen dropped to 2-1.

Richard Howell had another monster offensive game for Talk ‘N Text with 38 points, outdueling his debuting San Miguel Beer counterpart Kevin Jones, who finished with 35.

Alapag added 18 points and seven assists for the Tropang Texters, while Ranidel De Ocampo chipped in 16.

Paolo Hubalde, providing a spark off the bench for the Beermen, led all San Miguel locals with 14 points, while Lassiter finished with 12.

TNT 107 – Howell 38, Alapag 18, De Ocampo 16, Castro 10, Fonacier 8, Canaleta 6, Reyes Ry. 5, Aban 3, Carey 2, Williams 1, Reyes Ro. 0, Baclao 0.
SMB 99 – Jones 35, Hubalde 14, Lassiter 12, Lutz 9, Santos 9, Fajardo 7, Mercado 5, Kramer 4, Tubid 2, Ross 2, Maierhofer 0, Duncil 0.
QS: 26-19, 51-38, 77-68, 107-99

Kevin Jones debuted for SMB.

Larry Fonacier does a split in midair.

Richard Howell continues to impress in the
2014 PBA Commish Cup.

Recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV.

Images by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5.

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