2014 PBA Commish Cup: San Miguel and Ginebra win on a controversial night!

On a controversial night that saw two players pullout of the Gilas Pilipinas national pool, sister teams San Miguel Beer and Bgy. Ginebra got separate wins in contrasting fashion. SMB blew out the Meralco Bolts in the first game, while the Gin Kings had to go to OT to repel the Energy Cola.

Arwind Santos played well as the Beermen returned
to action in the PBA.

In the first game, San Miguel Beer overcame Meralco, 94-76, as the locals came to play. Clad in throwback-ish San Miguel jerseys (think Danny & Danny days), the Beermen blew open what appeared to be a tight game by uncorking big runs in the second and third quarters. Arwind Santos, the reigning MVP, led the way for SMB with 16 points on 6/13 FG shooting while also hauling down 7 rebounds and getting 3 steals. Back-up big man Doug Kramer stepped up as Philippine Cup Best Player June Mar Fajardo was sideline with a sprain. The former Ateneo Blue Eagle pumped in 14 points and 6 rebounds in just 19 minutes of play to anchor the Beermen’s interior. Marcio Lassiter, who gave a controversial announcement last night, also did well, drilling in 2 triples on his way to a dozen markers, 7 boards, and 6 dimes.

Brian Butch, former NBA D-League All-Star Game MVP, had some flashes of brilliance in his PBA debut, but we can all just forget he went 0/6 fro beyond the arc and 5/10 from the line. His final stat-line, though, was quite impressive — 29 points, 21 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Too bad the only other guy to score in double-digits was Gilas sniper Gary David, who netted 20 markers on the strength of three treys. Fellow Gilas call-up Jared Dillinger shot 0/5 to finish with a big fat egg, while starters Reynel Hugnatan and Cliff Hodge paired up for just 15 points in 69 minutes.

Gone to soon?: Despite all the bad press he has gotten after a less-than-stellar tune-up game, Josh Boone wasn’t all too shabby in his first official PBA outing. The former UConn Husky and New Jersey Net struggled from the floor, hitting just 7/17 field goals, but he did grab 16 rebounds and dish out 3 assists. Sources say he will still play in the Beermen’s next game, but his impending replacement, Kevin Jones, is already on his way.

In the main game, Ginebra survived Barako Bull, 108-104, in overtime.

Well, well, well. Won’t you look at that? Looks like Juno Sauler’s system from DLSU has found its way to the pro circuit and into the system of the Ginebra Gin Kings. Gone are the days of LA Tenorio-dominated pick-and-rolls where, should the primary play stagnate, there is little to no movement off the strong side. Based on what happened last night, it looks like we’ll be seeing more cuts and screens for players without the basketball. That’s a good sign for guys like Japeth Aguilar and Chris Ellis, of course, since they have their sweet spots and aren’t really known for their creativity with the basketball. Already, this new system enabled Air Force Ellis to come up big. He rattled in three treys, including the game-tying one late in regulation, on his way to 17 points and 7 rebounds. He shot 7/10 overall from the field. Aguilar, meanwhile, did well, too. The Gilas big man shot 6/9 from the floor to finish with 14 points and 6 rebounds in a back-up role. 

Joshua Dollard turned out to be awesome for the Energy Cola, but even his 45-point outburst wasn’t enough to tow them past the deep Ginebra quintet. Dollard added 18 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 3 steals to his tally, but he got little help elsewhere, as only Mick Pennisi and Carlo Lastimosa finished with 10 or more points for Barako Bull. Apart from Dollard, the Energy Cola’s other starters - JC Intal, Denok Miranda, Ronjay Buenafe, and Dorian Peña — all struggled, combining for just 21 points total.

Leon King: Fresh from a stint with the Jilin Northern Tigers in the CBA, Leon Rodgers, maybe the smallest import in the conference (he’s listed at just 6’7), impressed a lot. He dumped 31 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, handed out 4 assists, and hit 2 triples in 45 minutes of action for the Ginebra Gin Kings, who joined the early leaders in this conference at 1-0. Despite the size disadvantage, it looks like Rodgers might be one of the imports to watch here, especially since he has a very well-decorated resume — he averaged nearly 29 points a game for Jilin, shooting 41% from beyond the arc!

Game Recaps:


The San Miguel Beer name made a triumphant return to the PBA as the Beermen picked up a victory in its opening assignment, 94-76, over Meralco in the PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

San Miguel built a double-digit lead in the first half and blew the game wide open with a big third quarter run as they cruised to the victory.

Josh Boone posted a double-double of 16 points and 16 rebounds while several other Beermen chipped in offensively.

Arwind Santos scored 16 points, Doug Kramer had 14 and Marcio Lassiter added 12 in a balanced showing for San Miguel.

The game was tied after the first 12 minutes of the contest but San Miguel opened the second period with a bang, going on a 14-4 run capped by back-to-back baskets from Santos to take a 34-24 advantage.

They held the Bolts to just nine points in the second quarter while scoring 20 to take an 11-point lead, 40-29, into the halftime break.

San Miguel had another big run in the third period, unleashing a 10-1 blast that turned a 44-35 advantage into a whopping 18-point lead, 54-36, before settling a lead of 17 entering the fourth.

Chris Lutz gave San Miguel its biggest lead of 20 points after completing a four-point play to make it 80-60. After Reynel Hugnatan scored on the other end, Boone restored the Beermen’s 20-point advantage with a dunk.

Gary David tried to shoot the Bolts back into the game, cutting the deficit down to 15, 85-70, with about three minutes to play.

But the Beermen would not let up, with Ronald Tubid bringing it back up to 20 with a shotclock-beating three-pointer that made it 94-74, with a minute left to play.

Meralco was led by Brian Butch, who finished with a game-high 29 points and 21 boards, and David, who scored 20.

San Miguel played without center June Mar Fajardo, the Best Player of the Conference of the Philippine Cup, who is considered day-to-day with an ankle injury.

SMB 94 – Boone 16, Santos 16, Kramer 14, Lassiter 12, Mercado 8, Tubid 7, Duncil 6, Lutz 6, Hubalde 4, Ross 4, Maierhofer 1, Taha 0.
MER 76 – Butch 29, David 20, Hugnatan 8, Hodge 7, Wilson 5, Al-Hussaini 4, Caram 2, Artadi 1, Ildefonso 0, Salvacion 0, Guevarra 0, Dillinger 0.
QS: 20-20, 40-29, 69-52, 94-76.

Gary David and Marcio Lassiter will no longer see each other in the
Gilas Pilipinas National Pool. Ask Marcio why.

Apple David debuts as a courtside reporter for Sports 5.

New import Brian Butch flashed fine form for the Bolts.

GINEBRA over BARAKO BULL, 108-104 (OT)

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel survived a close call to open their PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign as they escaped a tough Barako Bull squad, 108-104, in overtime on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Import Leon Rodgers and Chris Ellis hit clutch baskets in regulation as Ginebra came back to force overtime before sealing the deal in a very close extra period as they joined Air 21, Talk ‘N Text and San Miguel Beer in the winning column.

Rodgers led the way with 31 points and eight rebounds while Ellis scored 17 markers to lead three other Ginebra locals in double figures.

LA Tenorio, meanwhile, flirted with a triple-double after notching nine points and team-highs of nine rebounds and 14 assists.

The Gin Kings trailed by five points, 93-88, with under three minutes left in regulation after Barako Bull reinforcement Joshua Dollard hit a three-pointer to hit the 40-point mark in his debut game.

But Rodgers brought Ginebra within striking distance with a basket. Ellis then knocked down a three-pointer with just seven ticks left on the clock and Barako Bull’s Carlo Lastimosa missed a shot at the buzzer.

In the overtime, Dollard tried to keep the Energy Cola in the game, scoring five of the team’s first eight points. Unfortunately, the reinforcement fouled out of the game with 1:26 remaining and Barako Bull trailing, 103-101.

After Japeth Aguilar and Mick Pennisi traded splits from the charity stripe, Rodgers added another free throw off of a technical foul on Barako Bull for calling a timeout they no longer had to make it 105-102.

Willy Wilson responded with a quick counter on the other end, but Penissi used his last foul on Rodgers, who knocked down two more free throws, 107-104, and Tenorio added another with only three seconds left just for good measure.

Dollard had a big game with 45 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks while Pennisi led the Barako Bull locals with 12 points. Both Dollard and Pennisi fouled out in the overtime period.

Rookie Carlo Lastimosa was the only other player in double figures for the Energy Cola. He finished with 10.

GIN 108 – Rodgers 31, Ellis 17, Aguilar 14, Slaughter 12, Caguioa 12, Tenorio 9, Reyes 8, Mamaril 3, Urbiztondo 2, Baracael 0, Monfort 0.
BAR 104 – Dollard 45, Pennisi 12, Lastimosa 10, Intal 7, Miranda 7, Wilson 6, Buenafe 6, Jensen 5, Fortuna 5, Pena 1, Deutchman 0, Isip 0, Miller 0, Marcelo 0.
QS: 22-23, 51-52, 73-70, 93-93, 108-104 (OT).

Chris Ellis was a clear beneficiary of
Ginebra's revamped system.

Greg Slaughter battles Dorian Peña down low.

Leon Rodgers tries to throttle past Keith Jensen.

Game recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV.

Images are by Paolo Papa and Pranz Kaeno Billones/Sports 5.

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2 Comment
This comment has been removed by the author. - Hapus

Sir, personally, do you honestly think that it was a personal decision by Greg and Marcio?? Why would they decline an opportunity to improve? Lalo na si Greg Slaughter! Ang reason niya is ayaw niyang palitan yung original 12. Then don't, pero bakit kailangan umalis sa pool? Maki-train lang, pwede na diba? Maging practice player, parang si Belga last time. SMC ba to, Sir?? :|