2014 PBA Commish Cup: Texters and Mixers remain unbeaten!

The Talk N Text Tropang Texters and the San Mig Super Coffee MIxers remained unbeaten in the PBA’s second conference with separate wins over Barako Bull and Ginebra. Larry Fonacier found his mark as TNT blitzed the Express, while the Mixers leaned on a superb outing from James Mays to upend the Gin Kings.

In the opener, Talk N Text survived Barako Bull, 101-96. Jayson Castro and Richard Howell made sure the Texters would continue their strong showing in the Commish Cup, combining for 48 points to lead TNT to its fourth victory in as many games. The Blur topscored with 25 markers while also handing out 5 assists and 3 steals in a scintillating effort, while Howell hauled down 20 rebounds on top on his 23 markers. It really does look like coach Norman Black has found a perfect fit for his team as Howell provides the needed muscle in the middle to complement the Texters’ depth at the wings.

Jayson Castro continues to impress in the PBA Commish Cup.

Josh Dollard rebounded from his 12-point effort in Barako Bull’s previous game by scoring 33 markers and grabbing 14 boards here. It was, however, not enough as the Energy Cola couldn’t make the big plays and hit the big shots in the endgame. Coach Bong Ramos also rued the fact that his wards turned the ball over 13 times, which resulted in 17 points-off-turnovers for the Texters. 

Larry Legend: Averaging just 4.6 points prior to this game, Larry Fonacier finally found his rhythm, scoring 16 points to help the Texters remain unscathed at the top of the team standings. Fonacier scored half of his output in the payoff period, including hitting two big triples that ensured the huge win for TNT.

In the closer, San Mig Super Coffee pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Ginebra, 90-80. The Mixers’ supporting cast seems to be the x-factor in their continued success. Rafi Reavis helped make life tough for Ginebra reinforcement Leon Rodgers, while rookies Ian Sangalang and Justin Melton sparked a great run in the fourth period to put some separation between SMC and the Gin Kings. Sangalang scored 8 of his 10 points in that final frame, while Melton was a huge spark on the defensive end.

Strangely enough, the Kings stayed away from what was effective in the fourth quarter. Ginebra utilized the pick-and-roll offense well in the first three periods, but didn’t really go to it anymore in the final canto. Instead, the Kings went almost exclusively to Rodgers, who took (and missed) a boat load of outside shots just when SMC was making its run.

Mr. Everywhere: After a lackluster debut, James Mays unloaded a monster effort here, scoring 29 points and hauling down TWENTY NINE rebounds as the Mixers went up to 2-0 in the conference. Mays, who earned the moniker “Mr. Everywhere,” received a ton of praise from coach Tim Cone, who compared the import to former PBA superstar Rudy Hatfield. Mays looks to have finally found his groove in the PBA, and, should he be consistent, then perhaps a rare, if uncoventional,  “PBA grandslam” might just be in the offing for the San Mig Super Coffee.

Game Recap:


The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters overcame a slow start to fashion out a 101-96 victory over Barako Bull on Sunday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

It was the Tropang Texters’ fourth straight victory to open the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup, giving them a tighter grip of the top spot in the tournament.

“It feels good to get off to a good start,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black. “This is a really short conference so it’s important for us to get ahead and not to play catch-up in the end.”

But Talk ‘N Text had to buck a tough challenge from Barako Bull, which opened up a double-digit lead in the first quarter. Dollard, coming off a miserable 12-point game in Barako Bull’s loss to Air 21 last Friday, topped that total with 13 points in the first quarter to lead his team’s charge.

“We struggled in the first half because they were zoning our pick-and-rolls,” said Black. “In the second half, we did a better job getting into our offense.”

The Tropang Texters remained within striking distance most of the way before finally taking the upper hand in the fourth quarter, 69-68, on free throws from Larry Fonacier.

Talk ‘N Text pushed the lead to as many as eight points, 82-74, with 5:45 remaining.

Instead of folding, however, Barako Bull came roaring back, coming to within a single basket, 88-86, with two minutes remaining.

But Larry Fonacier cut the Barako Bull run with a corner three-pointer that sparked a 7-1 run to finally put the game away, 95-87.

Jayson Castro led Talk ‘N Text with 25 points, five assists, and three steals, while import Richard Howell added 23 points and 20 rebounds.

Canaleta chipped in 18 points and Fonacier chipped in 16.

Dollard finished with 33 points and 14 rebounds for Barako Bull, whose record dropped to 1-3.

TNT 101 – Castro 25, Howell 23, Canaleta 18, Fonacier 16, De Ocampo 11, Alapag 6, Williams 2, Aban 0, Reyes 0, Baclao 0, Carey 0.
BAR 96 – Dollard 33, Buenafe 18, Miranda 14, Intal 13, Miller 11, Pennisi 3, Jensen 2, Pena 2, Deutchman 0, Fortuna 0, Marcelo 0.
QS: 24-30, 45-48, 67-68, 101-96

Larry Fonacier caught fire in the fourth quarter for TNT.


The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers shut down Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to fashion out a 90-80 win in their Manila Clasico showdown on Sunday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Import James Mays bounced back from a subpar debut by scoring 29 points and grabbing 29 rebounds to lead the way for the Mixers, who won their second straight match to open the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup.

“James was a monster on the boards, a monster on the hustle,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone of Mays, who managed just 15 points and six rebounds in his first game.

“We called Marqus ‘Mr. Everything,’ we could call James ‘Mr. Everywhere,’ because he was just everywhere.”

It was the first meeting between the two teams since their record-breaking semifinals series in the Philippine Cup. This one looked like it would be an instant classic as the two teams went toe-to-toe, exchanging big blows throughout the game.

Ginebra rode the heroics of import Leon Rodgers, who sizzled with 32 points through the first three quarters. The burly sharpshooter got defenders Marc Pingris and Alex Mallari in early foul trouble, with the Mixers looking lost for answers on how to stop him.

But San Mig Coffee finally found the answer in the fourth period, when Cone assigned Rafi Reavis to guard Rodgers. The Ginebra reinforcement lost steam in the final period, scoring just three points and failing to make a field goal.

“Rafi took on the import and really gave some fits with his length and his veteran smarts,” said Cone.

The Mixers also got the final kick courtesy of rookie Ian Sangalang, who scored eight points in a fourth quarter run that allowed them to put Ginebra away.

“Ian gave us a huge lift that kinda got us that lead in the fourth quarter,” said Cone. “He just doesn’t back down, he’s not afraid.”

The second overall draft pick finished with 10 points and seven rebounds, outdueling Ginebra’s top pick Greg Slaughter. The seven-footer finished with seven points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks, but visibly struggled to contain the energetic Mays.

James Yap and Peter June Simon added 13 and 11 points, respectively for San Mig Coffee.

Japeth Aguilar finished with 12 points while LA Tenorio contributed 11 for Ginebra, which lost its second straight game after winning its opening assignment in the tournament.

SMC 90 – Mays 29, Yap 13, Simon 11, Sangalang 10, Devance 7, Melton 6, Barroca 5, Reavis 5, Pingris 2, Mallari 2, De Ocampo 0.
GIN 80 – Rodgers 35, Aguilar 12, Tenorio 11, Slaughter 7, Ellis 6, Caguioa 4, Mamaril 2, Forrester 2, Reyes 1, Ababou 0, Monfort 0.
QS: 21-22, 41-43, 69-67, 90-80

James Mays unloaded a beastly 29-29 effort for the Mixers.

Recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV.

Images by Nuki Sabio/PBA.

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