2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup: Sister teams gain ground after disposing of separate foes!

Sister teams San Miguel Beer and San Mig Super Coffee netted big wins last night to climb further in the 2014 PBA Commish Cup team standings. The Beermen leaned on its balanced roster to beat the Barako Bull Energy Cola, while the Mixers utilized a strong third quarter run to break their game open and overcome the Rain or Shine Elasto-Painters.

James Mays (L) and the Mixers flew high last night, while
Josh Dollard (R) and the Energy Cola ran aground.
(composite image by Enzo Flojo/Hoop Nut)

In the opener, San Miguel Beer defeated Barako Bull, 106-100, and improved its record to 4-1 as backcourt duo Marcio Lassiter and Paolo Hubalde waxed hot from long range. Their record is good enough for third place behind idle Talk N Text and sister team, San Mig Super Coffee. Lassiter, who backed out from the Gilas Pilipinas pool, drilled 5 triples on his way to 19 points. He played 37 minutes in a starting role for the Beermen, while Hubalde, as usual, came off the pine to see 14 minutes of burn time. He did, however, make the most of his limited minutes, nailing 3 of 4 treys on his way to 13 markers. Almost a-point-a-minute for Hubalde? Now THAT is efficiency.

In contrast, three key Barako starters were pretty much non-existent in this game. Starting slotman Dorian Peña, playmaker Denok Miranda, and swingman JC Intal, who was recently the stuff of showbiz sites for his airport marriage proposal to TV host Bianca Gonzales, combined to score a total of 4 points. They shot 1/5 from the floor and were pretty much forgettable. In fact, if not for import Josh Dollard’s 46-point explosion, the Energy Cola would have been blasted to kingdom come. Barako Bull fell to 1-4 in the win-loss ladder.

Triple Double-Doubles: Aside from Lassiter and Hubalde, the Beermen enjoyed awesome contributions from their frontline, too. Import Kevin Jones, reigning MVP Arwind Santos, and Philippine Cup Best Player June Mar Fajardo all registered double-doubles to underscore SMB’s dominance in the shaded area. Santos and Fajardo scored 16 and 15 points respectively, with each grabbing 1 boards. Meanwhile, Jones showcased his versatile offensive arsenal on his way to a team-high 28 markers while also grabbing 18 rebounds, handing out 5 assists, and getting 2 steals. 

In the nightcap, 2014 Philippine Cup finalists San Mig Super Coffee and Rain or Shine squared off, with the former gaining the W. 

I have always believed that PJ Simon IS (note the present tense) one of the PBA’s best shooting guards. He has always played behind James Yap for Purefoods/B-Meg/San Mig Coffee, but he is a guy who really makes the most of his minutes and makes big shots in key moments. It was no different here as Simon, who was named an All-Star reserve this past week, drilled in some key baskets in a pivotal third quarter run that all but broke open a hotly contested affair. Simon ended up with 16 points on 7/11 FG shooting. He started at the PG spot in this game alongside Yap while usual starter Mark Barroca played off the bench.

Despite the win, SMC coach Tim Cone cautioned Mixers fans because import James Mays underplayed again. Sure, Mays led the team with 18 points and 15 rebounds, but the most noticeable stat from the former Sioux Falls Skyforce cager was his earning 4 fouls. Cone noted postgame how his import needs to be more consistent in terms of playing good defense without incurring fouls. This, of course, will be even more significant moving forward as the Mixers are on course for a top four seed in the knockout rounds.

Consistently Inconsistent: On the other end of the floor, coach Yeng Guiao is probably shaking his head in disappointment and confusion. How has this team dropped from being a Philippine Cup finalist to eighth place in the team standings. The Painters have hardly shown great form this conference, and though it would be easy to blame it on the import, one must also acknowledge the fact that some of their main guys like Gabe Norwood, Jeff Chan, and Beau Belga haven’t been consistently playing well. Could it be the added fatigue because of their participation in Gilas practices? Could it be some residual fatigue from their games in the previous conference? Or maybe it really is import Alex McLean, who has failed to really leave an indelible mark? No matter what the reason is, coach Yeng must pinpoint it and address it sooner rather than later.

Game Recaps:


The San Miguel Beermen booked a 106-100 victory on Saturday, but not before turning back a furious rally led by Barako Bull import Josh Dollard at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Dollard exploded for 46 points, including 10 straight in a fourth quarter stretch that gave the Beermen a scare.

“To me they’re a good basketball team so we knew it’s gonna be a hard game tonight,” said San Miguel Beer consultant Todd Purves. “I had a lot of respect for that team. Not surprised they made a run, but pleased we got the win.”

San Miguel Beer was in control for most of the game, opening up double-digit leads in the third period.

The Beermen were still ahead by seven points, 81-74, when Dollard scored all of Barako Bull’s points in a 10-3 run to tie the game.

A three-pointer by Mick Pennisi then gave Barako Bull the advantage, 87-84.

Barako Bull was still up, 93-92, on Pennisi’s free throws before San Miguel Beer unleashed a 9-2 run that proved to be insurmountable.

The win improved San Miguel Beer’s record to 4-1, a game behind unbeaten Talk ‘N Text.

“4-1, we’re just trying to win some games,” said Purves. “Trying to constantly improve. We still got a lot of margin ahead of us.”

Barako Bull, on the other hand, lost for the fourth time in five games despite Dollard’s third 40-point effort in the tournament.

SMB 106 — Jones 28, Lassiter 19, Santos 16, Fajardo 15, Hubalde 13, Mercado 7, Ross 3, Kramer 2, Maierhofer 0, Tubid 0.
BAR 100 — Dollard 46, Pennisi 16, Fortuna 11, Buenafe 11, Wilson 6, Lastimosa 4, Isip 2, Pena 2, Miranda 2, Jensen 0, Miller 0, Marcelo 0, Intal 0.
QS: 29-19; 51-43; 81-74; 106-100.

Josh Dollard tries to wind his way around Kevin Jones.

June Mar Fajardo sizes up the defense of Mick Pennisi.

Kevin Jones and the Beermen earned their fourth win in five games.


The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers used a furious third quarter attack to roll to an easy 91-74 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Saturday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The win gave the Mixers their third straight victory to open the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup.

“We had a little of everything going for us today,” said Mixers coach Tim Cone. “We played good defense and we controlled the boards. We powered them inside.”

The rematch between the protagonists of the Philippine Cup finals turned into a yawner in the second half as San Mig Coffee took total control in the third period.

“They got a little bit frustrated when we were slowly getting some momentum,” said Cone.

The Elasto Painters were still within five points, 45-40, early in the quarter before Peter June Simon scored five straight points to restore San Mig Coffee’s double-digit advantage.

Two three-pointers from James Yap highlighted a 15-4 run that gave the Mixers a 16-point bubble, 60-44.

“PJ was making shots, James was making the three, Joe (Devance) was making baskets. Everybody was contributing a lot,” said Cone.

The final period was extended garbage time as San Mig Coffee pushed its advantage to as much as 27 points.

Despite his win, Cone noted a potential red flag after import James Mays once again had to deal with foul trouble.

“Mays must stay out of fouls,” said Cone. “He’s a really good all-around player.”

Rain or Shine lost for the third time in four matches, as the squad continued to stumble after losing in six games to the Mixers in the finals last conference.

SMC 91 — Mays 18, Simon 16, Pingris 10, Sangalang 9, Yap 9, Devance 7, Mallari 7, Barroca 5, Reavis 3, Melton 3, Gaco 2, Holstein 2, Acuna 0, Cawaling 0.
ROS 74 — McLean 18, Lee 12, Norwood 9, Chan 7, Teng 7, Uyloan 6, Almazan 5, Rodriguez 4, Belga 2, Cruz 2, Tiu 2, Tang 0, Nuyles 0, Ibanes 0.
QS: 28-19; 45-37; 70-51; 91-74.

James Mays skies for a reverse dunk against ROS.

Marc Pingris talks about their latest triumph in the Commish Cup.

Paul Lee was the only local who shone for the Painters.

Recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV.

Images by Paolo Papa/Sports 5.

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