2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup: Aces and Painters close out with separate wins!

Alaska and Rain or Shine ended their elims runs strong with separate victories over San Mig Super Coffee and Ginebra respectively.

The Mixers played without many of its stars, while Paul Lee stepped up
to frustrate Gabe Freeman and the Gin Kings.

In the first game, Alaska blew out San Mig Super Coffee, 85-66. I love the fact a PBA team can win an actual game with nobody scoring more than 8 points. Rob Dozier, Raphy Reyes, and Vic Manuel each tallied 8 points to lead the Aces past a severely depleted San Mig Super Coffee team, 85-66, to close out their elims and enter the quarterfinals with a 5-game winning streak. Eight other Aces scored 5 or more points to underscore the balance of this squad, which will tangle again with the Mixers in the next round (best of three series).

For the first time in his short tenure with SMC, Tim Cone finishes the elims with a losing record. This became the Mixers’ fifth loss in nine outings, securing for them the sixth seed (after the results of this night’s second game), which is their worst standing since Cone arrived. Reportedly, Marc Pingris, James Yap, and James Mays are also still not 100%, which means their work will be cut out for them against the defending Commish Cup champs in the quarters.

Peaking: The Tropang Texters’ unbeaten run notwithstanding, the Alaska Aces might just be the most dangerous team right now. They’ve won five straight, by an average of 11.4 points, and they seem as sharp and determined as ever. In nine games so far, Rob Dozier has reeled in double-doubles eight times (missed by one rebound against the Express last March 17). JV Casio is hitting about two triples per game, and he’s scored in double-figures in Alaska’s last four outings. DonDon Hontiveros is also heating up. The Cebuano Hotshot has hit 43% of his threes in the last six games after missing his first seven threes of the conference.

In the main game, Rain or Shine rallied past Ginebra, 105-101, in overtime. With just averages of 14 points and 12 rebounds entering this game, import Wayne Chism was at the receiving end of a lot of doubt form a lot of PBA observers. He quieted all of them, though, by shooting 11/19 from the floor on his way to 30 points. He also hauled down 15 rebounds, dished out 2 dimes, had 2 steals, and 5 booming blocks. In short, Wayne was wildly wonderful for the Elasto-Painters, who, with this win, sealed the third seed in the next round. Needless to say, ROS will need Chism to continue playing this intensely if they want a strong shot at a conference crown.

There are many reasons for this Gin King loss. Gabe Freeman scored just 6 points in the second half after a blistering first half. Greg Slaughter missed key freebies down the stretch. The Kings shot 55% from the line overall, while allowing 32 ROS free throws (the Painters made 28). All this after a fast start and erecting a double-digit lead in the first two quarters. Conclusion? Ginebra just dropped the ball here.

Leethal as ever: Paul Lee continued to be the consensus main man for Rain or Shine, scoring 25 points. He came up big in the second half and OT for the Painters, who will face Meralco in a best-of-three quarterfinal match-up. Lee also added 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 1 steal in another sterling effort. Right now, he’s the second-most-productive PG in the conference right behind Jayson Castro while also being the most productive local for ROS. He won’t win BPC, but he’s this team’s best player right now bar none.

Game Recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV:


The Alaska Aces capped the elimination round of the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup with an easy 85-66 victory over the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers on Sunday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The tournament’s defending champions won their fifth straight against a Mixers squad that played without import James Mays, stars James Yap and Marc Pingris, and rookie spark plug Justin Melton.

“You look at San Mig, their three best players are not there,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo. “It’s all about rest for them, for us, it’s about rhythm.”

Both teams took the opportunity to rest their top players as they are scheduled to begin their respective playoff campaigns on Monday.

“Tomorrow’s gonna be be different and our guys will be fresh,” said Trillo.

The Aces finished their preliminary campaign with a 6-3 record, while the Mixers ended up with 4-5 — the team’s worst elimination round finish under coach Tim Cone.

Alaska clinched the third seed in the playoffs, but their best-of-three quarterfinal opponent would still depend on the result of Sunday’s second match between Rain or Shine and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

A win by the Elasto Painters means the Mixers to No. 6, in a matchup with the Aces.

A Gin Kings victory, meanwhile, would push the Mixers up to the fifth seed, in a matchup with No. 4 Meralco. Alaska will then face sixth seed Ginebra in their own series.

ALA 85 — Dozier 8, Reyes 8, Manuel 8, Jazul 7, Buenafe 7, Abueva 7, Espinas 6, Exciminiano 6, Eman 6, Casio 5, Baguio 5, Dela Cruz 4, Thoss 4, Belasco 2, Hontiveros 2.
SMC 66 — De Ocampo 10, Acuna 9, Gaco 9, Cawaling 8, Devance 6, Simon 5, Barroca 4, Mallari 4, Holstein 4, Sanggalang 2.
QS: 22-14; 44-34; 67-48; 85-66.

Ping Exciminiano goes up unmolested for a lay-up.

Seldom-used Ryan Buenafe saw some action last night.

James Yap, James Mays, and Marc Pingris skipped action last night.

RAIN OR SHINE over GINEBRA, 105-101 (OT)

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters hacked out a hard-fought 105-101 overtime victory over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum to secure the No. 4 seed in the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.

“We got the stop we needed in the endgame,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

But the Elasto Painters will have little time for celebration as they will embark on their best-of-three quarterfinals series against the fifth seed Meralco Bolts on Monday at 5:45 p.m.

The Gin Kings, meanwhile, were relegated to the No. 8 spot, where they will have twice-to-win disadvantage against unbeaten top seed Talk ‘N Text in their quarters series.

“This is where we wanted to be. We only wanted to be in the quarters on an even matchup without any disadvantage, and we got it,” said Guiao.

Rain or Shine had to withstand a fiery start from Ginebra, who took a double-digit first half lead behind tremendous energy from debuting reinforcement Gabe Freeman. The two-time Best Import winner scored 17 points in the first period before finishing with 23 at the half.

But the Elasto Painters came out with renewed energy in the second half, shutting down Freeman and turning the game into a dogfight the rest of the way.

Greg Slaughter gave Ginebra its final taste of the lead with a tough shot over Rain or Shine import Wayne Chism, 94-92, with less than two minutes remaining.

A couple of plays later, Beau Belga nailed two free throws to tie the game with 45.3 seconds left.

The Elasto Painters foiled Freeman’s attempt in the ensuing play, but Ginebra recovered the offensive rebound. Freeman again missed on a drive to the basket, but Slaughter was fouled on the rebound play with 8.3 seconds remaining.

The 7-foot rookie center missed both free throws, but Rain or Shine threw the ball away after not calling timeout.

Chism and Paul Lee set the tone by scoring the first four points in overtime as the Elasto Painters wrapped up the win.

The Rain or Shine import finished with 30 points, while Lee added 25 for Rain or Shine.

“The win gives us a lot of confidence because lots of people are doubting our import. Only me and the team believe in him,” said Guiao of Chism, who scored just six points in Rain or Shine’s previous game.

Freeman, hounded by Gabe Norwood in the second half and the extra period, finished with 29 points. He scored just two points in overtime, on a jumper with 6.6 seconds left.

“Gabe Freeman was a matchup problem as expected. Chism showed what he can do. Glad the locals stepped up,” said Guiao.

ROS 105 — Chism 30, Lee 25, Belga 10, Cruz 10, Arana 8, Norwood 7, Chan 6, Nuyles 3, Teng 3, Ibanes 3, Almazan 0, Tiu 0, Tang 0, Rodriuguez 0.
GIN 101 — Freeman 29, Slaughter 22, Caguioa 17, Helterbrand 16, Ababou 8, Tenorio 6, Mamaril 3, Baracael 0, ellis 0, Aguilar 0, Urbiztondo 0.
QS:20-30; 42-50; 94-94; 105-101

Gabe Freeman debuted for the Gin Kings, but his production wasn't enough for them to win.

Paul Lee impressed in last night's outing against Ginebra.

Wayne Chism exploded for 30 markers as Rain or Shine finished third in the elims.

Images by Pranz Kaeno Billones/Sports 5.

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1 Comment

Ginebra buloks na. Aces pwede magchampion ulit.