2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup: Mixers gain some steam, while the Texters remain on top!


In last night’s PBA Commish Cup action, PJ Simon and James Mays led the Mixers to win number four, while the Tropang Texters bucked the injury to Richard Howell in notching their eighth win in as many games!


Left: James Mays slams one home as the Mixers notched their fourth W.
Right: Danny Seigle soars for the Tropang Texters.


In the first game, San Mig Super Coffee beat Air 21, 97-84.

I have to admit, I haven’t been too impressed with James Mays, but, at least in this game, he was quite good. Mays missed all three of his triples, but he still managed to make 8/15 from the 2-point area and finish with 23 points. He also grabbed 15 rebounds and, more impressively, blocked 5 Air 21 shots. Can he play like this on both ends in every game? I doubt, but if he can manage to do this consistently, then the Mixers might still have a shot at an unconventional grand slam.

The Express played pretty good defense here, stealing the ball 12 times and forcing 17 turnovers from SMC, but coach Franz Pumaren’s wards just couldn’t capitalize. As a team, Air 21 shot just 33% from the field, with perimeter players Joseph Yeo, Mac Cardona, and Jonas Villanueva combining for 8/25 FG shooting. Defense? Check. Offense? Bleh.

Simon Says: Where would the Mixers be without PJ Simon? Certainly not at 4-2 in the standings. In six games, Simon has been nothing short of stellar for SMC, scoring in double-figures in all but one outing. He is the team’s best-scoring local at 13.7ppg, and he shoots nearly 49% from the field. And all that with 5 Mixers playing more minutes per game than him. Now that is efficiency.


In the main encounter, Talk N Text survived Rain or Shine, 85-82.

In the absence of import Richard Howell for much of the game, the frontline combo of Danny Seigle, KG Canaleta, and Kelly Williams stepped up big time. Canaleta led the way, scoring 19 points on the strength of 3 treys, but he also made his presence felt elsewhere, grabbing 8 rebounds and getting 2 steals. Seigle also played well, shooting 6/11 from the floor to notch 12 markers on top of 3 steals and 2 assists. Williams, for his part, manned the slot effectively, shooting 6/9 from the field on his way to 13 points, 7 boards, and 1 rejection.

Richard Howell fell hard in the second quarter, hurt his shoulder, and was rushed to the hospital. He finished with just 2 points, but he did tally 9 rebounds in only 16 minutes of play. As of this writing, Howell’s injury is suspected to be a bruised shoulder or a partial tear in the same region. He is not expected to play in TNT’s final elims game against GlobalPort. Should the Texters win that match-up, they will sweep the elims and continue as the top-seeded team to the next round. 

Just rain, no shine: Even with Richard Howell out of commission, the Painters couldn’t defeat the Texters. ROS had its chances, but they just bungled some plays in the dying moments. Sure, Wayne Chism and Beau Belga combined for 30 points and 20 rebounds, but the Painters just couldn’t get the needed support from its other marquee players. In particular, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, and Jervy Cruz all combined to shoot just 5/23 from the field. Against a team as stacked as TNT? That just won’t do.


Game Recaps (by Rey Joble/InterAKTV):


SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE over AIR 21, 97-84

The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers got back into their winning ways in sensational fashion with a 97-84 victory over the Air 21 Express on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Mixers arrested a two-game slide in the PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup to improve their win-loss record to 4-2, a half-game behind idle San Miguel Beer for second place in the standings.

“We played with a lot more togetherness and connection in the third,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone. “We had a better sense of urgency, something we lacked in the last few games.”

After a tight first half, James Yap scored five points in a 10-0 run to give the Mixers a 63-53 advantage in the third period.

San Mig Coffee ended the quarter with a 77-62 lead, before opening up a 20-point lead several times in the fourth period.

Peter June Simon showed no ill effects of returning into a substitute role, leading San Mig Coffee’s locals with 20 points.

Import James Mays turned in another solid performance for the Mixers with 23 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks.

Cone credited his team’s defense on prolific Air 21 import Wesley Witherspoon and top gun Mac Cardona for the second half lead.

“We did a really good job against Witherspoon and Cardona,” sid Cone. “Our bigs were helping well, only a handful of breakdowns against the import.”

Air 21′s record dropped to 3-5.

SMC 97 – Mays 23, Simon 20, Pingris 12, Devance 11, Yap 9, Sangalang 8, Barroca 6, Cawaling 3, Melton 3, De Ocampo 2, Gaco 0, Mallari 0, Reavis 0.
AIR 84 – Witherspoon 27, Anthony 19, Yeo 11, Cardona 10, Villanueva 5, Borboran 4, Taulava 4, Burtscher 2, Camson 2, Ramos 0.
QS: 20-18, 45-44, 77-62, 97-84


Wesley Witherspoon struggled against a tight SMC defense.

PJ Simon continues to play at a high level for SMC.

James Mays throws it down for the Mixers.


TALK N TEXT over RAIN OR SHINE, 85-82

The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters bucked the departure of import Richard Howell because of injury before holding on for an 85-82 win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The win preserved the perfect record of the Tropang Texters, who improved to 8-0. Talk ‘N Text can sweep the elimination round when it takes on winless GlobalPort on Friday.

Howell left the game in the second quarter after falling down on his shoulder hard on a play where he got tripped up by Rain or Shine guard Paul Lee. The hulking import was rushed to the hospital for more tests in the second half.

The Elasto Painters took advantage of Howell’s departure by ending the first half on a 10-2 run to take a 37-36 lead.

Rain or Shine was still ahead, 46-43, when Talk ‘N Text unleashed a furious 20-2 run. That gave the Tropang Texters a 63-48 edge.

The Talk ‘N Text bubble grew to as many as 16 points several times, but Rain or Shine kept fighting back.

Staring at an 84-74 deficit with less than five minutes left, the Elasto Painters scored the next eight points of the match. That run was capped by a three-pointer from Paul Lee with under a minute left.

Another three-point attempt from Lee rattled out with 39.1 seconds remaining. Rain or Shine forced a miss from Talk ‘N Text guard Jayson Castro, but the Elasto Painters failed to control the rebound.

Rain or Shine sent Jimmy Alapag to the foul line. The Talk ‘N Text captain, usually a deadshot with free throws, missed both shots, but Rain or Shine import Wayne Chism couldn’t control the easy rebound again.

The Elasto Painters were again forced to foul, but Larry Fonacier could only manage a split, giving Rain or Shine one last shot to tie the game. But Beau Belga’s desperation attempt hit iron, allowing the Tropang Texters to escape.

Rain or Shine, playing without coach Yeng Guiao who is in the United States, saw its own two-game streak snapped to fall to 3-4.

TNT 85 – Canaleta 19, Williams 13, Seigle 12, Fonacier 11, Castro 8, De Ocampo 7, Carey 5, Alapag 5, Reyes 3, Howell 2, Reyes 0, Baclao 0.
ROS 82 – Chism 18, Belga 12, Lee 11, Tiu 8, Chan 7, Arana 6, Almazan 5, Norwood 5, Cruz 4, Rodriguez 4, Tang 2, Uyloan 0, Nuyles 0, Teng 0.
QS: 21-14, 36-37, 70-54, 85-82


Danny Seigle steps up in the absence of Richard Howell.

KG Cañaleta launches one from deep.

Wayne Chism gets bottled up in the paint.

Images by Paul Ryan Tan and Pranz Kaeno Billones of Sports 5.


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