2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Quarterfinals: San Mig Coffee and Rain or Shine both survive!

Both the SMC Mixers and ROS Elasto-Painters did well in their win-or-go-home assignments last night, beating their respective opponents to force separate Game Threes on Saturday.

Joe Devance (L) and Wayne Chism (R) led their respective teams
in last night's QF games.

In the first game, San Mig Super Coffee rallied past Alaska, 70-65. Marc Pingris has a bruised rib. James Mays and James Yap are still nursing sore backs. The Mixers aren’t 100% healthy. They were down by a dozen at the half. They still won, though, and Pingris was at the center of it all. The Pangasinan native struggled from the field, making just 3 of his 8 FG attempts, but he made up for it from the stripe, where he scored 11 of his 17 total points. Ping also grabbed 12 rebounds, had 2 assists, and blocked 2 shots in a brilliant showing of #puso.

Alaska coach Luigi Trillo can question the fact SMC enjoyed a +25 advantage in free throw attempts, but the fact is the Mixers chose to mix it up in the paint more than the Aces did. 75% of San Mig’s FGs were from the 2-point area, while about half of Alaska’s came from long range. Perhaps that could explain the disparity? To illustrate, Sonny Thoss, Alaska’s star center, shot just 4 times in this game, and it’s not as if he didn’t play much because he was on the floor for 37 minutes. Bottom-line? An outside shooting team tends to really have fewer FTs than a team that pounds the paint. If you cannot change the nature of the calls, change the way you play.

Hey Joe!: Joe Devance stepped up big here, scoring 13 points on 5/8 FG shooting. This is significant because Devance has not really been the team’s most reliable scoring option lately. The burly Fil-Am, in fact, has scored a total of just 19 points in the three games prior to this one. It’s a good thing then that he was really on-target in his 26 minutes of burn as the starting swingman for the Mixers. If he scores in double-figures anew in Game Three, then SMC might just pull the rug from under Alaska and advance to the semifinals.

In the main encounter, Rain or Shine overcame Meralco, 102-93. The Elasto-Painters saw their double-digit lead dwindle in the fourth quarter, but they had enough poise to score some insurance baskets and preserve the win, 102-93. This forces a rubber match on Saturday to determine who makes it to the semifinals against the top-seeded TNT Tropang Texters. Import Wayne Chism was all-around effective here, scoring a game-high 26 markers while also hauling down 7 rebounds, getting 5 steals, and blocking 6 shots. This was one of his best games so far, and I’m sure coach Yeng is hoping he continues his strong showing in Game 3.

Darnell Jackson hasn’t scored less than 25 points in his short stint in the PBA, that is until last night when he settled for 21 markers. The former Kansas Jayhawk made just 7 of his 23 FG attempts, which underscored the fact Meralco was outshot by ROS, 44% to 38%. Jackson did grab 22 rebounds, but this was also offset by the fact he committed a game-high 8 turnovers.

Something to say: Despite being in only his second year, Meralco forward Cliff Hodge has already put together a curious string of incidences opposite ROS coach Yeng Guiao. In 2012, Guiao “dedicated” a game to Hodge as a jab because the Fil-Am supposedly hit some ROS players with deliberately hard fouls. Hodge responded by calling coach Yeng “immature.” After last night’s game, more color was seen as coach Yeng labeled Hodge a “mongoloid.” It seemed like the ROS mentor did this out of frustration at what he thought was, again, a deliberately hard foul by Hodge on ROS rookie center Raymond Almazan. Not surprisingly, Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio defended his ward, saying that Hodge’s hitting Almazan’s face was incidental. Gregorio added, however, that coach Yeng targeted not just Hodge, but also Meralco import Darnell Jackson. According to coach Ryan, Guiao called Jackson an “asshole.” This, folks, is the PBA, where someone always has something to say.

Game Recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV:


Down by double-digits at halftime against an Alaska team on a six-game winning streak, the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers dug deep in the second half to hack out a hard-earned 70-65 victory on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Mixers, who won the PBA’s last two titles, leaned on their championship heart to force their PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals to a deciding Game Three.

San Mig Coffee star forward Marc Pingris typified his team’s heart, leading the squad with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks.

“Gusto naming patunayan na kaya namin kung kumpleto kami,” said Pingris, who was playing with a bruised rib.

Trailing 36-24 at the half, San Mig Coffee decided to abandon its trademark triangle offense to dump the ball into the post. That proved to be an effective strategy for the Mixers, who cut the Alaska lead into a single point, 50-49, entering the fourth period.

“We just grind out, pure and simple. It’s hard to find gaps into the defense,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.

“They’re so solid. They’re frustrating to play with.”

The Aces put a bit of distance between them with a quick 7-2 run for a 57-51 lead.

But the Mixers hit back with a 16-0 run for a 67-57 advantage with 1:10 remaining.

San Mig Coffee had a late scare after Dondon Hontiveros and JVee Casio each hit three-pointers to cut the Mixers’ lead, 69-65, with still 40 seconds left.

Alaska, however, could not come any closer, allowing the Mixers to live to fight another day.

Scoring was a struggle in the game, with neither team making 35 percent of their attempts from the field. But the Mixers made hay by taking the ball to the hole, drawing 35 free throw attempts and making 25.

In contrast, Alaska shot just 6-of-10 free throws, while 34 of their 70 field goal attempts came from beyond the arc.

Cone is hoping the win will give the Mixers more confidence heading into their win-or-go-home encounter.

“This is something hopefully will give us some confidence and play a little bit more energetic,” said Cone.

SMC 70 — Pingris 17, Devance 13, Mays 12, Barroca 10, Yap 9, Simon 4, Sanggalang 2, Reavis 2, Mallari 1, Melton 0.
ALA 65 — Dozier 22, Hontiveros 16, Baguio 7, Casio 6, Jazul 6, Abueva 4, Thoss 3, Manuel 1, Reyes 0, Dela Cruz 0, Espinas 0.
QS: 12-16; 24-36; 49-50; 70-65

James Mays battles Rob Dozier in the paint.

Joe Devance puts the ball on the floor against the D of DonDon Hontiveros.

Marc Pingris unloaded a great game against the streaking Alaska Aces.


The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters turned back a late charge from the Meralco Bolts for a 102-93 victory in Game Two of their PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals series on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The win tied the series and forced a win-or-go-home Game Three between the two teams on Saturday.

“We just wanted to come back strong. Our offense was just secondary,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, whose team was playing on the second night of back-to-back games in the series opener.

“We were more energetic in this game. Nakatulong yung in-between break. We have two days of rest before Saturday and that’s good for us.”

Rain or Shine controlled the game early on before leading by as much as 20 points several times in the third period.

Meralco kept chipping away at the deficit before back-to-back three-pointers from Sunday Salvacion cut the Rain or Shine lead to just five points, 93-88, with under two minutes left.

But a quick 6-2 run from the Elasto Painters pushed back the lead to nine points, 99-90, an advantage they nursed the rest of the way.

Import Wayne Chism led Rain or Shine with 26 points, seven rebounds, and five steals.

ROS 102 — Chism 26, Arana 12, Norwood 11, Cruz 10, Tang 10, Lee 8, Tiu 6, Belga 4, Ibanes 4, Rodriguez 4, Chan 3, Almazan 2, Nuyles 2, Teng 0.
MER 93 — Jackson 21, David 19, Salvacion 18, Wilson 9, Hodge 7, Hugnatan 6, Timberlake 4, Dillinger 4, Caram 3, Sena 2, Ildefonso 0, Guevarra 0.
QS: 22-18; 49-34; 77-66; 102-93

Darnell Jackson and the rest of Meralco fell short against Rain or Shine.

Ryan Araña (L) had a brilliant outing against
Gary David (R) and the Bolts.

Wayne Chism had another superb performance as the
Painters forced a do-or-die match this Saturday.

All images by Paolo Papa/Sports 5.

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