2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Quarterfinals: Rain or Shine and San Mig Super Coffee complete the semis cast!

Both Rain or Sine and San Mig Super Coffee came back from 0-1 deficits to defeat their foes and advance to the semifinals of the 2014 PBA Commish Cup.

Paul Lee and PJ Simon both did well as their respective teams
upended their rivals on the way to the semifinals.

In the opener, Rain or Shine survived Meralco’s late rally, 97-96, in overtime. Boy, import Wayne Chism has really stepped up in the quarterfinals. Chism normed around 18 points, 12 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 blocks while shooting 45% from the field in the elims, but he upped those numbers against Meralco. In three QF games, the former Tennessee Volunteer averaged 30 points, 13 boards, 3 steals, and 4 blocks, winning 2 of 3 games. In this series-clinching win, Chism dropped a conference-high 37 markers, 21 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. Coach Yeng Guiao was all praises for his import, of course, saying “Our import, he carried us on his shoulders. He’s a far more superior import than Jackson. Their import couldn’t play defense, we exploited that weakness of the import.”

I wanted to believe Cliff Hodge was victimized when he was called a “mongoloid” by coach Yeng after Game 2, but after seeing the former Sinag Pilipinas player drop an elbow on Gilas Pilipinas sniper Jeff Chan, I kinda told myself, “Maybe Hodge is asking for all the wrong kinds of attention.” Slowly but surely, Hodge has made a not-so-rosy reputation for himself as a hardcourt bad boy. Too bad, I really thought he’d be a hardcourt All-Star instead. 

Rise and shine: Rain or Shine won 4 of its last 5 elims games before losing Game 1 to the streaking Bolts. At that point there were some doubts already about whether they still had enough to pull out two victories and advance. They defied the odds, however, to frustrate Meralco in games 2 and 3. Aside from Chism, a host of locals contributed heavily, with Ryan Araña, Gabe Norwood, Jervy Cruz, TY Tang, and Paul Lee leading the way. This augurs well for the Painters, who are hoping against hope to defeat the 10-0 TNT Tropang Texters in the next series.

In the main game, San Mig Super Coffee dominated Alaska, 79-65. PJ Simon really came out to play here, sparking the Mixers’ early run that put just enough separation between his team and the Alaska Aces. Simon shot 10/17 from the floor in all, scoring 21 points on top of 5 rebounds and 1 assist as San Mig Super Coffee won Games 2 and 3 to beat the defending champion Aces and advance against the surprising Air 21 Express in the semifinals. Needless to say, Simon and the Mixers are heavily favored against the overachieving Express.

Just when everyone and his mother thought the Aces, winners of six straight prior to Games 2  and 3, were peaking at the right time and primed to defend their Commish Cup crown, they faltered and fell, and how! Even if the Aces lost, I don’t think anyone expected them to lose this badly. Alaska shot just 36% from the floor, 19% from long range, 55% from the line, and had more turnovers. Some guys underplayed, too, especially Sonny Thoss, who remained a shadow of his former self, scoring just 2 points and hauling down 3 boards.  

Big Game James: Nope, this time it’s not James Yap, who was scoreless in 29 minutes. This time, import James Mays dug deep and held his own, especially on the defensive end. Mays picked his spots offensively, hitting 6 of his 10 field goals on his way to 17 points. The former Clemson Tiger, however, made a stronger mark on the other end of the floor, hauling down 24 boards and blocking 1 shot. It will be very interesting to see how he matches up with Air 21’s Asi Taulava in the next round. 

Game recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV:


Import Wayne Chism scored a conference-high 37 points and grabbed 21 rebounds to lead the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to a tough 97-96 overtime win over the Meralco Bolts to clinch their PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals series on Saturday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“Our import, he carried us on his shoulders,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao of Chism, who outscored Meralco import Darnell Jackson by six points.

“He’s a far more superior import than Jackson. Their import couldn’t play defense, we exploited that weakness of the import.”

The Elasto Painters, who rallied from a 1-0 deficit, will go on to face the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in the best-of-five semifinals.

“We got to the semis in a different way. What’s important is being consistent,” said Guiao. “We’re going up against Talk ‘N Text and we’re taking it as a challenge.”

Rain or Shine used a 12-3 run to take control of the game, 85-74, in the fourth quarter.

But the Bolts came charging back, scoring the next nine points to come within two points, 85-83, after a three-point play by Gary David with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.

Meralco had a chance to tie the game a couple of plays later, but attempts by import Darnell Jackson and David were foiled by the Elasto Painters.

Another fruitless possession for Rain or Shine allowed the Bolts to recover the ball with 12.9 seconds left.

David nailed a jumper from right baseline with 4.4 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

Rain or Shine opened overtime with an 10-2 run to take a 95-87 lead with 1:59 remaining.

But David sparked yet another Meralco rally, hitting back-to-back three-pointers to push the Bolts within two points, 95-93.

David fed Jackson for a close basket, but the Meralco import lost the ball on the way up.

The Elasto Painters, however, were unable to take advantage after Lee turned over the ball on an offensive foul.

David, however, did not hit iron on his next three-point attempt, and Lee iced the game with two free throws, 97-93, with 5.7 seconds left.

Meralco set up David for another three-pointer, but the Bolts ran out of time with only four-tenths of a second left after he made the shot.

Despite the win, Guiao couldn’t help but rail against the officiating in the game once more.

“I thought the refs missed a lot of calls in the endgame,” he said.

“David just erasing Jeff Chan, I don’t know how the refs missed that, it’s an obvious foul and the refs didn’t see that.”

He also took another shot Meralco forward Cliff Hodge, whom he tried to confront in Game Two.

“He put another elbow on Jeff’s face. He uses himself as a human projectile.”

ROS 97 – Chism 37, Lee 18, Belga 9, Norwood 8, Chan 7, Cruz 4, Almazan 4, Tiu 4, Ibanes 4, Arana 2, Tang 0.
MER 96 – Jackson 31, David 20, Salvacion 18, Hugnatan 6, Dillinger 5, Hodge 5, Al-Hussaini 4, Wilson 4, Sena 3, Timberlake 0, Caram 0.
QS: 20-28, 48-46, 70-66, 85-85, 97-96

John Wilson tries to drive past ROS's Paul Lee.

Paul Lee dropped 18 points against Cliff Hodge and the Bolts.

Wayne Chism goes up strong against the Meralco D.


The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers ended the title reign of the Alaska Aces after an 79-65 victory in the deciding Game Three of their PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals on Saturday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Mixers franchise completed a rally from a 1-0 deficit in the same tournament for the third straight year. This time, they made it as a lowly sixth seed after finishing the elimination round with a 4-5 win-loss record.

“To be absolutely honest, I didn’t think I’d be here because Alaska’s playing at a very high level,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone, who coached the Aces franchise for 22 years.

“I’m all about moving forward. That was an integral part of my past. I love my guys over there.”

But it was the Mixers, who have won the last two PBA tournaments, who withstood the pressure of the do-or-die game.

“These guys that I have kinda have a blueprint that’s in them, that they’re comfortable in playing these kinds of games,” said Cone.

Cone also paid tribute to James Mays, who held his own against Alaska’s reigning Best Import Robert Dozier.

“Big credit to Mays, he did all the dirty work, he rebounded, he defended, he was our physical presence inside,” said Cone. Mays finished with 17 points and 24 rebounds against Dozier’s 23 and 16.

San Mig Coffee, which made the semifinals of a PBA tournament for the seventh straight time, will face the underdog seventh seed Air 21 Express in a best-of-five series beginning on Tuesday.

Peter June Simon led the Mixers with 21 points, providing the scoring punch that proved to be the difference in yet another defensive struggle between the two teams.

But Simon’s backup, Justin Melton, who provided a key spark for San Mig Coffee. The athletic guard, inserted into the game late in the second quarter, made a key steal off Alaska’s JVee Casio before nailing a buzzer-beater that gave the Mixers a 35-27 advantage at the half.

The Mixers took total control in the third period, leading by as much as 18 points as they forced Alaska to settle for long jumpers.

San Mig Coffee will take on an Air 21 team fresh off a major upset against the San Miguel Beermen in the other bracket.

“They’re the dragon slayer. They’re gonna come out and hopefully slay another dragon,” said Cone of the Express.

SMC 79 – Simon 21, Mays 17, Barroca 14, Pingris 10, Sangalang 6, Devance 5, Mallari 4, Melton 2, Reavis 0, Yap 0.
ALA 65 – Dozier 23, Casio 14, Jazul 8, Hontiveros 7, Espinas 5, Baguio 4, Thoss 2, Manuel 2, Reyes 0, Dela Cruz 0, Abueva 0.
QS: 21-15, 35-27, 57-45, 79-65

Alex Mallari and the Mixers are on their way to their
seventh straight PBA semifinal appearance.

JV Casio spins to the baseline against Marc Pingris.

PJ Simon pulls up over DonDon Hontiveros of Alaska.

Images by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5.

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