2014 PBA Governors’ Cup: Barako Bull and Alaska open the conference with separate wins!

The Barako Bull Energy Cola and the Alaska Aces came up big
on the first day of the 2014 Governors' Cup.

Despite squandering a big lead in the second half, the Energy Cola, under new coach Siot Tanquincen, still managed to survive the Meralco challenge, 95-94, in the first game. Jeric Fortuna and Carlo Lastimosa stepped up here, combining for 23 points off the bench to banner Barako’s backcourt. That diminutive pair drilled in a combined 4 triples to underscore how well the Energy Cola shot from long range (40%). Not much is expected from Barako Bull this conference, but, hey, starting with a win is bright note, right?

Terrence Williams, being an NBA first round draft pick, has a mighty impressive resume, but, well, he didn’t exactly shine in this game. T-Will attempted 20 shots from beyond the arc, more than the entire Barako Bull team, but he made just 4. He scored a total of 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds but his team lost, so, yeah. #NotGood

Wise choice: Eric Wise doesn’t have as flashy a resume as T-Will, but, man, he was great in this game. The former USC Trojan dropped 33 points on 57% FG shooting to lead the Energy Cola while also hauling down 16 boards and handing out 6 dimes. All-around? Yep, I think so. 

In the main game, with Alaska’s locals stepping up and hitting big shots in the late stages, the Aces withstood every Beermen rally in the fourth to prevail, 94-87. Sonny Thoss outscored June Mar Fajardo, 18-13, to underscore Alaska’s dominance in the paint. Meanwhile, Calvin Abueva and Gabby Espinas held the fort down low, pairing up for 22 points and 16 boards. They thoroughly outplayed SMB counterparts Arwind Santos and Rico Maierhofer. 

Import Reggie Williams shot really well here, making 7 of his 12 threes and 14/23 field goals overall. This was offset, however, by the pedestrian production of superstars Arwind Santos and Sol Mercado. They combined for just 8 points in 49 minutes, shooting 2/13 from the floor and committing 1/3 of SMB’s turnover total.

Running with Walker: Former NBAer Bill Walker didn’t exactly explode, but his 27 points was enough to lead Alaska to its maiden W this conference. Walker hit 3 treys here on top of 13 rebounds and 9 assists. A near-triple-double? Yes, and it’s just his first game to boot! Watch out for this guy. He might be one of the most impressive reinforcements we’ll see.

Game recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV:


Barako Bull gifted new coach Siot Tanquingcen a thrilling 95-94 victory over Meralco to open the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup on Sunday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity, it’s a good feeling,” said Tanquingcen, who took over coaching reins for Bong Ramos after serving as Barako Bull consultant last conference.

With the first win under his belt, Tanquingcen waxed philosophical about his team’s outlook.

“Best way to describe what we’re doing right now is just like a Chinese saying na, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ Nothing is a quick fix, that’s for sure,” said Tanquingcen, who has won titles in his previous stops at Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and San Miguel Beer.

Import Eric Wise scored 33 points, including the marginal free throw with 1.3 seconds remaining, to lead Barako Bull to the comeback victory.

“Eric’s not the flashiest import, pero malalaman mo lang yung import pag dating sa game,” said Tanquingcen.

Wise added 16 rebounds and six assists to completely dominate his matchup with Meralco counterpart Terrence Williams. A former NBA first-round pick, Williams managed to score 19 points, but did that on 4-of-19 shooting from the three-point line.

Barako Bull built a 21-point lead in the first half behind Wise, before the Bolts came charging back in the third period. Despite Williams’s shooting struggles, Meralco took control for a 70-68 advantage heading into the final quarter.

The Bolts opened the fourth period with a 12-3 run capped by a Sunday Salvacion three-pointer to push the lead to 11, 82-71.

“They got hot, Williams was shooting threes, (Cliff) Hodge threes, Sunday (Salvacion) threes, we just kept reminding guys, challenged naman eh, magaling talaga eh. Don’t get frustrated, Keep doing what we need to do.”

But Barako Bull chipped away at the deficit, finally tying the game on a Wise basket, 87-all, with 1:51 remaining.

The game was still tied at 92-all after Williams and Barako Bull rookie Jeric Fortuna exchanged three-pointers. After Williams air-balled another attempt from deep, Wise scored to give Barako Bull a 94-92 advantage.

Carlo Lastimosa had a chance to ice the game for Barako Bull with 14.6 seconds left, but missed both free throws. That allowed Gary David to tie the game on the other end with his own pair of foul shots, 94-all, with 5.3 seconds left.

Barako Bull set up a play for Wise in the final possession, where he drew a foul from Williams. He scored the first free throw before missing the second, but Cliff Hodge’s desperation heave at the buzzer hit the back rim to allow Barako Bull to escape.

BAR 95 – Wise 33, Fortuna 13, Lastimosa 10, Wilson 10, Miranda 8, Jensen 7, Marcelo 6, Intal 3, Pennisi 3, Thiele 2, Deutchman 0.
MER 94 – Hodge 20, Williams 19, David 19, Dillinger 8, Timberlake 6, Salvacion 6, Bringas 4, Hugnatan 4, Wilson 4, Ildefonso 2, Sena 2, Guevarra 0.
QS: 28-17, 52-39, 68-70, 95-94

Carlo Lastimosa and Jeric Fortuna are ecstatic after their daring escape.

Cliff Hodge goes up strong against Dave Marcelo.

Eric Wise was mighty impressive in his PBA debut.


The Alaska Aces used a late run to put away San Miguel Beer, 94-87, to open the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup on Sunday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Henry “Bill” Walker narrowly missed a triple-double for the Aces with 27 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists.

They had to weather a 42-point explosion from San Miguel Beer import Reggie Williams, who put up the Beermen by one, 87-86, with a three-pointer with four minutes remaining.

With Walker battling cramps, the Aces’ locals took over down the stretch. Calvin Abueva split his free throws to tie the game before a strong move from Sonny Thoss gave Alaska the lead for good with 2:13 remaining.

Alaska’s defense held the rest of the way, foiling every attempt from the Beermen to end the game.

After the game, Alaska coach Luigi Trillo paid tribute to Thoss, who outscored San Miguel Beer star June Mar Fajardo, 18-13.

“Sonny Thoss, he played his heart out. Very tough matchup for him, but he had steady inside presence,” said Trillo, who also praised Abueva and Gabby Espinas for holding down the fort down low.

“Calvin and Gabby, sa loob, we were pounding it inside.”

Alaska dominated the boards, 56-45, despite Fajardo grabbing 16 rebounds. The Aces’ gang-rebounding tactics worked with Thoss and Abueva getting nine rebounds apiece and Espinas chipping in seven.

ALA 94 – Walker 27, Thoss 18, Abueva 12, Espinas 10, Baguio 7, Casio 6, Jazul 6, Hontiveros 6, Manuel 2.
SMB 87 – Williams 42, Fajardo 13, Lassiter 8, Maierhofer 6, Tubid 6, Mercado 5, Santos 3, Lutz 2, Chua 2, Lanete 0, Kramer 0, Ross 0.
QS: 20-18, 43-40, 69-70, 94-87

Bill Walker throttles past Reggie Williams.

Calvin Abueva quiets the crowd.

Here's Reggie Williams with one of his 7 triples.

Images are by Pranz Kaeno Billones/Sports 5.

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SMB = Larong Mayaman parang Ginebra