2014 PBA Governors’ Cup: Mixers bounce back even as Gin Kings continue undefeated!

Top: Marc Pingris gets ejected against Meralco.
Bottom: Japeth Aguilar steps up as Ginebra wins third straight!

First Game:
Despite ace power forward getting ejected in the first half after punching opposing big man James Sena, the San Mig Super Coffee didn’t miss a beat in drubbing the Meralco Bolts, 108-90. Ian Sangalang and Rafi Reavis effectively filled the void left by Ping. Sangalang and Reavis paired up to produce 14 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals as the Mixers recovered from a loss to the San Miguel Beermen in their previous game.

The worst thing that happened to Meralco here wasn’t even found in the game itself, but, rather, it involved one the Bolts’ prime frontliners — Rabeh Al-Hussaini. The former Ateneo Blue Eagle and two-time UAAP champion filed a leave of absence a couple of weeks ago, but hasn’t returned since. According to coach Ryan Gregorio, Al-Hussaini needed 10 days to go to Kuwait to fix his papers (the 6’8 slotman is half-Kuwaiti) and then come back to Manila. The thing is, it’s been 19 days since he left. In other words, Meralco’s best chance at a star center is MIA.

Great Guard Corps: One thing that’s not MIA, at least for the Mixers, is their vaunted guard corps. PJ Simon, Mark Barroca, and James Yap lit up the Bolts in this game, combining for a total of 50 points. Simon scored 22 markers along with 5 rebounds and 2 assists, while Barroca added 15 points, 7 assists, and 4 boards. For his part, Yap recorded 13 markers and 3 caroms. With such a terrific troika of guards, it’s no wonder SMC has a strong chance of copping an elusive grand slam! 

Second Game:
Well, well, well, look at where the Ginebra Gin Kings are right now. After a horrendous campaign in the Commish Cup, Ginebra, under new coach Jeff Cariaso, has pocketed three wins in as many tries this conference. Their latest victim? The erstwhile hot-shooting Air 21 Express, who were held to under 80 points after scoring a total of 204 in their first two matches. Ginebra pretty much dominated on both ends, earning the W, 84-76. The Kings’ formidable frontcourt was on-target in this one as Zack Mason shot 8/10 from the field to drop 22 points on top of 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks. Backstopping him were Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar, who scored 12 and 10 markers respectively. Slaughter also dominated the glass, reeling in 15 boards while Aguilar recorded 2 swats.

Dom Sutton and Asi Taulava should have given a stiffer challenge in this game, but both struggled from the line. Sutton shot a respectable 10/21 from the 2-point area, but he made just 2 of his 9 charities, while Taulava didn’t fare much better. The veteran big man shot 3/11 from the stripe on his way to just 9 points. These free throw woes offset the fact that Air 21 actually outrebounded Ginebra, 52-46. 

Balance: It’s clear that, even with just three games under his belt, Jeff Cariaso has changed the culture of this Ginebra squad. From a team that just couldn’t consistently get things together in the second conference, which resulted on online bickering among teammates, the Kings have looked really motivated and balanced to start the Govs’ Cup. This is reminiscent of their promising start in the Philippine Cup, where they actually stayed near the top of the standings for majority of that conference. It’s still a long way to go, of course, but, this early, Ginebra fans can be happy about the positive changes their team has brought to the table.

Game recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV:


The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers barely felt the absence of star forward Marc Pingris in fashioning out a masterful 108-90 victory over the Meralco Bolts on Tuesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Pingris was ejected in the second quarter after punching James Sena in retaliation to a shot to the ribs.

But that incident only seemed to fire up the Mixers, who broke away in the fourth quarter behind Peter June Simon.

The hotshot guard scored 22 points to lead seven players with at least nine points for San Mig Coffee, who won for the second time in three games in the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup.

“We showed our bounce-back ability tonight,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone, whose team was coming off a 92-90 defeat at the hands of San Miguel Beer on Sunday night.

Meralco lost its fourth straight game, putting the team in danger of early elimination in the tournament. Returning import Mario West scored 31 points, but had just two in the final period when the Mixers made their breakaway.

Marqus Blakely picked up the interior slack for Pingris, finishing with 16 points, 18 rebounds, and five blocks.

Cone also paid tribute to the effort of Rafi Reavis in the absence of Pingris on the defensive end.

“Rafi filled the shoes of Ping admirably,” said Cone.

SMC 108 – Simon 22, Blakely 16, Barroca 15, Yap 13, Pingris 10, Maliksi 9, Sangalang 8, Reavis 6, Gaco 4, Mallari 3, Devance 2, Holstein 0, Melton 0.
MER 90 – West 31, Hodge 21, Caram 8, Wilson 7, Sena 6, David 6, Hugnatan 6, Salvacion 3, Bringas 2, Ildefonso 0, Timberlake 0, Dillinger 0.
QS: 30-23, 52-46, 76-69, 108-90

Marc Pingris leaves the playing area after punching
Meralco Bolt big man James Sena.

Not even the 31-point outburst of Mario West could
tow Meralco past SMC.

Alex Mallari of SMC slips and slides a she tries to
get past Sunday Salvacion of Meralco.

GINEBRA over AIR 21, 84-76

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel kept its unbeaten record in the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup after an 84-76 victory over the Air 21 Express on Tuesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Gin Kings won their third straight assignment under new coach Jeffrey Cariaso to take the top spot in the standings. It was the first defeat for the Express, whose record fell to 2-1.

“It’s nice to be able to grind out a win,” said Cariaso, who moved over from the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers camp prior to the start of the tournament.

“Somehow, some way in the fourth quarter, you find a way to win.

“These are games where you grow and get better.”

Zaccheus Mason had 22 points, nine rebounds, and five assists while Greg Slaughter added 12 points and 15 rebounds, continuing their dominant play for the Gin Kings this conference.

Coming into the game, the Express were averaging 102 points in their two wins. The Gin Kings made Air 21 bleed for points, as the Express shot below 40 percent for the game.

Ginebra also caught a break with Air 21 main men Dominique Sutton and Asi Taulava firing blanks from the free throw line. Sutton shots just 2-of-9 while Taulava went 3-of-11, as their struggles took the wind out of the Express rally.

“That’s usually the first thing you look at when you lose a game,” said Cariaso. “Tonight we were fortunate they missed a few.”

GIN 84 – Mason 22, Slaughter 12, Aguilar 10, Helterbrand 9, Baracael 8, Tenorio 8, Caguioa 6, Reyes 4, Ellis 3, Monfort 2, Ababou 0.
AIR 76 – Sutton 22, Cardona 14, Yeo 11, Taulava 9, Borboran 7, Ramos 5, Burtscher 3, Atkins 3, Camson 2, Villanueva 0.
QS: 16-17, 34-37, 58-53, 84-76

Dom Sutton didn't have the best of shooting nights.

Gilas Pilipinas big man Japeth Aguilar stepped up
last night with 10 points.

Zack Mason grabs one of his 9 rebounds against the Express. 

All images are by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5.

Next Post »
0 Comment