2014 PBA Governors’ Cup: Painters and Aces seal semifinal cast!

Top: Gabe Norwood and the Painters break into the Govs' Cup semis!
Bottom: JV Casio hits a dagger three to insure Alaska's win over Ginebra!

Game notes:
-  AZ Reid looks to be a promising candidate for the conference’s Best Import. In Rain or Shine’s big quarterfinal win over Air 21, Reid dropped 30 points on 12/17 FG shooting while also grabbing 11 rebounds and handing out 6 assists. 

- Larry Rodriguez also stepped up with his best game of the conference yet. The Philippine Maritime Institute product scored a dozen points in just 13 minutes of action to help push the Painters to the semifinals.

- Dom Sutton tried his best to carry the Express, but in the end not even his 35 points, 18 boards, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block could save Air 21’s season. Asi Taulava also had a bit of a subpar game, recording 11 markers, 8 caroms, and 4 dimes.

- Balance was the name of the game for the Aces, who had six guys scoring in double-figures and two more with at least 7 points. The Aces had a slow start, but recovered in the second quarter and survived a highly-physical affair for the huge W.

- Ginebra’s two young bigs, Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter, stepped up as import Zack Mason went out injured. Aguilar had 18 points and 7 rebounds, while Slaughter dropped 16 and 16. Sadly, their sterling efforts were in vain as Ginebra bid goodbye to the season with a sorry loss.

Game recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV.

RAIN OR SHINE over AIR 21, 111-90

This time, there would be no upset for Air 21 in the quarterfinals.

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters made sure of that with a masterful 111-90 victory over the Express on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“Our objective was to be consistent with the final four. It’s really a big accomplishment for us,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, whose team crashed the semifinals for the fourth straight tournament.

“We’re not a high-profile or a big-spending team, but we get in the playoffs or in the semis quite often, and for me, that’s a big accomplishment and a big accomplishment for our organization.”

With their sixth straight victory, the Elasto Painters marched into the semifinals of the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup, where they await the winner of the quarters matchup between Alaska and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

“We were carried by our winning momentum, I guess,” said Guiao.

Former Best Import Arizona Reid led the Rain or Shine assault, finishing with 30 points after making all four of his attempts from long distance.

“AZ’s consistent, he’s been all-around, he’s been passing the ball if he needs to,” said Guiao. “He’s a lot better this year, he’s more mature.”

The Elasto Painters set the tone early, building a 21-6 lead right in the first period.

Air 21, which pulled off a memorable stunner against San Miguel Beer in the quarterfinals of the Commissioner’s Cup, tried to inch closer, coming to within four in the second period.

But Rain or Shine’s onslaught continued in the second half, as the team turned what had been expected to be a tight contest into a laugher.

ROS 111 – Reid 30, Lee 14, Rodriguez 12, Arana 11, Norwood 9, Nuyles 7, Tiu 6, Chan 6, Belga 5, Teng 5, Ibanes 4, Uyloan 2, Cruz 0, Almazan 0.
AIR 90 – Sutton 35, Poligrates 18, Ramos 16, Taulava 11, Anthony 5, Yeo 3, Cardona 2, Borboran 0, Villanueva J. 0, Burtscher 0, Menor 0, Camson 0, Atkins 0.
QS: 30-21, 55-45, 83-64, 111-90

Eliud Poligrates goes up strong for a graceful lay-up.

Gabe Norwood rises to the rim against the Express.

Larry Rodriguez spots up over Asi Taulava.

ALASKA over GINEBRA, 92-81

The Alaska Aces knocked out Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 92-81, on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum to advance to the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup semifinals against Rain or Shine.

With the win, the Aces advanced past the quarterfinals stage of a PBA tournament for the first time since they won the Commissioner’s Cup last season.

The Aces weathered a hot start from the Gin Kings in the first quarter before taking advantage of an injury to Ginebra import Zaccheus Mason.

Ginebra, which had to win twice to beat Alaska in the series, began the game on fire, scoring the first nine points.

The Gin Kings were still up, 21-14, early in the second period when disaster struck as Mason’s right knee buckled on a drive. The hulking Ginebra reinforcement crumpled to the floor and had to be helped back to the locker room.

With Ginebra hobbled, Alaska took advantage, outscoring Ginebra, 25-12, in the second quarter to take a 39-33 cushion at halftime.

Mason tried to play to start the third period, but soon had to be taken out. With him out for good, Alaska opened up its biggest lead, 54-38, midway through the third period.

Showing “Never Say Die” spirit, the Gin Kings fought back, chipping away at the lead. Ginebra came all the way to within four points, 81-77, after two free throws from Japeth Aguilar.

The Gin Kings seemed to have the Aces on the ropes, but JVee Casio hit a bailout three-pointer at the shotclock buzzer to give Alaska more breathing room, 84-77, with 3:11 remaining.

The Aces followed that up with a defensive stop and another three-pointer from Dondon Hontiveros that pushed the lead back to 10, 87-77.

Alaska held on the rest of the way to book its fourth straight win since an embarrassing 51-point defeat at the hands of the Elasto Painters two weeks ago.

ALA 92 – Casio 15, Espinas 12, Hontiveros 12, Abueva 12, Manuel 12, Thoss 11, Walker 7, Jazul 7, Dela Cruz 2, Baguio 2, Belasco 0.
GIN 81 – Aguilar 18, Slaughter 16, Baracael 10, Ababou 10, Helterbrand 7, Caguioa 7, Tenorio 6, Mamaril 3, Mason 2, Reyes 2, Ellis 0, Monfort 0.
QS: 14-21, 39-33, 64-54, 92-81

Bill Walker and LA Tenorio get into a scuffle in the first half.

Gabby Espinas rises to the occasion for Alaska.

Japeth Aguilar tried to fill the void left by the injured Zack Mason.

JV Casio's shooting was a big reason for the Aces' victory.

Images by Paolo Papa and Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5.

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