2014 PBA Governors’ Cup: Painters, Energy Cola, Express, and Kings gain ground!

The Painters, Energy Cola, Express, and Gin Kings had
big wins in the past two days!

Game notes: 
- Neither Raymond Almazan nor Alex Nuyles will be named Rookie of the Year this season, but both certainly have the potential to be consistent impact players in the future. Almazan’s size, length, and timing can make him a much better version of Rafi Reavis, while Nuyles might have the makings of a nouveau Cyrus Baguio. In their win over Meralco, both rookies paired up for 18 points. Almazan also added 15 boards and 4 blocks!

- Don’t look now, but the arrival of Allen Durham seems to have made Barako Bull a dark horse title contender. Since his arrival, Durham has led the Energy Cola to big wins over GlobalPort (blasted the Batang Pier by 24) and then the stacked Tropang Texters (5-1 before that game) last night. In two games, Durham is norming around 30 points, 27 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 blocks. His player efficiency rating is an eye-popping 75.0 EFF!!!

- After netting its fifth win in eight games this conference, Air 21 definitely looks legit. Their semifinal finish in the 2014 Commish Cup? Certainly not a fluke anymore. Behind the gladiatorial Asi Taulava and great performances from Dom Sutton, Josephy Yeo, and Jonas Villanueva, the Express weathered the storm against a game GlobalPort quintet. Taulava got cut early in the second period, but he refused stitches till after the game ended. Yes, he’s the craziest 41 year old I know.

- The consensus two most exciting young prospects for the future of Philippine hoops finally went head-to-head last night, and though June Mar Fajardo had the better line, Greg Slaughter had the last laugh with the Kings walking away with a W. Fajardo had 23 points and 14 boards, while Slaughter held his own with 19 markers and 10 caroms. This was pretty much the PBA’s version of Godzilla versus other big-ass beasties.

Game recaps:


The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters stormed past the Meralco Bolts, 104-85, for their fourth straight win in the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup on Tuesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“We’re just riding our momentum, playing good defense, everybody’s contributing,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

Bucking a slow start that saw them trailing by 11 points in the first half, Rain or Shine turned the heat on in the last two periods for the easy victory.

Rain or Shine opened the second half with a 15-4 run to open up a 63-50 bubble after a three-pointer by Beau Belga.

Meralco, behind hardworking import Mario West, tried to rally back, coming to within four points, 67-63, before the end of the third quarter.

But rookies Raymond Almazan and Alex Nuyles conspired for a 9-0 spurt that bridged the third and fourth quarters to take a 76-63 lead.

The Bolts could no longer muster another rally, allowing the Elasto Painters to improve their win-loss record to 5-3 and remain on target for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

“I hope it’s not too late, we’re trying to make the top four, we started out slow,” said Guiao.

The Elasto Painters wrap up their elimination round slate on Monday against the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers.

“We hope we don’t lose steam,” said Guiao. “We have one game left, that will be very crucial for us.”

With the defeat, Meralco’s record dropped to 2-6 as the Bolts remain in danger of early elimination.

Import Arizona Reid, who finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds to lead Rain or Shine, credited Almazan’s inside presence that allowed the Elasto Painters to get out on the break.

“We have Raymond Almazan blocking shots,” said Reid. The 6-foot-8 beanpole from Letran finished with 12 points, 15 rebounds, and four blocks.

ROS 104 – Reid 25, Almazan 12, Norwood 12, Belga 9, Tiu 9, Nuyles 6, Cruz 5, Arana 5, Lee 5, Uyloan 4, Chan 4, Rodriguez 4, Tang 3, Teng 1, Ibanes 0.
MER 85 – West 29, Hodge 17, Cortez 10, Ballesteros 7, David 7, Dillinger 7, Huganatan 6, Guevarra 2, Ildefonso 0, Caram 0, Salvacion 0.
QS: 20-23, 51-46, 71-63, 104-85

Ariozna Reid had another great performance to tow ROS past Meralco.

Mario West tries to go up strong against the ROS defense.


Import Allen Durham continued his onslaught in the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup, leading Barako Bull to an 88-74 upset of Talk ‘N Text on Tuesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Playing in his second game in the PBA, Durham finished with 28 points and 29 rebounds. More importantly, Barako Bull won its second straight game since Durham replaced original import Eric Wise to improve its record to 3-5.

“Durham makes a big difference, kahit yung player namin nagkakaroon ng kumpiyansa tumira, alam nila malakas kumuha ng rebound,” said Barako Bull coach Siot Tanquingcen.

“Not to take anything from Wise, parang good fit (si Durham) sa amin kasi nung nawala si Dorian, parang donut kami eh.”

Durham broke the game’s final deadlock with a jumphook to give Barako Bull a 70-68 edge. That touched off a 15-6 run that gave Barako Bull a comfortable 83-74 advantage with 1:45 remaining.

“I just come out here every night and play my best for the team,” said Durham, who scored 34 points, grabbed 24 rebounds, and handed out 10 assists in his first game last Saturday against GlobalPort.

Barako Bull drew plenty of help from youngsters Keith Jensen and Jeric Fortuna as well as two-time Most Valuable Player Willie Miller.

Talk ‘N Text saw its four-game winning streak halted to fall to 5-2.

BAR 88 – Durham 28, Jensen 17, Miller 15, Fortuna 11, Miranda 6, Wilson 4, Intal 3, Isip 2, Custodio 2, Thiele 0, Najorda 0, Lastimosa 0, Marcelo 0, Pennisi 0.
TNT 74 – Harris 22, De Ocampo 21, Castro 18, Canaleta 3, Williams 2, Reyes 2, Baclao 2, Carey 2, Alapag 2, Reyes 0, Fonacier 0.
QS: 15-19, 38-45, 60-61, 88-74

Allen Durham gave TNT a taste of dominance.

Ranidel De Ocampo flashes his trademark shooting form
in TNT's loss to Barako Bull.

AIR 21 over GLOBALPORT, 106-102

The Air 21 Express knocked out the GlobalPort Batang Pier from playoff contention in the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup playoffs after a 106-102 victory on Wednesday at PhilSports Arena.

Improving their win-loss record to 5-3, the Express remained in the hunt for a top four spot, which would give them twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

“Kudos to my team Air 21, my players,” said Express coach Franz Pumaren. “I guess this game is really meant for us.”

Air 21 controlled the game from the beginning, scoring the first 15 points of the game.

But the Express suffered a blow after main man Asi Taulava sustained a cut over his left eye in the second quarter from a wayward elbow from GlobalPort import Dior Lowhorn.

Taulava, refusing to take stitches to close his wound, gallantly returned for a brief stretch in the third quarter before having to go out again to get more treatment.

“Knowing the gladiator in him, he wanted to finish this,” said Pumaren.

Taulava left briefly, which allowed the Batang Pier to gather momentum behind import Dior Lowhorn and veteran stars Jay Washington and Alex Cabagnot. GlobalPort ended the third period on a 13-5 run to come within three points, 78-75, heading into the fourth quarter.

The Batang Pier opened the final period with seven straight points to take the upper hand for the first time and put up their biggest lead, 82-78.

But Air 21 wrested back control with a 6-0 run for a 91-86 advantage.

“We were able to come back even if they made a run,” said Pumaren.

The Express were still up, 98-93, with two minutes remaining when GlobalPort made its final rally. A long jumper from Mark Macapagal with 39.9 seconds left put the Batang Pier behind by just a single point, 100-99.

After a Taulava basket, GlobalPort had a chance to equalize, but Ronjay Buenafe missed what could have been a game-tying three-pointer.

Two free throws from Jonas Villanueva pushed the Air 21 lead back to five, 104-99, with 12.6 seconds left.

Alex Cabagnot breathed some life into the GlobalPort campaign with a three-pointer, but Villanueva nailed two more foul shots to ice the game for the Express.

GlobalPort lost its sixth straight game to fall to 1-7.

Air 21 wraps up its elimination round schedule against San Miguel Beer, the first time the two teams will face off since a memorable quarterfinals series last conference.

“Hopefully we can get another win come Saturday,” said Pumaren. “Good thing there’s still two days before we play SMB.”

AIR 106 – Sutton 28, Taulava 17, Villanueva J.15, Yeo 13, Ramos 8, Atkins 6, Borboran 5, Poligrates 4, Cardona 4, Villanueva E. 2, Burtscher 2, Camson 2, Menor 0.
GLO 102 – Lowhorn 35, Cabagnot 19, Washington 19, Buenafe 16, Romeo 7, Macapagal 4, Menk 2, Yee 0, Lingganay 0, Hayes 0, Salvador 0, Garcia 0, Acuna 0.
QS: 29-20, 55-47, 78-75, 106-102

Asi Taulava sustained a nasty cut in the first half.

And still he returned to make an impact on the game.

Dior Lowhorn of GlobalPort tries a spin move against Asi Taulava.


Greg Slaughter won his first PBA showdown with June Mar Fajardo, but not before Barangay Ginebra San Miguel held off a big scare in the fourth quarter for an 105-98 victory on Wednesday at PhilSports Arena.

“Part of the learning curve, where we are now,” said Ginebra coach Jeffrey Cariaso. “We need to start quarters strong and end it strong.”

With the win, the Gin Kings (5-2) regained a share of first place along with San Mig Coffee and Talk ‘N Text.

Billed as a clash of titans, Fajardo and Slaughter both made good accounts of themselves in their first face-to-face in a regular PBA game. Fajardo won the head-to-head matchup, finishing with 23 points and 14 rebounds, but Slaughter wasn’t too far behind with 19 and 10.

Ginebra dominated the game in the second half, leading by as much as 21 points in the fourth quarter.

But the Beermen finally showed some signs of life, coming to within five points, 97-92, on a three-pointer by import Reggie Williams with 1:27 remaining.

Two free throws from Ginebra reinforcement Zaccheus Mason, who finished with 30 points and 18 rebounds, nailed two free throws to give the Gin Kings more breathing room.

Ronald Tubid came right back with a three-pointer to cut the Ginebra lead to just four, 99-95.

The Beermen had a golden opportunity after Chris Ellis missed two free throws with 34 seconds left, but the smallest man on the floor, LA Tenorio, grabbed the offensive rebound.

The spitfire guard then went perfect from the foul line to ice the game for the Gin Kings.

“I’m trying to instill an attitude to focus on the next play. We’ll get there,” said Cariaso. “I really challenged the guys, we focused our minds after we lost against Rain or Shine. We made up for falling last game and we stepped up this game.”

Mason led Ginebra with 30 points and 18 rebounds.

Williams finished with 37 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and five steals to lead San Miguel Beer, whose record fell to 4-4.

GIN 105 – Mason 30, Slaughter 19, Tenorio 16, Aguilar 15, Baracael 7, Ellis 6, Caguioa 6, Helterbrand 4, Mamaril 2, Monfort 0.
SMB 98 – Williams 37, Fajardo 23, Mercado 14, Santos 8, Tubid 7, Lutz 6, Maierhofer 2, Kramer 1, Duncil 0, Lassiter 0, Chua 0.
QS: 25-16, 49-41, 84-65, 105-98

It was a titanic tussle between the two biggest young stars of the PBA --
June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter.

Zack Mason dropped 30 as Ginebra beat the Beermen.

Recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV.

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

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