2014 PBA Governors’ Cup: Top Eight are set after wins by Alaska and Talk N Text!

Left: Bill Walker and the Aces caught a big fish by frying the Gin Kings.
Right: Paul Harris exploded with 9 threes to lead TNT past SMC.

Game Notes:
- This wasn’t a particularly entertaining game to watch if you’re a fan of smooth offense. Both teams combined to shoot just 39% from the field, with Bill Walker’s pedestrian 16 points leading the Aces.

- Alaska, however, was still the far better team in this game. Coach Alex Compton’s wards forced Ginebra to commit an unforgivable 27 turnovers, turning these into 27 points-off-TOs. Zack Mason, Japeth Aguilar, and LA Tenorio each coughed the ball up at least four times to lead the Kings’ in futility.

- Joe Devance of SMC had his best game of the season yet, exploding for 30 points on 13/18 FG shooting, including 4 treys. He also added 3 steals and 3 blocked shots, but, man, Paul Harris of TNT did him better. Harris uncorked 9 triples on his way to 39 markers while also grabbing 14 rebounds. Not even vaunted defender Marc Pingris could contain the prolific scorer.

- The Mixers got killed on the glass here, losing the rebounding battle, 48-55, and giving up 18 second chance points to the Tropang Texters, who were coming off a shocking loss to the Barako Bull Energy Cola. TNT is now at solo first in the standings, while the Mixers fall to a share of second place with Ginebra, Rain or Shine, and Air 21.

Game recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV:

ALASKA over GINEBRA, 79-66

The Alaska Aces booked a seat in the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup quarterfinals with an impressive 79-66 rout of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The win formally eliminated the Meralco Bolts from playoff contention, completing the eight-team cast for the playoffs with only the seeds yet to be determined.

“Sa tingin ko, medyo pagod na sila. Intense night last Wednesday,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton, referring to Ginebra’s win two nights ago over San Miguel Beer. In contrast, the Aces were coming off a week-long break.

“The longer rest we had showed today.”

It was Alaska’s second straight win after an embarrassing 51-point beatdown at the hands of Rain or Shine two weeks ago. The Aces did it by taking control early, opening up a 17-4 lead in the first quarter.

Alaska was firmly in control until the third quarter, when the Gin Kings made their move. Ginebra took the lead momentarily, 44-42, after a fastbreak layup by Mark Caguioa.

But the Aces replied with a 10-2 run to take a 52-46 advantage that they didn’t give up the rest of the way.

“Credit to Ginebra, sa second half, ganda ng run nila, but I’m really proud of my guys. They came back on their own. Ganda ng bounce-back namin. My players didn’t give up.”

The Gin Kings were still in striking distance, 55-51, before Calvin Abueva sparked a 9-1 run to open the fourth period, giving Alaska a 12-point bubble.

Alaska dominated the rest of the way to improve its record to 4-4.

Ginebra lost its third game in eight outings.

ALA 79 – Walker 16, Abueva 14, Espinas 13, Casio 8, Thoss 8, Manuel 8, Baguio 6, Jazul 5, Hontiveros 1, Reyes 0, Belasco 0, Dela Cruz 0.
GIN 66 – Mason 21, Caguioa 10, Slaughter 7, Baracael 6, Aguilar 6, Tenorio 4, Urbiztondo 3, Knuttel 2, Ababou 2, Helterbrand 2, Mamaril 2, Ellis 1, Monfort 0.
QS: 20-11, 36-25, 55-51, 79-66

Bill Walker tries to get past Ginebra's Mac Baracael.

JV Casio puts the move on veteran LA Tenorio.

Zack Mason goes up strong to challenge Bill Walker's defense.


Talk ‘N Text import Paul Harris scored 39 points on nine three-pointers to lead the Tropang Texters to a 92-88 victory over the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.

“I was very pleased by the way the team responded today,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black, whose squad was coming off an upset loss at the hands of Barako Bull last Tuesday.

“A lot of credit has to go to Paul Harris, he shot today very very well.”

“I was also motivated because we’re coming off a loss,” said Harris.

With the win, the Tropang Texters improved to 6-2 to move into solo first place in the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup standings. They virtually assured themselves of a spot in the top four, which comes with twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

Talk ‘N Text won despite missing team captain Jimmy Alapag. “Jimmy’s very sick, he didn’t get to play today,” said Black.

The rematch of the Commissioner’s Cup Finals did not disappoint as the game came down the wire.

Talk ‘N Text controlled most of the first half and the early part of the third quarter. The Tropang Texters were still ahead, 65-57, on a three-pointer from Larry Fonacier.

But a Joe Devance three-pointer touched off a 13-2 run to end the period to give San Mig Coffee a 70-68 edge.

The game remained close in the fourth quarter, with Talk ‘N Text forging ahead, 83-81, with 3:24 to play after back-to-back three-pointers from import Paul Harris.

A few moments later, Harris pulled up for another three-pointer to give Talk ‘N Text an 88-84 lead with two minutes remaining.

Talk ‘N Text held that lead the rest of the way to get a measure of revenge for their finals defeat.

In his third tour of duty with the Tropang Texters, Harris has had to adjust on the fly to the system of Black. Harris played under Chot Reyes in his first two PBA stints.

“Coach Chot runs the dribble drive more. With Coach Norman, I’m more comfortable playing the wing position,” said Harris, who depended on his teammates to figure out the offense.

“It’s a lot different because we’re running with more sets, but the players are pretty much the same.”

Joe Devance scored 30 points to lead San Mig Coffee, which fell to 5-3 in a tie with Air 21, Ginebra, and Rain or Shine.

“We needed this for our confidence,” said Black, whose team wraps up its elimination round campaign on Sunday against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

“Big game on Sunday against Ginebra.”

TNT 92 – Harris 39, Castro 19, De Ocampo 12, Fonacier 9, Baclao 7, Williams 2, Carey 2, Canaleta 2, Reyes J. 0, Reyes R. 0.
SMC 88 – Devance 30, Blakely 21, Barroca 10, Yap 9, Sangalang 7, Simon 6, Maliksi 3, Pingris 2, Mallari 0, Reavis 0.
QS: 31-21, 53-45, 68-70, 92-88

Jayson Castro dropped 19 markers as TNT rebounded from a loss.

Joe Devance torched the twine for 30 points.

Paul Harris uncorks one of his nine triples.

All images are by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5.

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