For me, the biggest PBA story for the past few days has been the great play of Meralco rookie Cliff Hodge.
The #4 overall pick in the 2012 PBA Draft has proven to be Meralcos most consistent Bolt in its first two games. The former Hawaii Pacific Sea Warrior is currently averaging 19.5ppg, 9.5rpg, 1.0spg, and 1.0bpg in 39.0mpg for the Manny Pangilinan franchise.
In sum, he has been the most productive rookie thus far. Hes #8 in points, #9 in rebounds, and #2 in minutes for the whole league, and by far #1 among rookies in statistical points (37.5 SPs). The next closest freshie is Kelly Nabong with just 27.0 SPs.
Those stats are much better than those of the three guys taken before him in the draft. As of this writing, top pick June Mar Fajardo has accumulated only 20.0 SPs, while #3 pick Alex Mallari has just 13.0 SPs. Calvin Abueva, the #2 pick, has yet to play for the Alaska Aces because the NCAA wars are still ongoing.
Game Recaps: MERALCO BOLTS over ALASKA ACES, 93-86
Look whos taking up the scoring cudgels for the Meralco Bolts.
Rookie Cliff Hodge showed hes more than just an energy guy as he led the Bolts with a double-double performance and steered his squad to a 93-86 triumph over the Alaska Aces in the PBA Philippine Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.
Hodge finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds, doing practically everything on the floor while fellow newcomer Kelly Nabong also stepped up, grabbing 11 boards on top of six markers.
Its unusual to have a rookie dictate our effort level, but were fortunate to draft Cliff Hodge, said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio. We thought in the beginning, hes there to provide us excitement and do the dirty work, but hes been scoring as well and has been averaging close to 20 points in his first two games. Its a good relief to have him.
Hodge and Nabong, two hardworking forwards, provided plenty of the energy and rebounding that the team needed after losing stalwart Asi Taulava before the start of the season.
Were playing center by committee in the absence of Asi, said Gregorio. Sometimes its Jay-R Reyes, sometimes its Carlo Sharma or Nabong. Its a good thing we were able to pull it through.
Hodge pumped in 12 of his total output in the third period when the Bolts pulled away. The Bolts established their biggest lead, 63-48, on a putback by Sunday Salvacion with still 7:04 left in the third.
High-scoring guards Mac Cardona, Ronjay Buenafe and Sol Mercado took the backseat for the streaking Hodge.
Cardona made up for his sub-par performance against Talk N Text in their opener, tallying 16 points. Buenafe contributed 13 while Mercado and Sunday Salvacion added 10 apiece for the Bolts, who played minus injured starting guard Chris Ross.
He had a tear in his right meniscus, so hes day-to-day right now. Hopefully, he will recover sooner or later. The good thing is no surgeries needed. Just rehab. He wants to play, but if his future is in jeopardy, were not risking it, added Gregorio.
PETRON BLAZE BOOSTERS over BARAKO BULL ENERGY, 98-89
Petron Blaze banked on its run and gun game to notch its first win of the season.
The Boosters unleashed 30 fastbreak points to run roughshod over the Barako Bull Energy Colas, 98-89, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Chris Lutz, still recuperating from his old injury, led the way for the Boosters with 22 points but it was Alex Cabagnots clutch performance that bailed Petron Blaze out of trouble as they withstood a late rally made by Barako Bull.
Cabagnot had two triples in the last six minutes, including his last one that gave the Boosters a 93-82 lead with only 2:40 left in the game.
We made adjustments on the transition, said rookie coach Olsen Racela, who picked up his first career win as coach in the PBA. Last game, we had difficult time with our halfcourt set and we felt that 102 points was too much to give to any team, so we also stepped up in defense.
Arwind Santos added 18 points while Cabagnot contributed 16.
Petrons fast-paced attack produced a positive result for the squad, but visibly affected the game of 6-foot-10 center June Mar Fajardo, who struggled for only three points and seven rebounds.
The top overall rookie pick attempted five times, missed four shots and split his two free throws.
But Racelas first victory was nearly threatened when the Energy Colas climbed back from 20 points down.
The lead was cut down to as low as five by Enrico Villanuevas split charities early in the fourth period, 82-77.
But Cabagnot kept things at hand for the Boosters as his two three-pointers touched off a crippling 13-5 spurts by Petron Blaze, which pulled away anew, 95-82, in the final two minutes.
Nag-relax kami. We have to play consistently for 48 minutes because any team in the PBA once given an opportunity can come back from big deficits, said Racela.
PET 98- Lutz 22, Santos 18, Cabagnot 16, Duncil 8, Miranda 8, Yeo 7, Mallari 4, Washington 4, Ildefonso 4, Pena 4, Fajardo 3 BAR 89- Urbiztondo 17, Pennisi 16, Villanueva 13, Anthony 10, Kramer 10, Tubid 10, Najorda 5, Seigle 4, Alvarez 2, Cruz 2, Yap 0 QS: 24-20, 53-40, 80-68, 98-89
TALK N TEXT TROPANG TEXTERS over GLOBAL PORT BATANG PIER, 108-104
Incoming Talk N Text coach Norman Black was in a jubilant mood, and his Tropang Texters didnt let the GlobalPort Batang Pier spoil the fun.
Ranidel De Ocampo banged in a three-pointer that put the game out of reach with 9.2 seconds left, allowing Talk N Text to escape with a thrilling 108-104 victory over GlobalPort in the Philippine Cup Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters needed big baskets from Jayson Castro, who scored 30 points, to turn back the winless Batang Pier and give Black a triumphant welcome. The win comes a day after he piloted the Ateneo Blue Eagles to their fifth straight UAAP title.
The 10-time PBA champion coach said he had intended to leave interim coach Nash Racela at the helm, but couldnt resist taking a more active role as GlobalPort looked to steal a victory from Talk N Text.
The two teams battled in a tight first half, before a fiery third quarter had the defending champion Tropang Texters threatening to break the game wide open. A 12-2 run capped by a Larry Fonacier three-pointer gave Talk N Text an 86-70 advantage.
But GlobalPort battled back with its own 16-2 run to bridge the third and fourth quarters to cut the Talk N Text lead to just two points, 88-86. The two teams exchanged blows before a Vic Manuel jumper gave GlobalPort a one point lead, 94-93, with seven minutes left.
The Batang Pier were still up, 104-101, with less than three minutes remaining when Castro scored four straight points to give Talk N Text the lead for good. GlobalPort came up empty in its next possessions in the clutch, allowing De Ocampo to seal the game with his clutch hit.
Ryan Reyes and Larry Fonacier added 19 points apiece for Talk N Text, which won its second straight nailbiter. It defeated Meralco in overtime, 112-10, in its first assignment last Friday.
Willie Miller scored 22 points and rookie Vic Manuel added 21 to carry the fight for GlobalPort, which missed Gary David due to injury. Rabeh Al-Hussaini, a former Black protege at Ateneo who was benched in Batang Piers last game, added 17 points.
Black, who has been handling for a month, said Talk N Text is still a team in transition.
Its still a work in progress for me, said Black. Players are still learning my system offensively.
He noted that he had missed several Talk N Text practices over the past weeks as he concentrated on Ateneos playoff run, which would explain the Tropang Texters defensive struggles. Prior to taking over as coach, Black had served as Talk N Texts consultant, playing the role of defensive coordinator for the squad.
Black, who is making his return a decade after his last PBA head coaching gig, promised the best is yet to come for Talk N Text.
Its only a matter of time before I turn this into a smooth running machine, he said.
TNT 108 - Castro 30, Reyes 19, Fonacier 19, De Ocampo 15, Williams 11, Alapag 5, Peek 4, Carey 3, Gamalinda 3, Raymundo 0, Alvarez 0 GLO 104 - Miller 22, Manuel 21, Al-Hussaini 17, Salvador 9 Vanlandingham 8, Deutchman 7, Guevarra 6, Yee 6, Mandani 4, Cruz 2, Antonio 2, Lingganay 0 QS: 32-31; 57-52; 86-78; 108-104
RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO-PAINTERS over AIR21 EXPRESS, 99-98 (OT)
Jeff Chan scored a career-high 35 points, including the go-ahead basket with 15 seconds left, to lift Rain or Shine to a tense 99-98 overtime victory over Air 21 in the Philippine Cup Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
With the shot clock winding down in extra period, Chan found himself against the smaller Wynne Arboleda. The southpaw hotshot drove right, sidestepped to his right, before fading away for a baby jumper that trickled in to give the Elasto Painters the victory.
Air 21 had one final opportunity to steal the win, but Rain or Shine hounded Arboleda into an airball on his attempt and stripped the ball from KG Canaleta off a rebound play to preserve the win.
Were lucky we got a good game from Jeff. His offense carried us for most of the game, said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao of Chan, last years Most Improved Player who is off to a blistering start this season. Over his first three games, the sharpshooter from Bacolod City has averaged 26.7 points, despite getting little offseason rest after leading Rain or Shine to last seasons Governors Cup title and playing for SMART-Gilas Pilipinas in two international tournaments.
Chans brilliant performance bailed out the Elasto Painters, who looked like they had the game in the bag in regulation. Rain or Shine led Air 21, 93-88, with just 23 seconds remaining in the game. But it allowed Nelbert Omolon to score a three-point play with 10 seconds left to cut the Elasto Painters advantage to a single basket.
Air 21 sent Beau Belga to the free throw line in the ensuing possession, and the Rain or Shine center split his foul shots to give the Elasto Painters a three-point lead, 94-91. Arboleda raced down the court and shoveled a pass to Canaleta, who hit a 25-foot three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
Gabe Norwood and Jervy Cruz added 12 points apiece for Rain or Shine, which won its second game in three outings. Air 21, which lost for the second time in three games, was paced by John Wilson who scored 21 points.
Rain or Shine dedicated the game in honor of late assistant coach Roehl Nadurata, who succumbed to lung cancer last Tuesday. Nadurata, who has been part of Guiaos coach staff for 20 years, was a key member of the Rain or Shine brain trust during its Governors Cup title run.
Fredette breaks Mighty Sports-PH's hearts in Merlion Cup final - 7 hours ago
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Former NBA player Fredette Jimmer (188-PG-89, college: BYU) broke the hearts of Mighty Sports-Philippines in the Merlion Cup as he engineered a 78-77 victory for the Shanghai Sharks in the gold medal game of the tournament Sunday night at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. Fredette torched Mighty Sports-Philippines with 43 points, and hit three free throws with no time left to lift the Sharks to a come-from-behind victory. Mighty Sports, led by Al Thornton (203-F-83, college: Florida St.) and K... [read more]
Former NBA player Fredette Jimmer (188-PG-89, college: BYU) broke the hearts of Mighty Sports-Philippines in the Merlion Cup as he engineered a 78-77 victory for the Shanghai Sharks in the gold medal game of the tournament Sunday night at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. Fredette torched Mighty Sports-Philippines with 43 points, and hit three free throws with no time left to lift the Sharks to a come-from-behind victory. Mighty Sports, led by Al Thornton (203-F-83, college: Florida St.) and Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93), led by as much as 14 points, 69-55, in the fourth quarter before Fredette anchored Shanghai's comeback. Fredette sparked an 18-4 run, and assisted on the three-pointer that tied the game at 73 with still 3:52 left to play. Ravena handed Mighty Sports back the lead when he drained a three-pointer with 3:31 left while also drawing a foul from Fredette. He completed the four-point play to make it 77-73. Fredette cut the lead to two points with a lay-up in transition with 1:21 to go, and Ravena badly misfired on a triple that could have iced the game with still 40 seconds left. Needing to make one stop to seal the championship, Mighty Sports instead fouled Fredette as he was launching a three-pointer at the buzzer. The former Sacramento King coolly made all free throws to secure the victory. "We just wanted to get a good shot off, we wanted to get the last shot," said Fredette after the game. "My teammates did a great job of fighting hard tonight." "I had three (shots) to make two, that's the way I thought about it," he added. "Two puts us in overtime. My mentality was to go in there and that I had to make two." Thornton finished the game with 36 points for Mighty Sports. Courtesy of: abs-cbn.com
PH-Mighty Sports through to Merlion Cup finals after escaping Singapore Slingers - 1 day ago
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Philippines-Mighty Sports pulled off a tough 72-70 semifinal victory over hometown team Singapore Slingers to advance to the Merlion Cup finals on Saturday at the OCBC Arena in the city-state. Dewarick Spencer (193-G-82, college: Arkansas St., agency: Higher Vision Sports) fired 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter to pump life into Mighty Sports which, after a strong start, trailed by nine points in the third quarter. Filipino guards Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93) and Joseph Yeo (1... [read more]
Philippines-Mighty Sports pulled off a tough 72-70 semifinal victory over hometown team Singapore Slingers to advance to the Merlion Cup finals on Saturday at the OCBC Arena in the city-state. Dewarick Spencer (193-G-82, college: Arkansas St., agency: Higher Vision Sports) fired 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter to pump life into Mighty Sports which, after a strong start, trailed by nine points in the third quarter. Filipino guards Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93) and Joseph Yeo (183-G-83) also combined for five crucial points down the stretch that gave the Philippine club the lead for good. PH-Mighty Sports will take on the Shanghai Sharks led by former NBA player Fredette Jimmer (188-PG-89, college: BYU) for the title on Sunday in a matchup between the tournament's two unbeaten teams. PH-Mighty Sports started the game on a hot 7-0 run powered by slam dunks from Hamady N'diaye (212-C-87, college: Rutgers).. They finished the first quarter with a 21-15 lead. But the Slingers put the clamps on PH-Mighty Sports, limiting the Filipino club to just 12 points in the second quarter. The Slingers took a 36-33 at the break which they expanded to nine points, 44-35, in the early goings of the third frame. But just as the Slingers were about to pull away, Spencer woke PH-Mighty Sports up. He suddenly waxed hot on the floor, burying three triples and converting tough baskets to score 17 of the team's first 18 points in the third quarter. Yeo then scored a layup to complete the turnaround for PH-Mighty Sports which took a 53-46 lead. But the Slingers made their way back and trimmed their deficit to just two, 56-54, heading into the last quarter. It was a nip-and-tuck affair in the fourth period, with the teams exchanging leads. Big man Justin Howard gave the Slingers a 68-67 lead with just a minute left after shooting a surprise three-pointer off an awkward release. But Ravena countered it with a reverse layup. After a miss by the Slingers, Yeo then pulled up for a triple to push PH-Mighty Sports' lead to four, 72-68, with 36 seconds left. But the Slingers converted two free throws in the next play. Spencer then made a huge blunder in the inbound for a huge turnover that gave the Slingers a chance to take the last shot with just nine ticks left. However, the Slingers' Filipino import Jeff Viernes was called for steps in his drive to the basket, allowing PH-Mighty Sports to escape with the victory. Courtesy of: interaksyon.com
Quarterfinal action from the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup tonight saw sister Meralco and TNT gain separate tickets to the semifinals. Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon): MERALCO BOLTS over MAHINDRA ENFORCER, 105-82 The Meralco Bolts continued their mastery of the Mahindra Enforcer, trouncing the playoff first-timers for the second time in three days, 105-82, to clinch a semifinals berth in the PBA Governors' Cup Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo. Import Allen Durham tallied 24 po... [read more]
Quarterfinal action from the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup tonight saw sister Meralco and TNT gain separate tickets to the semifinals.
Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon):
MERALCO BOLTS over MAHINDRA ENFORCER, 105-82 The Meralco Bolts continued their mastery of the Mahindra Enforcer, trouncing the playoff first-timers for the second time in three days, 105-82, to clinch a semifinals berth in the PBA Governors' Cup Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Import Allen Durham tallied 24 points and 16 rebounds while Chris Newsome added 19 markers to lead the Bolts who rallied from a 15-point deficit to pull off the blowout.
Cliff Hodge scored 14 points and Jared Dillinger 12 markers to help Meralco which just last Wednesday also rallied past Mahindra to seize the twice-to-beat in their playoff for the No.4 spot.
The win was Meralco's third straight over Mahindra which missed out on clinching an outright twice-to-beat after falling to the Bolts in their elimination round duel last September 11.
In the semifinals, Meralco will face the winner of the TNT KaTropa-Phoenix Fuel Master quarterfinal matchup.
James White finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Enforcer who, thanks to a 4-0 start, were able to appear in their first quarterfinals appearance in franchise history.
Lines of the Game: Allen Durham (MER) - 24pts, 16rebs, 6asts, 1blk, 3 triples, 7/14 FGs. James White (MAH) - 20pts, 10rebs, 1ast, 1stl, 1blk.
TNT KA TROPA over PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS, 136-124 Superstar guard Jayson Castro exploded for 42 points as he carried TNT KaTropa to the semifinals with a 136-124 win over the gutsy Phoenix Fuel Masters in the PBA Governors' Cup playoffs Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Castro converted 14 out of 26 shots, made five out of 11 triples and sank nine out of 12 free throws. He also grabbed four rebounds and three assists-all in just 27 minutes of play.
The result booked TNT a semifinals date with sister team Meralco Bolts and completed the final four cast that will also see San Miguel and Ginebra battling in the other side of the bracket.
Castro was simply unstoppable on the floor, finishing daredevil drives to the basket and pulling up for jumpers when defenders fell asleep. He already had 29 points after the first two quarters.
Michael Madanly also had 17 points, while Ranidel De Ocampo and Ryan Reyes chipped in 16 apiece. Larry Fonacier had 13 and Kelly Williams contributed 12.
Eugene Phelps finished the game with 39 points and 17 boards for Phoenix.
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