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.
Marcus Simmons (ex Phoenix) signs at Drive - 17 hours ago
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Grand Rapids Drive landed 29-year old forward Marcus Simmons (198-98kg-88, college: USC, agency: Interperformances). He played in the summer at Phoenix in Filipino PBA league. In three games he averaged impressive 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 4.0apg and 1.0spg. Simmons ended the last season at the Bulls. But the most of that year he spent at another team Fort Wayne Mad Ants where in 49 games he had 6.6ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.6apg. In 2012 (a year after he left the college) Simmons was drafted by Frisco Te... [read more]
Grand Rapids Drive landed 29-year old forward Marcus Simmons (198-98kg-88, college: USC, agency: Interperformances). He played in the summer at Phoenix in Filipino PBA league. In three games he averaged impressive 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 4.0apg and 1.0spg. Simmons ended the last season at the Bulls. But the most of that year he spent at another team Fort Wayne Mad Ants where in 49 games he had 6.6ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.6apg. In 2012 (a year after he left the college) Simmons was drafted by Frisco Texas Legends (D-League) in sixth round (88th overall). The former University of Southern California standoutis in his sixth season in pro basketball. Among other achievements Simmons played in the final of D-League in 2015. He received also All-Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award back in 2011 at his college time. Simmons has played previously professionally in Japan (Yokohama B-Corsairs) and D-League (Canton Charge).
Fajardo number one in Philippines for round 8 - 1 day ago
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Center June Mar Fajardo (210-C-89) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for top-ranked SM Beermen, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 8. The 27-year old player had a double-double of 25 points and 17 rebounds, while his team beat Rain or Shine (#3, 5-3) 107-101. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. It allowed SM Beermen to consolidate first place in the Filipino PBA. SM Beermen have a solid 8-1 record. Fajardo has many years... [read more]
Center June Mar Fajardo (210-C-89) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for top-ranked SM Beermen, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 8. The 27-year old player had a double-double of 25 points and 17 rebounds, while his team beat Rain or Shine (#3, 5-3) 107-101. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. It allowed SM Beermen to consolidate first place in the Filipino PBA. SM Beermen have a solid 8-1 record. Fajardo has many years of experience at SM Beermen, through which he has constantly improved. June Mar Fajardo has solid league stats. He is in league's top in points (3rd best: 20.0ppg) and averages impressive 1.7bpg and 65.5% FGP.
The second best player in last round's games was 24-year old Terrence Bill Romeo (180-PG-92) of league's second-best Globalport. Romeo had a very good evening with 32 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Of course he led Globalport to another comfortable win 110-96 over the lower-ranked NLEX RW (#11, 2-6) being unquestionably team leader. This victory allowed Globalport to move up to second position in the standings. His team's 5-3 record is not bad at all. Romeo is one of the most experienced players at Globalport and has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 27.6ppg (#1). He also recorded 5.9 assists per game.
Third on the list of top players last round was forward Reynel Hugnatan (193-F-78) of Meralco Bolts (#12). Hugnatan scored 28 points and grabbed six rebounds. Despite Hugnatan's great performance Meralco Bolts lost 92-105 to slightly higher-ranked Mahindra (#10, 2-5). But his team cannot count on just a single shooter as he also needs help of the other teammates. Meralco Bolts can only dream about fighting for top spots in the league. They have extremely bad season and 2-7 record places them at the very bottom of the standings. Too bad for Hugnatan he does not play for a better team. But maybe if he did, his season stats would not be that high. Hugnatan has a very solid season. In 8 games in Philippines he scored 13.0ppg. He also has 5.6rpg, FGP: 51.8% and 3PT: 42.9%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Calvin Abueva (190-F-88) of Alaska Aces - 23 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists 5. Vic Manuel (193-F-87) of Alaska Aces - 25 points and 8 rebounds 6. Jayvee Casio (178-PG-86) of Alaska Aces - 23 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists 7. Arwind Santos (193-F-81) of SM Beermen - 17 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists 8. Mac Belo (190-F-93) of Blackwater - 21 points and 7 rebounds 9. Stanley Pringle (184-PG-87) of Globalport - 20 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists 10. Sean Anthony (193-F-86) of NLEX RW - 16 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
Blackwater continued their impressive rise in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup, while the Hotshots caught a big fish by winning over TNT. Game Capsules: BLACKWATER ELITE over ALASKA ACES, 103-100 The Blackwater Elite snapped a two-game losing skid after holding off a comeback attempt from the Alaska Aces, 103-100, to move back up the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup standings on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. Mac Belo scored 21 big points, including a crucial three-pointer that ended an... [read more]
Blackwater continued their impressive rise in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup, while the Hotshots caught a big fish by winning over TNT.
BLACKWATER ELITE over ALASKA ACES, 103-100 The Blackwater Elite snapped a two-game losing skid after holding off a comeback attempt from the Alaska Aces, 103-100, to move back up the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup standings on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Mac Belo scored 21 big points, including a crucial three-pointer that ended an 11-0 Alaska run, while Roi Sumang scored 19 points - 17 of those in the second half - to lead Blackwater to their fifth win in nine games this conference.
Ronjay Buenafe added 16 points, Art Dela Cruz chipped in with 13 while Raymond Aguilar added 10 for the Elite.
Calvin Abueva posted 23 points and 14 rebounds while JVee Casio also added 23 points to lead Alaska, which dropped behind Blackwater at 4-4. (Interaksyon.com)
Lines of the Game: Mac Belo (BLA) - 21pts, 7rebs, 2stls, 1blk, 2 triples. Calvin Abueva (ALA) - 23pts, 14rebs, 2asts, 1blk.
STAR HOTSHOTS over TNT KA TROPA, 88-77 The Star Hotshots turned in a terrific defensive performance as they shackled the TNT KaTropa for a crucial 88-77 victory in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Star got a total team effort with Ian Sangalang leading the way with 14 points while Aldrech Ramos and Allein Maliksi each added 13.
Paul Lee finished with 10 points while Jio Jalalon had nine. Mark Barroca finished with eight points but tallied a team-high five assists and Marc Pingris had seven but grabbed a team-best eight rebounds.
Where the Hotshots' effort stood out, though, on the defensive end, where they held the KaTropa way below their conference average of just over 100 points. Star only gave up 12 points in the first quarter and allowed just 15 in the fourth period in a strong defensive stand.
Star was able to hassle TNT star Jayson Castro to just 26-percent shooting from the field. Despite that, 'The Blur' was able to finish with 16 points thanks to 7-for-10 shooting from the free throw line.
Ranidel De OCampo scored a game-high 21 points for TNT.
With the win, Star (4-4) joined a five-team logjam at fifth to nine places, which also includes TNT after their defeat knocked them down as well. Star also snapped a two-game losing streak while TNT lost back-to-back games. (Interaksyon.com)
Lines of the Game: Aldrech Ramos (STA) - 13pts, 7rebs, 1ast, 1blk, 3 triples. Ranidel De Ocampo (TNT) - 21pts, 3rebs, 4 triples.
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