Its awesome when underdogs win. Its especially awesome when the underdog team has a rookie, whos fresh from losing in the NCAA semifinals by the way, who scores 12 points and grabs 16 rebounds, playing even better than some of the most seasoned players sharing the same court.
That rookie, of course, is none other than former San Sebastian Stag Calvin Abueva. Abueva, a native of Pampanga, outplayed his own kababayan, Arwind Santos. Santos, dubbed the Spiderman, scored 11 markers, collared 7 rebounds, had 2 assists, and blocked 3 shots, but it was Abueva who clearly stole the show. Nicknamed the Beast in college, Abueva played center for a good part of his stint on the floor despite being severely undersized at just 62.
In the second game, former Powerade Tiger Sean Anthony had another great outing, scoring 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting to lead the Energy Colas past the favored Ginebra Kings. He was ably supported by former B-Meg Llamado Josh Urbizrtondo, who netted 19 points on 10-of-17 shooting. He outplayed Smart Gilas 2.0 playmaker LA Tenorio, who recorded just 6 points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Both Alaska and Barako Bull move up, tied with Ginebra and Meralco, and now possess identical 2-win and 2-loss standings, while Petron sinks with just one win to show after 4 games.
Game Recaps: ALASKA ACES over PETRON BLAZE BOOSTERS, 88-86
Calvin Abueva came through with a beastly performance in his debut game, and the Alaska Aces relied on the hot shooting of Dondon Hontiveros down the stretch as they turned back the Petron Blaze Boosters, 88-86, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
It was the second straight win for the Aces, who drew a double-double performance from their prized newcomer.
Abueva, still smarting his alma maters NCAA final four loss to Letran last Monday, showed hes ready for the big leagues, finishing with 12 points and 16 rebounds a rookie-high this season in just 27 minutes.
What can I say? Its nice to have Calvin because he brings so much to our team energy wise. Hes going to be the backbone of this franchise. His energy is infectious and we were able to come back from 12 points down because of that, said a jubilant Alaska coach Luigi Trillo.
Once he started playing, he immediately became the energizer of our team. Were fortunate to pick him second in the draft.
While all eyes were focused on Abueva, Hontiveros stole the spotlight with his finest game in years.
Up against a team hes been associated with for a long time, Hontiveros drilled in 17 points on 4-for-7 three-point shooting. All of his four treys came in the fourth period, with his last one giving the Aces a 76-72 lead with 6:11 left.
With Abueva in the game, Trillo was able to play a small-ball lineup which brought the Aces back in the game.
Abueva, who stands just 6-foot-2, was tasked to man the center spot while Mac Baracael played power forward. The Aces found no trouble playing small, even beating the Boosters squad which played without rookie center June Mar Fajardo on second chance points, 17-16.
ALA 88- Baguio 21, Hontiveros 17, Abueva 12, Casio 9, Thoss 8, Jazul 6, Baracael 6, Espinas 3, Reyes 2, Eman 2, Dela Cruz 2 PET 86- Lutz 20, Washington 15, Cabagnot 12, Santos 11, Pena 11, Miranda 7, Yeo 4, Ildefonso 4, Mallari 2 QS: 17-18, 37-41, 57-65, 88-86
BARAKO BULL ENERGY COLAS over BGY. GINEBRA KINGS, 92-82
On a team full of veteran players, Sean Anthony figured out when to pick his spots.
The hardworking forward scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, powering Barako Bull to a 92-82 triumph over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Sometimes Sean Anthony knows his role and sometimes he doesnt. This team is full of veterans and he adjusted well tonight, said Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi.
The 6-foot-4 Anthony went 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and got plenty of help from Josh Urbiztondo, Mick Pennisi, Ronald Tubid and Enrico Villanueva.
Urbiztondo contributed 19 points, Pennisi added 11, and Tubid chipped in 10.
Vilanueva, who was acquired by Barako Bull before the tournament started, added nine points and eight rebounds.
The win enabled Barako Bull to snap a two-game slide. The Energy Colas win-loss record improved to 2-2 and forging a four-way tie for fourth to seventh places along with their victim and Alaska Milk and Meralco.
Before the game, we talked about the importance of playing together. If you work together, win or lose, something good will happen, said Baculi. We caught Ginebra on an off night and we pulled off this win.
Blatche Andray 211-F/C-86 Xinjiang FT Jayson Castro William 180-PG-86 Talk N Text Gabe Norwood 196-G/F-85 Rain or Shine June Mar Fajardo 210-C-89 San Miguel Beermen Japeth Aguilar 206-C-85 Barangay Ginebra Ranidel deOcampo 197-F-81 Talk N Text Terrence Bill Romeo 180-PG-92&... [read more]
TURKEY over PHILIPPINES, 103-68 Turkey got the more than easy 103-68 win over Philippines in their preparation game in Istanbul. The two teams may face each other in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Manila, Philippines, as they start their games in different groups and if this game can be considered a sample, Turkey is at least in much better condition. Center Semih Erden and forward Baris Hersek with 16 points each were the top scorers of the winners. Furkan Korkmaz who is expe... [read more]
TURKEY over PHILIPPINES, 103-68 Turkey got the more than easy 103-68 win over Philippines in their preparation game in Istanbul.
The two teams may face each other in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Manila, Philippines, as they start their games in different groups and if this game can be considered a sample, Turkey is at least in much better condition.
Center Semih Erden and forward Baris Hersek with 16 points each were the top scorers of the winners. Furkan Korkmaz who is expected to hear his name in the first round of the upcoming NBA draft, returned to Turkey and scored 5 points. Andray Blatche had 23 points for the losing side and Jayson Williams added 15 points.
ITALY over PHILIPPINES, 106-70 Italy got an easy win over Philippines in the first day of the preparation tournament in Bologna. The final score was 106-70 for the hosts and it was flattering for the guests who were trailing 62-15 before the half time.
The first 20 minutes of action ended with a 41 points advantage for Italy (64-23) which got 20 points by Danilo Gallinari in 15 minutes of action, 14 points by Pietro Aradori who came from the bench and 11 by Marco Bellineli.
Philippines was outplayed in every possible way and Andray Blatche with 21 points was as usual the only brightspot for them.
With the two conferences of the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) done with the San Miguel Beermen overcoming the odds from a 3-0 deficit in the finals to win the Philippine Cup title in seven games against the Alaska Aces and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters ruling the Commissioner's Cup against the same Aces, another conference is shaping to be one of the most competitive tournaments in recent memory. Returning imports showcases the upcoming Governor's Cup which will have its... [read more]
With the two conferences of the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) done with the San Miguel Beermen overcoming the odds from a 3-0 deficit in the finals to win the Philippine Cup title in seven games against the Alaska Aces and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters ruling the Commissioner's Cup against the same Aces, another conference is shaping to be one of the most competitive tournaments in recent memory.
Returning imports showcases the upcoming Governor's Cup which will have its tip-off on July 15.
Asian imports will also be featured in this conference led by the returning Michel Madanly (194-G-81) for the Texters. Phoenix had tapped the services of 6-foot-3 Korean Lee Kwan Hee to bolster its guard-forward rotation.
Here are the complete lineup of reinforcements for all contending teams:
Aris Ignacio is from the Philippines and has always been a big fan of Philippine basketball. Aris' follows the Philippine Basketball Association since the late 80's and has learned the history and personalities of the PBA. He also has interest with other basketball tournaments in the Philippines and beyond most specifically college basketball (UAAP, NCAA), the Asian Basketball League (ABL), FIBA Asia and World Cup tournaments. Follow Aris Ignacio on Twitter at aris_ignacio.
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