At one point in their careers, Jervy Cruz and Larry Fonacier were two of the most feared amateurs in local basketball.
Cruz played for the UST Growling Tigers in the UAAP, leading the Espaa quintet to its last taste of championship glory in 2006.
Fonacier, for his part, was a vital cog in the 2002 edition of the Ateneo Blue Eagles. His key block at the end of Game 1 against Mac Cardona has been immortalized as one of the most memorable images in the history of the UAAP Finals.
When both guys went up to the pro ranks, they were highly touted, but neither has really reached the top level that many of their peers have.
Cruz has always been a blessed inside operator. His combination of footwork and positioning is something many other pro bigs havent been able to master. Despite this, his size has always hampered his potential. At a generous 64, Cruz is hardly the most imposing presence on the hardwood. When ranged against similarly-sized frontliners, Cruz can easily hold his own, but when measured up against much bigger foes, Cruz usually struggles.
It was good, then, that against the bigger Jason Deutchman and Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Cruz accounted well for himself. His double-double production helped the Painters win over Global Port in spite of ace gunner Jeff Chans anemic shooting night. Because of Cruzz heroics, Coach Yeng Guiaos squad is now at 3-1.
The only team the Painters trail is Talk N Text, which relied heavily on the hot hand of Fonacier to subdue the erstwhile unbeaten San Mig Coffee Mixers.
Fonacier led all scorers in the Texters fourth straight victory, waxing hot from long range as TNT remains the only undefeated team in the tournament. The Ateneo de Manila alum, fresh from his first tour of duty with the senior NT about a month ago, connected on four of his six trey attempts, while also grabbing 7 rebounds. Prior to this game, Fonacier averaged just 11.7ppg while shooting just 41% from the field. He was also making good on only 17% of his attempts from rainbow country. Needless to say, he picked a good time to get hot, and, because of it, the Texters remain flawless.
Game Recaps: RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO-PAINTERS over GLOBAL PORT BATANG PIER, 94-83
Jervy Cruz scored a career-high 22 points along with 16 rebounds to help Rain or Shine past GlobalPort, 94-83, in PBA Philippine Cup action Saturday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The Elasto Painters were holding a precarious 84-79 lead with three minutes left in the game before rattling off a 6-0 run to put the game away.
Cruz led seven players with at least eight points for Rain or Shine, which won its third game in four outings. GlobalPort suffered its fourth loss in five games, which relegated the Batang Pier to the bottom of the standings.
Rain or Shine won despite getting just 13 points from Jeff Chan, who had averaged 26.7 points coming into the game.
Si Jeff, hindi maganda yung laro ngayon, kaya isa-isa kaming nag-step up, said Cruz.
Willie Miller, who scored 33 points in GlobalPorts victory in its last outing, was limited to just 10 points.
GlobalPort rookies Jason Deutchman and AJ Mandani led the fight for the Batang Pier, scoring 18 and 17 points, respectively.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao pointed to the victory as a boost as the Elasto Painters head into one of the toughest stretches in their schedule. They face San Mig Coffee on Wednesday in a rematch of the last seasons Governors Cup Finals before taking on Talk N Text next Saturday in Victorias City, Negros Occidental.
This is a crucial eight-day stretch for us, said Guiao. How well we do in our next two games might well define how were going to fare in this conference.
TALK N TEXT TROPANG TEXTERS over SAN MIG COFFEE MIXERS, 85-74
And then there was one.
The Talk N Text Tropang Texters squandered an early 17-point lead before escaping the San Mig Coffee Mixers, 85-74, Saturday at the Ynares Center to remain the only undefeated team in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Larry Fonacier sizzled for 26 points, including a key three-pointer that kicked off a late 14-2 run that preserved the fourth straight victory for the Tropang Texters.
San Mig Coffee, which missed star forward Marc Pingris because of an ankle injury last Sunday against Petron, suffered its first loss in three games.
Fonacier, who also had seven rebounds, and led five Talk N Text players in double figures. Jayson Castro had 16 points, Ryan Reyes added 12, Kelly Williams chipped in 11, and Ranidel De Ocampo posted 10.
Talk N Text began the game with a 26-9 run midway through the first quarter en route to a 52-41 halftime lead.
But the Mixers fought back furiously after the break, and Mark Barrocas fastbreak layup gave San Mig Coffee a 65-64 lead to end the third quarter.
Another Barroca layup gave the Mixers a 67-64 lead to open the fourth period, and the two teams battled in a nip-and-tuck affair through most of the fourth quarter.
A three-pointer by James Yap, who scored 18 points, gave San Mig Coffee its last taste of the lead, 72-71, midway through the fourth quarter.
Two plays later, Fonacier hit his key three-pointer that started Talk N Texts game-ending run.
Phelps number one in Philippines for round 1 - 1 day ago
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American Forward Eugene Phelps (198-F-90) had an amazing evening in the last round for Phoenix, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 1. The 26-year old player had a double-double of 53 points and 21 rebounds, while his team edged out Blackwater (#9, 0-1), the league's bottom-ranked team 118-116. Phoenix is placed at 4th position in Filipino PBA. But it's just the very beginning of the season and Phoenix won just one (their first) game. It's too early to say anyth... [read more]
American Forward Eugene Phelps (198-F-90) had an amazing evening in the last round for Phoenix, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 1. The 26-year old player had a double-double of 53 points and 21 rebounds, while his team edged out Blackwater (#9, 0-1), the league's bottom-ranked team 118-116. Phoenix is placed at 4th position in Filipino PBA. But it's just the very beginning of the season and Phoenix won just one (their first) game. It's too early to say anything as the standings can be changed completely after next round. In the team's last game Phelps had a remarkable 61.3% from 2-point range. He just recently signed at Phoenix and it was his first game, where he immediately became new team's leader. Former Long Beach State University star has very solid stats this year. Phelps is league's best scorer averaging so far 53.0ppg. Phelps is in league's top in rebounds (3rd best: 21.0rpg) and averages impressive 5.0bpg and 61.3% FGP.
The second best player in last round's games was 25-year old American Greg Smith (198-F-91) of Blackwater. Smith had a very good evening with a double-double of 37 points and 30 rebounds. Bad luck as Blackwater was edged by Phoenix (1-0) 118-116. The season is still at the very beginning and this lost game may not be such crucial, of course if they start win the games. Let's wait for the next round. Smith is one of the most experienced players at Blackwater and has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 37.0ppg (#2). He also registered 30.0 boards per game.
Third on the list of top players last round was American forward Cory Jefferson (206-F-90) of Alaska Aces (#3). Jefferson scored 28 points and grabbed fourteen rebounds (!!!). He was a key player of Alaska Aces, leading his team to a 107-79 easy win against Globalport (#10, 0-1). Alaska Aces has a very good start of the season. But there was just one game played, so it's too early to judge them at this stage. Jefferson also has a very good start of the season with very strong stats. The season just started for Jefferson as he played only first game. But it already looks like he can be team's leader.
Other top performing players last week: 4. James White (203-F-93) of Mahindra - 29 points, 21 rebounds and 2 assists 5. Wayne Chism (206-PF-87) of NLEX RW - 27 points, 21 rebounds and 3 assists 6. Shawn Taggart (207-F-85) of Rain or Shine - 29 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists 7. Alex Stepheson (208-F/C-87) of Meralco Bolts - 18 points and 24 rebounds 8. Stanley Pringle (184-PG-87) of Globalport - 27 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists 9. Alex Mallari (193-G/F-87) of Mahindra - 21 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists 10. Chris Newsome (187-G) of Meralco Bolts - 17 points, 7 rebounds and 7 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)
D-League: Tanduay shocks No.1 Cignal to take semis Game 1 - 2 days ago
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Banking on its veteran leaders, Tanduay pulled off a 66-55 stunner over Cignal-San Beda to claim Game 1 of their best-of-3 semifinals series in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup Tuesday at Marikina Sports Center. Ex-pros Jerwin Gaco (190-F-81) and Mark Cruz (165-PG) paired up to help the Rhum Masters silence the top-seed Hawkeyes in the middle quarters to move a win away from booking a return trip to the championship series. Gaco led Tanduay with 16 points, seven rebounds, and two assi... [read more]
Banking on its veteran leaders, Tanduay pulled off a 66-55 stunner over Cignal-San Beda to claim Game 1 of their best-of-3 semifinals series in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup Tuesday at Marikina Sports Center. Ex-pros Jerwin Gaco (190-F-81) and Mark Cruz (165-PG) paired up to help the Rhum Masters silence the top-seed Hawkeyes in the middle quarters to move a win away from booking a return trip to the championship series. Gaco led Tanduay with 16 points, seven rebounds, and two assists, while Cruz got 15 markers, four boards, and two dimes. Adrian Santos also helped in the paint, finishing with 11 points and eight rebounds, while Jaymo Eguilos (196-F-87) tallied five markers and grabbed 12 boards. The Rhum Masters didn't just snap Cignal-San Beda's eight-game winning streak, but they also dealt coach Boyet Fernandez his first ever semifinals loss in his D-League coaching career. This narrative, though, doesn't appeal that much to coach Lawrence Chongson, saying, 'It's not about cliches anymore. It's about us needing to win for ourselves, We'll do whatever it takes.' Clamping down on defense, Tanduay limited the high-scoring Cignal squad to just six points in the second quarter to grab a 28-20 halftime lead and further compounded the Hawkeyes' woes with 28-point third quarter explosion to lead by as much as 21, 56-35. Cignal had one last try to close the gap and got to as close as 12, 56-44, with 7:33 left, but Paul Varilla drained big baskets late to douse the rally for the Rhum Masters. Game 2 is on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena. Raymundo Pamboy led Cignal with 13 points and three rebounds, while Javee Mocon got 11 markers and six boards. Courtesy of: inquirer.net
Louis Amundson could join TNT Ka Tropa - 4 days ago
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Talk N Text Ka Tropa (PBA) is close to sign experienced 35-year old American power forward Louis Amundson (206-104kg-82, college: UNLV) who played last time at New York Knicks in NBA. In 2006 Amundson was drafted by Great Falls Explorers (CBA) in third round (23rd overall). The former University of Nevada - Las Vegas standoutis in his eleventh (!!!) season in pro basketball. Amundson received All-D-League Rookie of the Year award back in 2007. He has played also professionally for other... [read more]
Talk N Text Ka Tropa (PBA) is close to sign experienced 35-year old American power forward Louis Amundson (206-104kg-82, college: UNLV) who played last time at New York Knicks in NBA. In 2006 Amundson was drafted by Great Falls Explorers (CBA) in third round (23rd overall). The former University of Nevada - Las Vegas standoutis in his eleventh (!!!) season in pro basketball. Amundson received All-D-League Rookie of the Year award back in 2007. He has played also professionally for other NBA teams like New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz. Amundson is close to retirement age as a player. It may be one of last seasons in his extensive career, which he may end at TNT Ka Tropa. The scouts decsribe him following way:
A strong athlete who runs the floor well, crashes the boards, and plays with lots of energy. An explosive leaper, who can beat
taller players for putbacks.
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