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.
Danny Trapp left JNE BSC Bandung Utama - 2 days ago
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Experienced 34-year old American (has also Filipino passport) guard Danny Trapp (186-83, college: W.Oklahoma St. JC) left JNE BSC Bandung Utama (IBL). In three games in Indonesia he had 7.7ppg, 2.7rpg and 1.7apg this season. Trapp is quite experienced player. He has played on four different continents (Asia, Latin America, Africa and of course North America). Trapp has played previously professionally in China (Leopards and Changsha Bank), Mexico (Bufalos), Dominican Republic (Soles de Sa... [read more]
Experienced 34-year old American (has also Filipino passport) guard Danny Trapp (186-83, college: W.Oklahoma St. JC) left JNE BSC Bandung Utama (IBL). In three games in Indonesia he had 7.7ppg, 2.7rpg and 1.7apg this season. Trapp is quite experienced player. He has played on four different continents (Asia, Latin America, Africa and of course North America). Trapp has played previously professionally in China (Leopards and Changsha Bank), Mexico (Bufalos), Dominican Republic (Soles de Santo Domingo) and Egypt (Somouha). He attended Western Oklahoma St. JC until 2006 and it is his eleventh (!!!) season as a professional player. Trapp could be described:
Physical and mental: Consistently runs the floor and never a lapse and transition, Mentally focused and stays within the game. Finds the open seams and pockets and is great at recognizing double teams. Danny is very affective slashing to the basket both with and without the ball, he is a great outside shooter and stretches the defense with his ability to shoot the ball and does well by getting his teammates involved. On the defensive of end, Danny is a tremendous on and off the ball defender as he is very quick on his feet and will cut the floor off very well and rotate. Reminds many coaches of a Gary Paton type of player. He embodies what a scoring yet defensive point guard really is. Danny is very Exciting to watch has a way with the fans not to mention Danny also tried out with the New Jersey Nets in 2009 and was let go the last cut but continues to work hard. Overall he's a solid player with natural athleticism and doesn't show signs of emotions, Adapts to changing game situations, and always find away to win.
Star clobbers Ginebra in Game 5, nears Finals - 3 days ago
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The Star Hotshots whipped up a storm in the third quarter and clobbered the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 89-80, to move a win shy of wrapping up their PBA Philippine Cup Final Four face-off at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Friday night. The two teams engaged in close duel through the first half before the Hotshots really got their act together in the third, making the first major run in the game and holding on to gain the pivotal 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven semis series. The Hotshots pummeled... [read more]
The Star Hotshots whipped up a storm in the third quarter and clobbered the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 89-80, to move a win shy of wrapping up their PBA Philippine Cup Final Four face-off at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Friday night. The two teams engaged in close duel through the first half before the Hotshots really got their act together in the third, making the first major run in the game and holding on to gain the pivotal 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven semis series. The Hotshots pummeled the Kings, 22-10, to make a crucial separation in the third, 71-55, and refused to slow down to get into the doorstep of a first finals for the franchise since its grand slam run in the 2013-14 PBA season. Coach Chito Victolero and his troops take their first of two cracks at the titular playoff in Game Six Sundayover at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Rafi Reavis (203-C-77, college: Coppin St.), with 17 points and 13 rebounds, upstaged Japeth Aguilar (206-C-85, college: W.Kentucky) with his best game in the season and the entire Star team seemed to be always a step ahead of Ginebra in this game -- a big key in stopping the Kings' two-game charge in the series. In the fateful third quarter, only three players - LA Tenorio, Jervy Cruz and Scottie Thompson - scored for the Kings. With the Hotshots keeping their domination of the Kings in the fourth quarter, coach Tim Cone rested Tenorio, Thompson, Sol Mercado, Joe Devance and Aguilar with still long minutes left to play. From 17 points down, the Kings managed to come within seven in the last two minutes on the energy and firepower provided by JayJay Helterbrand (180-PG-76, college: Kentucky St.), Mark Caguioa (185-G-79, college: Glendale CC, AZ), Paolo Taha (188-G-90), Chris Ellis and Dave Marcelo. But the Hotshots just won't be denied despite the flat start of Marc Pingris, Allein Maliksi (190-F-87) and Paul Lee. Pingris picked up three early fouls while Maliksi fired blanks but the Star reserves picked up the slack as the Hotshots led 49-45 at the turn. Right upon substituting Pingris, Rodney Brondial rattled in eight points then PJ Simon, Jio Jalalon, Justin Melton, Ian Sangalang, Aldrech Ramos and Rome dela Rosa also made buckets as the Star bench outscored its Ginebra counterpart, 29-14, in the first two quarters of play. Pingris incurred two fouls in the first four minutes of the game then drew a third one just 14 seconds after he checked back in the second quarter. Reavis helped hold the fort for Star in the first half with nine points and seven rebounds as against Aguilar's 13 markers and three boards. Courtesy of: pba.ph
The 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals closed with a bang as Star, TNT, and Ginebra completed the semifinal cast. Game Capsules: STAR HOTSHOTS over PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS, 91-71 The Star Hotshots just seem to have Phoenix's number as they cruised to another blowout of the Fuel Masters, 91-71, to secure their place in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup semifinal round on Monday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. Paul Lee led the way with team-highs of 17 points and nine assists while Marc P... [read more]
The 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals closed with a bang as Star, TNT, and Ginebra completed the semifinal cast.
STAR HOTSHOTS over PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS, 91-71 The Star Hotshots just seem to have Phoenix's number as they cruised to another blowout of the Fuel Masters, 91-71, to secure their place in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup semifinal round on Monday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Paul Lee led the way with team-highs of 17 points and nine assists while Marc Pingris added 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting alongside nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Ian Sangalang and rookie Jio Jalalon each chipped in with 11 markers apiece in the win. (Interaksyon.com)
TNT KA TROPA over GLOBALPORT BATANG PIER, 95-90 TNT KaTropa weathered a storm by the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 95-90, to punch a ticket to the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Monday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Ranidel De Ocampo spearheaded TNT with 25 points as KaTropa, who swept the best-of-three quarterfinal series, turned back a monster rally by the Batang Pier who came back from a 20-point deficit.
With the win, TNT forged a semifinal duel with defending champion San Miguel. (Interaksyon.com)
BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS over ALASKA ACES, 108-97 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel completed its massive comeback from a twice-to-beat disadvantage, toppling the Alaska Aces for the second time in a row, 108-97, to book the remaining Oppo PBA Philippine Cup semifinals ticket on Tuesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The result set up a dream Manila Clasico semifinal clash between the Gin Kings and fierce rival Star Hotshots.
LA Tenorio topped Ginebra with a career-high 31 points while Aljon Mariano had a huge contribution of 20 points, also a career-high, together with eight boards as they lifted the No.7 Gin Kings to an impressive upset of No.2 Alaska.
Rookie Kevin Ferrer also scored 15 points as he and Mariano helped provide spark to Ginebra who missed Joe Devance (left foot injury) and whose main players in Japeth Aguilar and Sol Mercado battled foul trouble. (Interaksyon.com)
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