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.
Meralco disposed of sister team NLEX and SMB survived Alaska sans an import two days ago in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup. Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon): MERALCO BOLTS over NLEX ROAD WARRIORS, 101-95 The Meralco Bolts got a solid outing from import Allen Durham and a surprising boost from point guard Baser Amer late in the game as they hurdled sister team NLEX, 101-95, in the 2016 Oppo PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. Durham finished with 31 poin... [read more]
Meralco disposed of sister team NLEX and SMB survived Alaska sans an import two days ago in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup.
Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon):
MERALCO BOLTS over NLEX ROAD WARRIORS, 101-95 The Meralco Bolts got a solid outing from import Allen Durham and a surprising boost from point guard Baser Amer late in the game as they hurdled sister team NLEX, 101-95, in the 2016 Oppo PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Durham finished with 31 points, 17 rebounds and five assists in another productive performance for Meralco, which improved to 5-3 for the conference after a second straight win.
Cliff Hodge added 17 points while four other Bolts - Jared Dillinger, Kelly Nabong, Chris Newsome and Bryan Faundo - all finished in double figures as well.
Amer, meanwhile, tallied seven points and seven assists. He started out 0-for-6 from the field before scoring seven straight points in the last minute and a half to help secure the win for the Bolts.
NLEX (3-4) was led by high-scoring import Henry Walker, who finished with 38 points and nine boards in a losing effort.
Lines of the Game: Allen Durham (MER) - 31pts, 17rebs, 5asts, 2 triples, 10/17 FGs. Henry Walker (NLX) - 38pts, 9rebs, 5asts, 2blks, 1stl, 8 triples, 14/26 FGs.
SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN over ALASKA ACES, 106-103 The San Miguel Beermen, playing without an import, leaned on two-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo to overcome the Alaska Aces, 106-103, and pick up a crucial win in the 2016 Oppo PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Fajardo scored 37 points - including 16 in a dominant fourth quarter - and grabbed 14 rebounds to pace San Miguel, which played without injured import Arizona Reid.
Alex Cabagnot added 17 points and made two big three-pointers in the endgame while Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
San Miguel moved up to 5-2 while the struggling Aces dropped down to 2-5.
Alaska import LaDontae Henton had a huge game with 45 points and 15 rebounds but could not make a winning shot in the end.
Lines of the Game: June Mar Fajardo (SMB) - 37pts, 14rebs, 3asts, 3blks, 1stl, 12/17 FGs. LaDontae Henton (ALA) - 45pts, 15rebs, 1stl, 1ast, 2 triples, 19/39 FGs.
Sanen Neophoenix (B League) strengthened their roster with addition of 31-year old American forward Robert Dozier (206-102kg-85, college: Memphis). He played most recently at Alaska Aces in Filipino PBA league. Dozier managed to play in three leagues in two countries last year. In 15 PBA games he recorded very impressive stats: 19.9ppg, 11.3rpg, 2.1apg and 1.9bpg. He also played that season for Le Mans in ProA where in 10 games he averaged 11.5ppg, 8.2rpg, 1.3spg and 1.3bpg. Dozier also p... [read more]
Sanen Neophoenix (B League) strengthened their roster with addition of 31-year old American forward Robert Dozier (206-102kg-85, college: Memphis). He played most recently at Alaska Aces in Filipino PBA league. Dozier managed to play in three leagues in two countries last year. In 15 PBA games he recorded very impressive stats: 19.9ppg, 11.3rpg, 2.1apg and 1.9bpg. He also played that season for Le Mans in ProA where in 10 games he averaged 11.5ppg, 8.2rpg, 1.3spg and 1.3bpg. Dozier also played 7 games in Eurocup where he had 8.9ppg, 5.1rpg and 1.0spg. He also spent pre-season at PAOK Thessaloniki (A1) in Greek league that year. In 2009 Dozier was drafted by Miami Heat (NBA) in second round (60th overall). He attended University of Memphis and it will be his eighth season in pro basketball. Dozier received Asia-Basket.com All-PBA Commissioner's Cup 2nd Team award in 2016. He is quite experienced player. Thanks to Dozier's pro career he managed to play on three different continents (Europe, Asia and of course North America) in four different countries. Dozier has played previously professionally in Spain (Sevilla), France (Cholet Basket), Greece (Kolossos) and United Arab Emirates (Al Shabab). The scouts decsribe him following way:
(by Adam Ganeles for NBADraft.net in 2009)
Has terrific hands and reads passing angles well, notching a theft a game for his collegiate career ... Lateral quickness is excellent. Has shown the ability to guard smaller defenders and pressure ball handlers.
Often overpowered at the defensive end but made up for it with movement and quick leaping ability ... Finishes adequately at the offensive end, but must add strength.
Phelps number one in Philippines for round 6 - 5 days 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 6.
The 26-year old player had a double-double of 49 points and 18 rebounds, while his team Phoenix maintains the 8th position in Filipino PBA. Phoenix is rather a weak team placed in lower part in the standings. But it was their 4th lost game this season out of 6 games. In the team's last game Phelps had a remarkable 65.4% from 2-p... [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 6. The 26-year old player had a double-double of 49 points and 18 rebounds, while his team Phoenix maintains the 8th position in Filipino PBA. Phoenix is rather a weak team placed in lower part in the standings. But it was their 4th lost game this season out of 6 games. In the team's last game Phelps had a remarkable 65.4% from 2-point range. He turned to be Phoenix's top player in his first season with the team. Eugene Phelps averages just after two games 37.5ppg, 18.5rpg and 4.5apg.
The second best player in last round's games was 28-year old American Justin Brownlee (197-F-88) of league's second-best Barangay Ginebra. Brownlee had a very good evening with a double-double of 31 points and 13 rebounds. Of course he led Barangay Ginebra to another comfortable win 101-87 over the lower-ranked Rain or Shine (#7, 3-3) being unquestionably team leader. This victory allowed Barangay Ginebra to move up to second position in the standings. His team's 5-2 record is not bad at all. Brownlee is a newcomer at Barangay Ginebra, but is already one of team's top players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 29.2ppg (#5). His other stats are also decent: 12.4rpg and 4.8apg. Former St.John's University star Brownlee is a former Eurobasket Summer League player, which is considered top international summer league in the market.
Third on the list of top players last round was American forward Allen Durham (198-F/C-88) of Meralco Bolts (#5). Durham got into 30-points club by scoring exactly 30 points in the last round. He went also for sixteen rebounds and seven assists. He was a key player of Meralco Bolts, leading his team to a 105-90 easy win against the lower-ranked Blackwater (#12, 1-6). Meralco Bolts needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 4 victories and 3 lost games. Durham has a great season in Philippines. After only 6 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 31.0ppg (3rd best), rebounds with 14.8rpg (4th best) and assists with 5.8apg (4th best). He also has 1.8bpg and FGP: 57.8%. Durham attended one of camps at Eurobasket Summer League on his way to pro basketball.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Arizona Reid (196-F-86) of San Miguel Beermen - 41 points and 15 rebounds 5. Henry Walker (198-G/F-87) of NLEX RW - 39 points and 13 rebounds 6. James White (203-F-93) of Mahindra E. - 23 points, 19 rebounds and 3 assists 7. Joel Wright (201-F-90) of Purefoods Star - 30 points and 22 rebounds 8. Mychal Ammons (198-F-92) of Talk N Text - 22 points, 18 rebounds and 3 assists 9. Arthur Dela Cruz) of Blackwater - 23 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists 10. LaDontae Henton (198-F-92) of Alaska Aces - 27 points, 9 rebounds and 2 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)
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