A few days after they got robbed right inside the Mall of Asia Arena, the Meralco Bolts rebounded by finishing strong and beating the Air21 Express. Sol Mercado and Mac Cardona combined for 42 points to lead the Bolts, now at 3 wins and 2 losses, while Reynel Hugnatan and Jay-R Reyes paired up for 17 points and 24 rebounds down low.
Meralco employed great defense here, limiting all but one Express player to single digits (John Wilson netted 16 points), while also forcing 19 Air21 turnovers. Meralco coach Ryan Gregorios wards shot a blistering 41% from beyond the arc, highlighted by a combined 10 treys from Mercado, Cardona, and Ronjay Buenafe.
In the second game, the Boosters relied on steady execution in the second half to turn back the tough-fighting Ginebra Kings. Alex Cabagnot came through this time around, seemingly responding to the call-out made by teammate Arwind Santos after their previous loss, scoring 25 points while dishing out 9 assists. For his part, Santos recorded a monster double-double, scoring 22 markers, collaring 17 rebounds, and blocking 2 shots. Former Gilas standout Chris Lutz, who engaged Ginebra ace Mark Caguioa in a word war throughout the match, also did well, putting up 18 points. Former Green Archer Joseph Yeo, meanwhile, hit 4 triples on his way to finishing with 16 markers.
Caguioa led the Kings with 23 points, but he shot just 9-of-25 from the field. LA Tenorio also had a good game, bouncing back from his subpar performance last Friday by recording 15 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds. It was all for naught, however, as Ginebra fell for the third time in a row after winning its first two assignments.
Game Recaps: MERALCO BOLTS over AIR21 EXPRESS, 85-72
Meralco notched a win that somehow eased the pain on its horrific experience from its previous trip at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Bolts vented their ire on the Air 21 Express for an 85-72 win in the 2013 PBA Philippine Cup, coming out winners this time at the state-of-the-art venue in Pasay City.
We defended well today. We defended our things well and the numbers put up by Air 21 are not so significant, said Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio, who was among Bolts member victimized by thieves who ransacked their locker room last Wednesday, during halftime of their 105-104 loss to GlobalPort.
After that harrowing experience, we were able to bounce back strong, came out with better focus, competed and played good basketball.
Gregorio blamed himself on their one-point loss to Batang Pier but his players came out with better focus and determination for 48 minutes to claim their third win in five matches.
With Meralco management deploying its own security personnel for the locker room, the Bolts were able to concentrate on the battle on the court.
Solomon Mercado finished with a game-high 24 points spiked by five three-pointers, while Mark Cardona and Ronjay Buenafe contributed 18 and 13 points, respectively, for the Bolts
Reynel Hugnatan also came up huge for Meralco with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
John Wilson was the lone Air 21 player in double figures with 16 points. The Express win-loss record dropped to 1-4.
Air 21 was in the thick of things early in the fourth quarter, trailing 63-59, before Hugnatan and Cardona joined forces for a decisive 16-3 burst to pull away from a tight contest with 5:13 left in the game.
Were lacking consistency right now. We can compete in certain level but we cant execute down the stretch, said Express coach Franz Pumaren. I guess the players are still feeling each other.
PETRON BLAZE BOOSTERS over BGY. GINEBRA KINGS, 98-95
Arwind Santos scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, while Alex Cabagnot added 25 points as Petron snapped its two-game Philippine Cup losing streak with a 98-95 victory over Ginebra Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The victory came just two days after Santos called out his teammates for lacking heart. In earlier comments to InterAKTV, he specifically mentioned Cabagnots play.
After the game, Santos stood by his statements.
Alam niya naman kung bakit ako nagsalita ng ganoon. Alam niya naman ang pagkatao ko, said Santos.
Sana yung pagkakabitaw ko ng salitang yun, sana magtuloy-tuloy pa. Sana maintindihan nila ako. Sabi ko kay Alex, Prove it to me.
Petron was up in the fourth quarter, 89-80, on a layup by Joseph Yeo, before Ginebra rattled off an 11-2 run to come within two points. A putback by Willie Wilson a couple of plays later tied the game at 95-all.
Petron regained the lead on a layup by Joseph Yeo, before LA Tenorio threw the ball away in the ensuing possession with less than 10 seconds to go. Ginebra sent Cabagnot to the line, and the Boosters point guard split his free throws.
Mark Caguioa had one last shot to tie the game for Ginebra, but his three-point attempt hit the back of the iron, allowing Santos to collar the rebound to seal the win.
Cabagnot added eight assists, while Chris Lutz had 18 points. Yeo chipped in 16 points, including four three-pointers.
I think Petron plays better with an injured lineup, said Boosters coach Olsen Racela, who lost veteran Danny Ildefonso during the game due to a dislocated left shoulder. The team is already without top pick June Mar Fajardo, who underwent an operation for his swollen scrotum.
It really shows the character of the team. Everyone is helping out, added Racela.
It was Ginebras third consecutive loss after winning its first two Philippine Cup assignments. Petron moved into a tie with the Gin Kings in the standings with similar 2-3 win-loss records.
The 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup continued to heat up this week. Phoenix had a big upset win over SMB last Wednesday, while Rain or Shine also throttled past Mahindra. Just last night, it was GlobalPort who prevailed over Star even as TNT handed Blackwater its first loss of the season. Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon): PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS over SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN, 92-85 The Phoenix Fuel Masters got a big game from JC Intal plus some key contributions from Simon Enciso and a few... [read more]
The 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup continued to heat up this week. Phoenix had a big upset win over SMB last Wednesday, while Rain or Shine also throttled past Mahindra. Just last night, it was GlobalPort who prevailed over Star even as TNT handed Blackwater its first loss of the season.
Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon):
PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS over SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN, 92-85 The Phoenix Fuel Masters got a big game from JC Intal plus some key contributions from Simon Enciso and a few others as they picked up a big win over the San Miguel Beermen, 92-85, in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Ynares Center.
Intal scored 22 points and made some clutch baskets while Enciso dominated in a red-hot stretch in the third quarter to finish with 15 points and nine assists.
Other strong performers included rookies Matthew Wright and Gelo Alolino, who scored 14 and 13 points respectively, and Willy Wilson, who only mustered six points but grabbed 18 big rebounds alongside four assists.
Reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo finished with 19 points and 24 rebounds to lead the Beermen.
Lines of the Game: Simon Enciso (PHX) - 15pts, 7rebs, 9asts, 5 triples. June Mar Fajardo (SMB) - 19pts, 24rebs.
RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO-PAINTERS over MAHINDRA FLOODBUSTER, 105-83 James Yap finally made his much-anticipated debut for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters who put on an epic shooting display, pouring in a total of 18 three-pointers to drown the hapless Mahindra Floodbuster, 105-83, in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Yap, who missed Rain or Shine's season opener last week, contributed 10 points and achieved a career milestone by moving to fifth on the all-time three-pointers made list in his first game since being traded by his former long-time squad Star Hotshots in a blockbuster deal during the off-season.
Jericho Cruz scored 14 of his 15 points in the first half, spiked by four triples, as well as three rebounds and four assists to lead Rain or Shine's balanced attack that saw 14 of its 15 players make at least one field goal.
Alex Mallari had a double-double of 10 points and 10 boards to lead Mahindra which dropped its second straight game. Philip Paniamogan also had 10 points, while rookie Russell Escoto grabbed eight boards along with his 10 markers.
Lines of the Game: Maverick Ahanmisi (ROS) - 14pts, 4rebs, 4asts, 1stl. Alex Mallari (MAH) - 10pts, 10rebs, 1stl.
GLOBALPORT BATANG PIER over STAR HOTSHOTS, 91-84 The GlobalPort Batang Pier leapt out to a huge lead in the first quarter and did enough to protect it the rest of the way as they beat the Star Hotshots, 91-84, in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Stanley Pringle scored 24 points - 12 of those in a blistering first quarter for the Batang Pier - while Terrence Romeo added 18 points and eight assists, though he did have seven turnovers.
KG Canaleta added 12 markers and seven boards while JR Quinahan scored just six points but grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out four assists in a solid performance.
Marc Pingris and Aldrech Ramos paired up for 37 points to pace Star.
Lines of the Game: Stanley Pringle (GLO) - 24pts, 3rebs, 2asts, 2stls, 1blk. Marc Pingris (STA) - 19pts, 8rebs, 2asts, 2stls, 1blk.
TNT KA TROPA over BLACKWATER ELITE, 99-92 Jayson Castro made a triumphant return for the TNT KaTropa as they slammed the erstwhile unbeaten Blackwater Elite, 99-92, for a second consecutive win in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Mo Tautuaa and Castro each scored 20 points for TNT, which tied their victims in the standings at 2-1.
Tautuaa shot 8-for-12 from the field, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc while Castro had five rebounds and five assists. Ranidel De Ocampo added 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists in a strong showing.
Blackwater's super rookie Mac Belo, who led them to two straight wins to open the season, finished with 21 points and nine rebounds for the Elite in the loss.
Lines of the Game: Jayson Castro (TNT) - 20pts, 5rebs, 5asts. Mac Belo (BLA) - 21pts, 9rebs, 2asts, 1stl.
Mac Belo gets MVP of the Week award for Filipino PBA - 3 days ago
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Mac Belo (190-F-93) put on an amazing game in the last round for league's leader Blackwater and that's him to receive a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 2. The 23-year old forward had the game-high 25 points adding six rebounds for Blackwater in his team's victory, helping them to edge out Meralco Bolts (#10, 0-1), the league's bottom-ranked team 86-84. It allowed Blackwater to consolidate first place in the Filipino PBA. But it's just the very beginning of the season an... [read more]
Mac Belo (190-F-93) put on an amazing game in the last round for league's leader Blackwater and that's him to receive a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 2. The 23-year old forward had the game-high 25 points adding six rebounds for Blackwater in his team's victory, helping them to edge out Meralco Bolts (#10, 0-1), the league's bottom-ranked team 86-84. It allowed Blackwater to consolidate first place in the Filipino PBA. But it's just the very beginning of the season and Blackwater won both games without losing any. It's too early to say anything as the standings can be changed completely after next round. In the team's last game Belo had a remarkable 53.8% from 2-point range. He turned to be Blackwater's top player in his first season with the team. Belo has impressive league stats. He is in league's top in points (8th best: 21.0ppg) and averages solid 66.7% FGP.
The second most remarkable performance in last round's games was 27-year old center June Mar Fajardo (210-C-89) of SM Beermen. Fajardo impressed basketball fans with a double-double of 19 points and 24 rebounds. Bad luck as SM Beermen lost that game 85-92 to Phoenix (1-1). 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. Fajardo is one of the most experienced players at SM Beermen and has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 25.0ppg (#3). He also registered 16.0 boards per game.
The third best performed player last round was Lewis Tenorio (177-PG-84) of B.Ginebra (#9). Tenorio scored 27 points and passed six assists. Despite Tenorio's great performance B.Ginebra lost 103-108 to TNT Ka Tropa (#6, 1-1). But his team cannot count on just a single shooter as he also needs help of the other teammates. B.Ginebra can only dream about fighting for top spots in the league. They have awful season losing so far all 1 games. Too bad for Tenorio he does not play for a better team. But maybe if he did, his season stats would not be that high. The season just started for Tenorio as he played only first game. But it already looks like he can be team's leader.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Clifford Hodge (196-PF-88) of Meralco Bolts - 14 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists 5. Willy Wilson (188-G/F-81) of Phoenix - 6 points, 18 rebounds and 4 assists 6. Maverick Ahanmisi (188-G-91) of Rain or Shine - 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists 7. Ranidel deOcampo (197-F-81) of TNT Ka Tropa - 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists 8. Joe Devance (201-C-82) of B.Ginebra - 15 points, 4 rebounds and 9 assists 9. Earl Thompson) of B.Ginebra - 13 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists 10. JC Intal (193-C-83) of Phoenix - 22 points and 4 rebounds
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 Elite rookie Mac Belo (190-F-93) is turning out to be the real thing. The number one pick in the rookie draft scored 12 of his 25 points to lead a late comeback and win, 86-84, over the Meralco Bolts last Sunday (November 27, Manila time) in the first game of the double-header at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. The win notches the Elite's second victory in as many outings and best start in the franchise's young history. Belo, had an all-around effort adding six re... [read more]
The number one pick in the rookie draft scored 12 of his 25 points to lead a late comeback and win, 86-84, over the Meralco Bolts last Sunday (November 27, Manila time) in the first game of the double-header at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The win notches the Elite's second victory in as many outings and best start in the franchise's young history.
Belo, had an all-around effort adding six rebounds, three steals and two blocks, with the last from a Reynel Hugnatan's (193-F-78) layup attempt, in 36 minutes of play.
Denok Miranda (183-PG-82) added 11 points, capping the night with an off-balanced jumper in the ensuing play that broke the deadlock with 3.8 seconds left on the clock.
Ranidel de Ocampo (197-F-81) led the charge for TNT, who came down from 14 points in the payoff period to stun the Season 42 debuting Kings.
De Ocampo scored 15 of his 22 points in the comeback, rookie Roger Ray Pogoy (189-SG-92) and guard Larry Fonacier (185-F/G-82) added 15 points each.
TNT is still missing the services of top point guard Jayson Castro (180-PG-86).
Ginebra was led by LA Tenorio (177-PG-84) who registered 27 markers, six assists, three rebounds and two steals while Japeth Aguilar (206-C-85, college: W.Kentucky) and Joe Devance (201-C-82, college: UTEP) contributed 15 points each in a losing effort.
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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