The key match-up in last nights main game between the San Mig Coffee Mixers and the Rain or Shine Elasto-Painters was between two of the sweetest shooting players this side of the basketball world James Yap and Jeff Chan. Chan pretty much outplayed Yap the whole game, but Yap ended up with the last laugh as the Mixers pulled out a 1-point win after a frantic finish that saw the referees review at least two calls in the last minute alone.
This got me thinking about the best shooting guards in the local pro game today. Sure, Yap and Chan are two of the most easily recognizable names when it comes to PBA shooters, but who are the other notable off-guards out there? Effective shooting guards need not be smooth-as-silk snipers, of course. They can be great lock-down defenders or agile penetrators, too.
Lets look at some of the PBAs best shooting guards NOT named James Yap and Jeff Chan.
Willie Miller (BAR) 17.7ppg, 6.3rpg, 6.2apg, 40.4 3pt%, 37.06 EFF The Olongapo native is all of 35 years old, but hes still one of the best and wiliest guards out there. He actually has the second-best EFF rating overall, right behind Petrons Arwind Santos (41.73 EFF).
Sol Mercado (MER) 19.8ppg, 6.6apg, 1.1spg, 35.1 3pt%, 35.87 EFF The one-time Gilas starting guard continues to weave his way past defenders and make a beeline to the hole for the Bolts. He currently leads the league in BOTH scoring and assists.
Cyrus Baguio (ALA) 15.8ppg, 4.2rpg, 2.9apg, 1.1bpg, 37.5 3pt%, 33.29 EFF The former Growling Tiger and Iligan City native is currently having his best season in an Alaska uniform. He still jumps way high, but he doesn't just use his hops for aerial acrobatics. Baguio has also been swatting shots quite well this season as hes currently the fourth-best shot-blocker in the league.
Mark Caguioa (GIN) 18.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.0spg, 32.60 EFF Caguioa is enjoying his best season since 2008, though a quick glance at his stat-line reveals that, unlike the three guys above him on this list, The Spark is pretty much a one-sided player. His 28.3% 3pt shooting is also a personal-worst since the 2009-2010 season.
Mac Cardona (MER) 13.7ppg, 4.9rpg, 2.6apg, 47.9 FG%, 36.4 3pt%, 29.74 EFF Mercados backcourt mate makes his way on this list by virtue of his outstanding efficiency on the offensive end. His field goal percentage should belong to a big man, while his 3pt shooting is a clear improvement over last seasons 28.6% accuracy. If theres a chink in Captain Hooks armor, however, its his FT shooting he makes under 64% of his charity attempts.
*This list was limited to those listed as SHOOTING GUARDS according to PBA-Online.net. Chris Lutz, who had a pretty high EFF rating was listed as a FORWARD.
Game Recaps: BARAKO BULL ENERGY COLAS over BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS, 83-79
Barako Bull held off a late charge by Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to come away with an 83-79 victory Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The win comes at a crucial time for Barako Bull, which snapped a four-game losing streak to move into a tie with idle Air 21 for the final quarterfinal spot with identical 4-9 records. The Energy Colas did it at the expense of what had been the hottest team in the tournament, as Ginebra had won five straight matches coming into the game.
Siguro dahil sa napakagandang laro ng Ginebra last time, the tendency is to go down. But without taking away the effort of the players, we really played a hell of a defense. Ngayon pa lang gumagana yung defense na gusto naming mangyari, which we tried to adopt ever since my good friend coach Junel Baculi was coaching the team, said Barako Bull coach Bong Ramos, who won his first PBA game since returning to the helm of the squad.
Our defense was there even during our game against Meralco where we limited Sol Mercado, the No.1 scorer in the league as well as Mark Cardona and Ronjay Buenafe. Sadly, nakalusot lang yung mga role players nila, like Kelly Nabong.
Barako Bull led for most of the first half, before Ginebra opened with a hot third quarter to briefly take the lead, 39-38, on a Rico Maierhofer layup. But the Energy Colas ended the period with a 13-7 run to take a 52-45 advantage heading into the final period.
The rampage continued for Barako Bull in the fourth quarter, pushing the lead to 11 points, 58-47, on a Ronald Tubid three-pointer. Mark Caguioa scored four points in a quick 6-2 Ginebra run, before Barako Bull rattled off a 10-2 blast to take its biggest lead, 70-55.
There was plenty of fight left in Ginebra, which rallied with Caguioa on the bench once more to cut the Barako advantage to just five points, 76-71. But Roger Yap, who scored 14 points and handed out five assists, hit a crucial three-pointer with less than a minute left to push the lead out of reach, 79-71.
Ronald Tubid scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures for Barako Bull, while Leo Najorda had 12 of his 14 points in the second half.
Ginebras win-loss record dropped to 7-6 into a three-way tie for fourth to sixth places with Alaska and Meralco.
SAN MIG COFFEE MIXERS over RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO-PAINTERS, 93-92
The San Mig Coffee Mixers tightened its grip on second place in the Philippine ciup standings, but not before surviving a scare from the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 93-92, Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
It was the ninth win in 12 games for the Mixers, who had to make two crucial defensive stops in the last nine seconds to come away with the victory.
San Mig Coffee squandered a double-digit fourth quarter lead against Rain or Shine, which also rallied from a big deficit to win in the two teams first meeting.
The Mixers were still up four points, 93-89, with 11.5 seconds when Marc Pingris fouled Jeff Chan from beyond the arc. The Rain or Shine sharpshooter made all three of his free throws, before the Elasto Painters forced a turnover on Peter June Simon, the games top scorer with 24 points.
We didnt play smart in the endgame. We fouled on a three-point shot attempt, which is not a smart thing to do, said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone, who paid tribute to his counterpart Yeng Guiao after the match.
I was in a quandary in the last nine seconds. Coach Yeng Guiao made a smart move, calling two 20 seconds timeouts. I had to decide whether I have to make a timeout or not, If I do, then I wouldnt have a timeout to call in our next play, so I inserted our defensive unit in there.
Simons turnover gave the Elasto Painters two final chances to win the game, but Pingris foiled an attempt by Chan before Rafi Reavis forced Beau Belga into a miss.
Joe Devance added 20 points for San Mig Coffee, making up for the poor performance of top gun James Yap. The two-time Most Valuable Player scored just nine points on 3-of-15 shooting from the field and was miserable from the free throw line (3-of-7). But he had one crucial play down the stretch, intercepting the pass of rookie Chris Tiu, and converting on a lay up that gave San Mig Coffee a 92-86 lead inside the final two minutes.
With the win, San Mig Coffee moved a game and a half clear of Rain or Shine for second place, which comes with it a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. The Elasto Painters win-loss record dropped to 8-5.
Arizona Reid (ex SM Beermen) joins Urartu Yerevan - 10 hours ago
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BC Urartu Yerevan (Superleague 1) agreed terms with 30-year old American forward Arizona Reid (196-86, college: High Point). He played last summer at SM Beermen in Filipino PBA league. In 6 games he had very impressive stats: 34.7ppg, 11.2rpg, 4.5apg and 1.7spg. The last season he played at Pilipinas Agilas in Filipino league. In 15 ASEAN League games he was the best scorer with high stats: 24.3ppg and averaged 10.0rpg, 3.3apg (top 5) and 1.2spg. Quite impressive season as he was named to... [read more]
BC Urartu Yerevan (Superleague 1) agreed terms with 30-year old American forward Arizona Reid (196-86, college: High Point). He played last summer at SM Beermen in Filipino PBA league. In 6 games he had very impressive stats: 34.7ppg, 11.2rpg, 4.5apg and 1.7spg. The last season he played at Pilipinas Agilas in Filipino league. In 15 ASEAN League games he was the best scorer with high stats: 24.3ppg and averaged 10.0rpg, 3.3apg (top 5) and 1.2spg. Quite impressive season as he was named to Asia-Basket.com All-ASEAN League 2nd Team. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Reid won PBA Governor's Cup championship title in 2015. He was also voted Eurobasket.com All-Belgian League Import Player of the Year in 2015. Reid is quite experienced player. His career allowed him to visit three different continents, while he played in ten different countries. Reid tasted the life as pro basketball player in Europe, Asia and of course North America. He has played previously professionally also in Australia, Finland, Germany (Mitteldeutscher BC), Italy (Openjobmetis VA), Lebanon (Al Riyadi and Antranik), Saudi Arabia (Al Nahda), Switzerland (Fribourg and Monthey), Ukraine (Cherkasy) and Belgium (VOO Verviers-Pepinster). Reid attended High Point University until 2008 and it will be his ninth season as a professional player. On Reid:
A very versatile player, who can spend time in the 2, 3 and even the 4 position. He' s very athletic and can score from outside and inside. Thanks to his timing and leaping ability, he is also a very good rebounder for his size.
Fredette breaks Mighty Sports-PH's hearts in Merlion Cup final - 1 day ago
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Former NBA player Fredette Jimmer (188-PG-89, college: BYU) broke the hearts of Mighty Sports-Philippines in the Merlion Cup as he engineered a 78-77 victory for the Shanghai Sharks in the gold medal game of the tournament Sunday night at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. Fredette torched Mighty Sports-Philippines with 43 points, and hit three free throws with no time left to lift the Sharks to a come-from-behind victory. Mighty Sports, led by Al Thornton (203-F-83, college: Florida St.) and K... [read more]
Former NBA player Fredette Jimmer (188-PG-89, college: BYU) broke the hearts of Mighty Sports-Philippines in the Merlion Cup as he engineered a 78-77 victory for the Shanghai Sharks in the gold medal game of the tournament Sunday night at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. Fredette torched Mighty Sports-Philippines with 43 points, and hit three free throws with no time left to lift the Sharks to a come-from-behind victory. Mighty Sports, led by Al Thornton (203-F-83, college: Florida St.) and Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93), led by as much as 14 points, 69-55, in the fourth quarter before Fredette anchored Shanghai's comeback. Fredette sparked an 18-4 run, and assisted on the three-pointer that tied the game at 73 with still 3:52 left to play. Ravena handed Mighty Sports back the lead when he drained a three-pointer with 3:31 left while also drawing a foul from Fredette. He completed the four-point play to make it 77-73. Fredette cut the lead to two points with a lay-up in transition with 1:21 to go, and Ravena badly misfired on a triple that could have iced the game with still 40 seconds left. Needing to make one stop to seal the championship, Mighty Sports instead fouled Fredette as he was launching a three-pointer at the buzzer. The former Sacramento King coolly made all free throws to secure the victory. "We just wanted to get a good shot off, we wanted to get the last shot," said Fredette after the game. "My teammates did a great job of fighting hard tonight." "I had three (shots) to make two, that's the way I thought about it," he added. "Two puts us in overtime. My mentality was to go in there and that I had to make two." Thornton finished the game with 36 points for Mighty Sports. Courtesy of: abs-cbn.com
PH-Mighty Sports through to Merlion Cup finals after escaping Singapore Slingers - 2 days ago
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Philippines-Mighty Sports pulled off a tough 72-70 semifinal victory over hometown team Singapore Slingers to advance to the Merlion Cup finals on Saturday at the OCBC Arena in the city-state. Dewarick Spencer (193-G-82, college: Arkansas St., agency: Higher Vision Sports) fired 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter to pump life into Mighty Sports which, after a strong start, trailed by nine points in the third quarter. Filipino guards Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93) and Joseph Yeo (1... [read more]
Philippines-Mighty Sports pulled off a tough 72-70 semifinal victory over hometown team Singapore Slingers to advance to the Merlion Cup finals on Saturday at the OCBC Arena in the city-state. Dewarick Spencer (193-G-82, college: Arkansas St., agency: Higher Vision Sports) fired 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter to pump life into Mighty Sports which, after a strong start, trailed by nine points in the third quarter. Filipino guards Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93) and Joseph Yeo (183-G-83) also combined for five crucial points down the stretch that gave the Philippine club the lead for good. PH-Mighty Sports will take on the Shanghai Sharks led by former NBA player Fredette Jimmer (188-PG-89, college: BYU) for the title on Sunday in a matchup between the tournament's two unbeaten teams. PH-Mighty Sports started the game on a hot 7-0 run powered by slam dunks from Hamady N'diaye (212-C-87, college: Rutgers).. They finished the first quarter with a 21-15 lead. But the Slingers put the clamps on PH-Mighty Sports, limiting the Filipino club to just 12 points in the second quarter. The Slingers took a 36-33 at the break which they expanded to nine points, 44-35, in the early goings of the third frame. But just as the Slingers were about to pull away, Spencer woke PH-Mighty Sports up. He suddenly waxed hot on the floor, burying three triples and converting tough baskets to score 17 of the team's first 18 points in the third quarter. Yeo then scored a layup to complete the turnaround for PH-Mighty Sports which took a 53-46 lead. But the Slingers made their way back and trimmed their deficit to just two, 56-54, heading into the last quarter. It was a nip-and-tuck affair in the fourth period, with the teams exchanging leads. Big man Justin Howard gave the Slingers a 68-67 lead with just a minute left after shooting a surprise three-pointer off an awkward release. But Ravena countered it with a reverse layup. After a miss by the Slingers, Yeo then pulled up for a triple to push PH-Mighty Sports' lead to four, 72-68, with 36 seconds left. But the Slingers converted two free throws in the next play. Spencer then made a huge blunder in the inbound for a huge turnover that gave the Slingers a chance to take the last shot with just nine ticks left. However, the Slingers' Filipino import Jeff Viernes was called for steps in his drive to the basket, allowing PH-Mighty Sports to escape with the victory. Courtesy of: interaksyon.com
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