Nio Caaleta has all the tools to dominate in the PBA. At 66, he has the size to be the perfect stretch forward (i.e. a combo forward) in the PBA. With his handles, shooting, and leaping ability, Caaleta is a more versatile scorer than another comparable stretch Arwind Santos, though, admittedly, Santos is better at the dirty work. Theres a reason, after all, that Santos, one of Caaletas old rivals from the UAAP, is at the very top of the PBAs Player Efficiency ladder.
Still, Caaleta has gone a helluva long way from the unsure and inconsistent slotman he was in college. When he was still playing for the UE Red Warriors, he found it difficult getting overshadowed by the likes of FEUs Santos and Mark Isip, Adamsons Ken Bono, and even Ateneos Paolo Bugia and Doug Kramer. He was forced to play center and bang bodies under the boards when he had the skill set of a natural swingman. He was a rare find in local hoops, but he wasnt exactly being maximized.
Now, with a team devoid of the star power prevalent in the PBAs more ballyhooed squads, Caaleta finally has the time of day to really strut his stuff. The 6th overall pick in the 2005 draft currently has the second highest player efficiency rating in Air 21s roster (only Mike Cortez is better). He is averaging a career-high 29 minutes per game, registering, unsurprisingly, his best scoring numbers yet 14.7ppg. Hes also norming nearly 6 rebounds per game for the first time since his sophomore season back in 06-07.
And, get this, those were his numbers BEFORE unloading 41 (yes, FORTY ONE markers) on the hapless Batang Pier to go along with 7 rebounds. With him finally breaking out in the biggest way possible, is Nio Caaleta finally ready to realize his vast potential and rise to the uppermost echelon of stars in the PBA?
Game Recaps: AIR 21 EXPRESS over GLOBAL PORT BATANG PIER, 113-92
KG Canaleta outdueled Gary David in their scoring battle and the athletic swingman towed the Air 21 Express to a 113-92 victory over the GlobalPort Batang Pier Wednesday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-6, slam dunking forward set a new career-high with 41 points. He shot a steady 6-for-9 from beyond the arc, grabbed seven rebounds and came up with a highlight reel play that punctuated his big game against David, last seasons scoring champion.
When I got him (KG), I wanted him to prove himself and be considered as one of the top players in the PBA, said Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren. Hes really talented. It was just unfortunate that he played before for teams loaded with star players.
With this game, I hope it would be a springboard for him to play better in the playoffs, added Pumaren, whose team has already matched its total number of victories posted last season when the squad was known as Shopinas.com.
Canaleta set the tone early, scoring 21 points of his total output in the first half, the most scored by any player at the half this season.
With Canaleta catching fire, the Express, too, performed on a high level.
A backbreaking 18-2 run in the third quarter, capped by a jumper from James Sena, turned a close encounter into a rout and gave the Express an 80-59 lead.
The Batang Pier never recovered from there. The team lost its ninth straight game and fell to a 1-12 record.
When we lost the game to Ginebra, everybody was frustrated. Everybody came to practice really determined to bounce back to get ourselves in contention for a playoff spot, said Pumaren.
Good thing theyre out of the race already, but were wary of them and we dont want them to get their momentum because its so hard to play a team when theyre already out. But weve done our job today. We just have to wait depending on Fridays game.
GlobalPort will face San Mig Coffee in its final elimination round schedule on Friday at the MOA Arena.
A21 113- Canaleta 41, Sena 18, Reyes 12, arboleda 8, Omolon 7, Wilson 6, Cortez 5, Ritualo 5, Custodio 4, Isip 4, Andaya 2, Baclao 1, Atkins 0. GLO 92- Al-Hussaini 20, David 16, Manuel 11, Salvador 11, Mandani 8, Guevarra 5, Antonio 5, Yee 4, Miller 4, Lingganay 3, Vanlandingham 3, Vergara 2, Deutchman 0, Crisano 0. QS: 30-31; 60-55; 87-67; 113-92.
ALASKA ACES over PETRON BLAZE BOOSTERS, 79-71
Alaska has built a reputation in the Calvin Abueva era as a defensive, hustling team. Make the Aces the new comeback kids this time as well.
The Aces held the Petron Blaze Boosters to an all-time franchise low six points in the fourth quarter to complete a hard-earned come-from-behind victory on Wednesday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Down by 21 points in the closing minute of the third period, the Aces willed themselves to victory behind the efforts of JVee Casio, Abueva and Cyrus Baguio.
Casio and Abueva have recently returned from sick bay.
But neither injuries nor the Boosters could keep these Aces from spurring their team to a huge comeback win.
There were injuries all around, but these guys just willed themselves to victory. I was kind of quiet during the huddle and going through the motions, but guys just dont want to quit, said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo.
The Boosters were held down to only a single field goal for nearly nine minutes and saw their lead chopped down by repeated Alaska uprisings.
Arwind Santos broke the silence for the Boosters with a jumper, giving his squad a 69-63 lead.
JVee Casio scored on a triple to push the Aces within three, 69-66, but Chris Lutz had a jumper from the right corner.
That was the end of the line for the Boosters, though, who failed to score in the next 2:43 of the match and watched as the Aces scored the next 13 points.
Overall, the Boosters shot a measly 3-of-18 from the field (16.7%).
ALA 79- Baguio 20, Abueva 12, Casio 12, Hontiveros 10, Thoss 8, Espinas 7, Reyes 3, Baracael 3, Eman 2, Dela Cruz 2, Jazul 0, Laure 0, Belasco 0. PET 71- Lassiter 14, Santos 13, Cabagnot 11, Fajardo 10, Yeo 9, Miranda 8, Lutz 4, Ildefonso 2, Washington 0, Pena 0. QS: 19-25, 29-41, 46-65, 79-71.
Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from InterAKTV. (Writing credit to Rey Joble.)
TNT Ka Tropa lands Donte Greene, ex Arecibo - 15 hours ago
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Talk N Text Ka Tropa (PBA) tabbed 29-year old American forward Donte Greene (206-103kg-88, college: Syracuse). He played recently at Capitanes de Arecibo.In three games he averaged impressive 17.0ppg, 5.0rpg and 1.0apg in Liga Americas this season. In 2008 Greene was drafted by Memphis Grizzlies (NBA) in first round (28th overall). The former Syracuse University standout is in his ninth season in pro basketball. Among other achievements Greene won Dominican Rep. LNB championship title in... [read more]
Talk N Text Ka Tropa (PBA) tabbed 29-year old American forward Donte Greene (206-103kg-88, college: Syracuse). He played recently at Capitanes de Arecibo. In three games he averaged impressive 17.0ppg, 5.0rpg and 1.0apg in Liga Americas this season. In 2008 Greene was drafted by Memphis Grizzlies (NBA) in first round (28th overall). The former Syracuse University standoutis in his ninth season in pro basketball. Among other achievements Greene won Dominican Rep. LNB championship title in 2016. He received also Big East All-Freshman Team award back in 2008 at his college time. Greene is a very experienced player. And here thanks to pro basketball he experienced life in six different countries playing on three different continents. He is familiar with Asian, Latin American and of course North American leagues. Greene has played previously professionally in China (Leopards), Saudi Arabia (Uhud), NBA (Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings), Puerto Rico (Atleticos and Brujos), United Arab Emirates (Al Naser and Al Sharjah) and Dominican Republic (Leones de Santo Domingo).
James White gets MVP of the Week award for Filipino PBA - 16 hours ago
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American James White (203-F-93, agency: Aspire Sports) put on an amazing game in the last round for Mahindra and that's him to receive a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 2. The 23-year old forward had a double-double of 30 points and twenty three rebounds, while his team beat NLEX RW (#12, 0-3), the league's bottom-ranked team 89-81. Mahindra is placed at 6th position in Filipino PBA. Mahindra is rather a weak team placed in lower part in the standings. They need more vi... [read more]
American James White (203-F-93, agency: Aspire Sports) put on an amazing game in the last round for Mahindra and that's him to receive a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 2. The 23-year old forward had a double-double of 30 points and twenty three rebounds, while his team beat NLEX RW (#12, 0-3), the league's bottom-ranked team 89-81. Mahindra is placed at 6th position in Filipino PBA. Mahindra is rather a weak team placed in lower part in the standings. They need more victories to improve their 1-2 record. In the team's last game White had a remarkable 70.6% from 2-point range. He turned to be Mahindra's top player in his first season with the team. Georgia Tech graduate has very impressive stats this year. White is in league's top in points (3rd best: 30.7ppg), rebounds (4th best: 20.0rpg) and averages solid 2.3bpg and 57.6% FGP.
The second most remarkable performance in last round's games was 25-year old American forward Greg Smith (198-F-91) of Blackwater. Smith impressed basketball fans with a double-double of 34 points and 20 rebounds. Bad luck as Blackwater lost that game 88-95 to Rain or Shine (3-0). 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 28.3ppg (#4). His other stats are also decent: 22.0rpg and 3.7apg.
The third best performed player last round was American Jameel McKay (206-F/C-92) of Phoenix (#7). McKay got into 30-points club by scoring 34 points in the last round. He went also for twenty rebounds . Despite McKay's great performance Phoenix lost 82-101 to Star Hotshots (#4, 2-0). But his team cannot count on just a single shooter as he also needs help of the other teammates. The chances of Phoenix not to end season at such low position in the league, however are less than slim as they have already lost 2 games, recording just one victories. With bigger assistance of his teammates, McKay could try to bring Phoenix's a little bit higher in the standings. McKay has individually a great season in Philippines. After only 2 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 32.5ppg (2nd best) and rebounds with 15.5rpg (8th best).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Wayne Chism (206-PF-87) of NLEX RW - 28 points, 21 rebounds and 2 assists 5. Alex Stepheson (208-F/C-87) of Meralco Bolts - 20 points and 27 rebounds 6. Tony Mitchell (203-F-92) of Star Hotshots - 22 points, 17 rebounds and 2 assists 7. Cory Jefferson (206-F-90) of Alaska Aces - 28 points, 15 rebounds and 2 assists 8. Louis Amundson (206-PF-82) of TNT Ka Tropa - 20 points and 8 rebounds 9. Shawn Taggart (207-F-85) of Rain or Shine - 26 points and 12 rebounds 10. Sean Williams (208-F-86) of Globalport - 20 points and 14 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)
D-League: Jeruta sparks late rally as Cafe France extends semis - 3 days ago
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Aaron Jeruta (173-G) emerged as the spark Cafe France badly looked for, helping the Bakers nab an 86-75 Game 2 victory over Racal on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig and extend their 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup semifinals series. The veteran guard unloaded 10 of his 18 points in the fourth period as the Bakers fired a 16-4 finishing kick to steal the game from the Tile Masters. 'Aaron Jeruta stepped up. He's the only veteran in the team and this was his breakthrough game,' sa... [read more]
Aaron Jeruta (173-G) emerged as the spark Cafe France badly looked for, helping the Bakers nab an 86-75 Game 2 victory over Racal on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig and extend their 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup semifinals series. The veteran guard unloaded 10 of his 18 points in the fourth period as the Bakers fired a 16-4 finishing kick to steal the game from the Tile Masters. 'Aaron Jeruta stepped up. He's the only veteran in the team and this was his breakthrough game,' said coach Egay Macaraya. Jeruta also had six assists and four rebounds in the win, providing the help Macaraya begged from his locals for Congolese big man Rodrigue Ebondondo Tambwe (198-C/F). Ebondo paced Cafe France with 25 markers, 22 boards, and six blocks, while John Carlo Casino (178-G) added nine points. Paul Desiderio had a bad shooting night from the field, going on a 3-of-8 from the field, but drilled the pivotal trey with 1:07 left to push the Bakers to a comfortable 79-75 lead, after battling back from a 57-43 deficit in the third quarter. Game 3 is on Tuesday at the same venue. Rey Nambatac (179-G-94) topped Racal with 14 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, while Jackson Corpuz (193-F) and Allan Mangahas (180-PG) both had 12 in the loss. Courtesy of: inquirer.net
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