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.)
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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