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.)
Marcus Simmons (ex Phoenix) signs at Drive - 18 hours ago
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Grand Rapids Drive landed 29-year old forward Marcus Simmons (198-98kg-88, college: USC, agency: Interperformances). He played in the summer at Phoenix in Filipino PBA league. In three games he averaged impressive 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 4.0apg and 1.0spg. Simmons ended the last season at the Bulls. But the most of that year he spent at another team Fort Wayne Mad Ants where in 49 games he had 6.6ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.6apg. In 2012 (a year after he left the college) Simmons was drafted by Frisco Te... [read more]
Grand Rapids Drive landed 29-year old forward Marcus Simmons (198-98kg-88, college: USC, agency: Interperformances). He played in the summer at Phoenix in Filipino PBA league. In three games he averaged impressive 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 4.0apg and 1.0spg. Simmons ended the last season at the Bulls. But the most of that year he spent at another team Fort Wayne Mad Ants where in 49 games he had 6.6ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.6apg. In 2012 (a year after he left the college) Simmons was drafted by Frisco Texas Legends (D-League) in sixth round (88th overall). The former University of Southern California standoutis in his sixth season in pro basketball. Among other achievements Simmons played in the final of D-League in 2015. He received also All-Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award back in 2011 at his college time. Simmons has played previously professionally in Japan (Yokohama B-Corsairs) and D-League (Canton Charge).
Fajardo number one in Philippines for round 8 - 1 day ago
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Center June Mar Fajardo (210-C-89) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for top-ranked SM Beermen, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 8. The 27-year old player had a double-double of 25 points and 17 rebounds, while his team beat Rain or Shine (#3, 5-3) 107-101. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. It allowed SM Beermen to consolidate first place in the Filipino PBA. SM Beermen have a solid 8-1 record. Fajardo has many years... [read more]
Center June Mar Fajardo (210-C-89) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for top-ranked SM Beermen, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 8. The 27-year old player had a double-double of 25 points and 17 rebounds, while his team beat Rain or Shine (#3, 5-3) 107-101. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. It allowed SM Beermen to consolidate first place in the Filipino PBA. SM Beermen have a solid 8-1 record. Fajardo has many years of experience at SM Beermen, through which he has constantly improved. June Mar Fajardo has solid league stats. He is in league's top in points (3rd best: 20.0ppg) and averages impressive 1.7bpg and 65.5% FGP.
The second best player in last round's games was 24-year old Terrence Bill Romeo (180-PG-92) of league's second-best Globalport. Romeo had a very good evening with 32 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Of course he led Globalport to another comfortable win 110-96 over the lower-ranked NLEX RW (#11, 2-6) being unquestionably team leader. This victory allowed Globalport to move up to second position in the standings. His team's 5-3 record is not bad at all. Romeo is one of the most experienced players at Globalport and has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 27.6ppg (#1). He also recorded 5.9 assists per game.
Third on the list of top players last round was forward Reynel Hugnatan (193-F-78) of Meralco Bolts (#12). Hugnatan scored 28 points and grabbed six rebounds. Despite Hugnatan's great performance Meralco Bolts lost 92-105 to slightly higher-ranked Mahindra (#10, 2-5). But his team cannot count on just a single shooter as he also needs help of the other teammates. Meralco Bolts can only dream about fighting for top spots in the league. They have extremely bad season and 2-7 record places them at the very bottom of the standings. Too bad for Hugnatan he does not play for a better team. But maybe if he did, his season stats would not be that high. Hugnatan has a very solid season. In 8 games in Philippines he scored 13.0ppg. He also has 5.6rpg, FGP: 51.8% and 3PT: 42.9%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Calvin Abueva (190-F-88) of Alaska Aces - 23 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists 5. Vic Manuel (193-F-87) of Alaska Aces - 25 points and 8 rebounds 6. Jayvee Casio (178-PG-86) of Alaska Aces - 23 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists 7. Arwind Santos (193-F-81) of SM Beermen - 17 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists 8. Mac Belo (190-F-93) of Blackwater - 21 points and 7 rebounds 9. Stanley Pringle (184-PG-87) of Globalport - 20 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists 10. Sean Anthony (193-F-86) of NLEX RW - 16 points, 9 rebounds and 5 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)
Blackwater continued their impressive rise in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup, while the Hotshots caught a big fish by winning over TNT. Game Capsules: BLACKWATER ELITE over ALASKA ACES, 103-100 The Blackwater Elite snapped a two-game losing skid after holding off a comeback attempt from the Alaska Aces, 103-100, to move back up the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup standings on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. Mac Belo scored 21 big points, including a crucial three-pointer that ended an... [read more]
Blackwater continued their impressive rise in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup, while the Hotshots caught a big fish by winning over TNT.
BLACKWATER ELITE over ALASKA ACES, 103-100 The Blackwater Elite snapped a two-game losing skid after holding off a comeback attempt from the Alaska Aces, 103-100, to move back up the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup standings on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Mac Belo scored 21 big points, including a crucial three-pointer that ended an 11-0 Alaska run, while Roi Sumang scored 19 points - 17 of those in the second half - to lead Blackwater to their fifth win in nine games this conference.
Ronjay Buenafe added 16 points, Art Dela Cruz chipped in with 13 while Raymond Aguilar added 10 for the Elite.
Calvin Abueva posted 23 points and 14 rebounds while JVee Casio also added 23 points to lead Alaska, which dropped behind Blackwater at 4-4. (Interaksyon.com)
Lines of the Game: Mac Belo (BLA) - 21pts, 7rebs, 2stls, 1blk, 2 triples. Calvin Abueva (ALA) - 23pts, 14rebs, 2asts, 1blk.
STAR HOTSHOTS over TNT KA TROPA, 88-77 The Star Hotshots turned in a terrific defensive performance as they shackled the TNT KaTropa for a crucial 88-77 victory in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Star got a total team effort with Ian Sangalang leading the way with 14 points while Aldrech Ramos and Allein Maliksi each added 13.
Paul Lee finished with 10 points while Jio Jalalon had nine. Mark Barroca finished with eight points but tallied a team-high five assists and Marc Pingris had seven but grabbed a team-best eight rebounds.
Where the Hotshots' effort stood out, though, on the defensive end, where they held the KaTropa way below their conference average of just over 100 points. Star only gave up 12 points in the first quarter and allowed just 15 in the fourth period in a strong defensive stand.
Star was able to hassle TNT star Jayson Castro to just 26-percent shooting from the field. Despite that, 'The Blur' was able to finish with 16 points thanks to 7-for-10 shooting from the free throw line.
Ranidel De OCampo scored a game-high 21 points for TNT.
With the win, Star (4-4) joined a five-team logjam at fifth to nine places, which also includes TNT after their defeat knocked them down as well. Star also snapped a two-game losing streak while TNT lost back-to-back games. (Interaksyon.com)
Lines of the Game: Aldrech Ramos (STA) - 13pts, 7rebs, 1ast, 1blk, 3 triples. Ranidel De Ocampo (TNT) - 21pts, 3rebs, 4 triples.
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