The way things are going, itll be pretty foolish to pick any team NOT named Talk N Text to romp through the competition and lift the Philippine Cup trophy. The Texters lost just two games in the elims, and they are one of only two teams with 3 or more players in the Top 15 of the Player Efficiency ladder (the other team is Alaska). And none of those players is even Jimmy Alapag.
Their opponents in the quarterfinals are the Air 21 Express, who lumbered into the Final 8 after beating the Batang Pier last Wednesday and after the Energy Colas lost to Rain or Shine two days later. Nio Caaleta exploded for 40 points in the Expresss win over Global Port, and coach Franz Pumaren will need him to be just as sharp against the deep roster of coach Norman Black.
In the next bracket, the 4-5 match-up pits the Meralco Bolts against the Alaska Aces, with both teams carrying identical 8-6 slates. They split their season series, with the average winning margin standing at just 5 points. With arguably the two top rookies (Meralcos Cliff Hodge versus Alaskas Calvin Abueva) going head-to-head, this should be one of the most exciting series to watch. Both teams are entering the Playoffs on winning streaks, but I think the Bolts should have a bit of an edge after beating the Mixers. This should be fun, and it should go the distance.
The other best-of-three series will pit Rain or Shine against Ginebra. Ginebra has the edge in depth, but RoS has more grit. One interesting thing here is the chemistry between Mark Caguioa and LA Tenorio. Their combination hasnt performed as strongly as, in theory, it should, but that may change when the stakes get higher. Right now, the Painters arent exactly doing well, too. They lost to the Kings and the Mixers before romping over the lowly Colas. Like the previous match-up, this, too, should go all the way to a third game. Im picking the Caguioa-Tenorio combo to finally kick into high gear and the Kings to move on.
Whoever moves on in that match-up will have a tough time in the semis, since theyre bound to face either the Mixers or the Boosters. In their only match-up in the elims, the Mixers practically dominated the Boosters until Petron made a rally in the fourth period. June Mar Fajardo put up a huge double-double, but his effort was pretty much negated by the great game of Yance De Ocampo. That will be a key match-up here along with those of Arwind Santos against Marc Pingris and the duo of Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter, who didnt play in the first meeting, versus San Migs James Yap and PJ Simon. I think the Mixers are going to be a little too tough for Petron, even if Im expecting Santos to have another big game. The Mixers need only one game to advance.
Game Recaps: RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO-PAINTERS over BARAKO BULL ENERGY COLAS, 116-101
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao was caught in heavy Friday traffic, failing to make it in time for the start of the Elasto Painters match against Barako Bull at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
But Guiao had specific instructions for chief deputy Caloy Garcia starting the game with seldom-used Jonathan Uyloan before bringing in the returning Paul Lee at the six minute mark in the first quarter and the tactical moves worked to perfection in an easy 116-101 victory.
Uyloan played the game of his career, finishing with 18 points, three steals, and two blocks, while Lee played as if he hadnt missed Rain or Shines past 18 games dating back to last season, contributing 16 points, six assists, and four rebounds.
They led six players who scored in double-figures as Rain or Shine finished the elimination round with a 9-5 record.
Unexpected naming ma-le-late si Coach Yeng, but when he called up, we thought na baka hindi na siya umabot, said Caloy Garcia, who took over the reins of the squad. His first instruction when he called up is to field in Paul Lee after six minutes, then have Jonathan starting for us.
The nice thing about this win was everybody stepped up.
Jervy Cruz also scored a career-high 23 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the field.
Jeff Chan and JR Quinahan each had 11 points while Beau Belga chipped in 10 for the Elasto Painters.
The loss eliminated Barako Bull (4-10) from playoff contention, giving the Air 21 Express (5-9) the last ticket to the quarterfinals.
SAN MIG COFFEE MIXERS over GLOBAL PORT BATANG PIER, 107-96
Needing to win one win to secure the twice-to-beat prize for the Philippine Cup quarterfinals, San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone knew his team would to struggle for it.
The Coffee Mixers did it the hard way, hacking out a 107-96 win against a GlobalPort squad that fought hard despite playing merely for pride Friday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Peter June Simon came up big, picking up the slack for the hurting James Yap with 27 points to lead the way for the Mixers, who formalized their hold of the No. 2 spot in the quarterfinal round.
I know it wasnt pretty, but its a lot harder than what people see from the outside, said Cone.
Theres the other team which has gotten loose and another team looked stressed. Looking at each other, you know theres going to be a real battle. Certainly, theres no easy games in the PBA.
San Mig Coffee did not get its rhythm going until the early part of the fourth quarter, when the Mixers outscored the Batang Pier, 34-18, to secure their 10th win in 13 games.
We just took care of business tonight. I told my players that all we have to do is walk out there and win. Lets not misunderstand our expectations. We dont have to win by 25 points, but we only need to win by one and win, said Cone.
The Mixers still have one game left on their elimination round schedule against the Meralco Bolts, but are locked into a playoff duel against the underachieving but dangerous Petron Blaze Boosters.
Anybody could pick a harder opponent, but Petron. Theres a saying that you dont choose who to play in the playoffs because you need to go through everyone of them, said Cone.
GlobalPort ended its campaign with just a lone win to show in 14 games.
SMC 107- Simon 27, De Ocampo 18, Pingris 14, Barroca 12, Ramos 8, Yap 8, Reavis 7, Devance 5, Intal 4, Villanueva 4, Gonzales 0. GLO 96- David 22, Al-Hussaini 20, Deutchman 13, Miller 13, Mandani 10, Salvador 6, Guevarra 4, Raymundo 2, Manuel 2, Lingganay 2, Yee 2, Vanlandingham 0. QS: 20-27; 47-49; 73-78; 107-96
MERALCO BOLTS over SAN MIG COFFEE MIXERS, 87-77
The Meralco Bolts took care of business Sunday, defeating the San Mig Coffee Mixer 87-77 at the SM Mall of Asia Coliseum to set up a quarterfinals showdown against the Alaska Aces.
With the Mixers already safely ensconced in the quarterfinals San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone opted to rest hurting superstar James Yap it was the Bolts who dominated the game for their eighth win in 14 contests.
Veteran forward Reynel Hugnatan led the way with 15 points and nine rebounds for Meralco, which finished with the eliminations with the same record as the Aces. The two teams will start their best-of-three playoff encounter on Wednesday.
We really put our spirit to a test. We wanted to come up with our best finish for our young franchise and break some barriers. True enough, we finished No. 4, said Gregorio.
But unlike San Mig Coffee, which has the luxury of resting its key players, including James Yap, we had to find ways to win.
The smaller Bolts had to outwork the bigger Mixers. Meralco outrebounded San Mig Coffee, 57-43.
Were a small team, so we have the mindset of rebounding by committee and thats exactly what we did tonight. In fact, we had six offensive rebounds to end the game, said Gregorio.
It was Hugnatan who hurt the Mixers more with his hustle plays and timely baskets. He had eight points in the fourth period, including an inside stab off a pass from Mercado that gave the Bolts an 83-71 lead, 4:11 left.
Meralcos victory means Rain or Shine will face Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the quarterfinals in another best-of-three series.
Both of those pairings will kick off Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
San Mig Coffee, meanwhile, will have twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals against Petron in the series that begins Thursday, also at the Big Dome.
TALK N TEXT TROPANG TEXTERS over BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS, 87-80
The Talk N Text Tropang Texters rallied to beat Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 87-80, Sunday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena to ride into the Philippine Cup quarterfinals with a victory under their belt.
Ali Peek had 16 points, 18 rebounds, and three blocks to lead Talk N Text, which came back from a 17-point third quarter deficit to book the victory.
The game held little meaning for either team, as both were locked into their respective quarterfinal matchups. But the two squads didnt play like it was a no-bearing game, with the action getting heated at several junctures.
Theres no such thing as a non-bearing game. The objective is to always give the paying customers their moneys worth. Ive been long enough in the league and I know our priority is the customers and win basketball games for them. We all owe it to the fans, said Talk N Text coach Norman Black.
The win was more about pride. Were the No. 1 team no matter what, but we may see this team down the road.
The Tropang Texters worked double time on defense in the fourth period, when they held their rivals to just two field goals.
Barangay Ginebras seven-point output in the final period is the teams lowest scored this conference. The Gin Kings last field goal came at the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter courtesy of Rico Maierhofer.
Talk N Text finished with just two defeats in 14 elimination round games, while Ginebras win-loss record fell to 7-7 to wrap up its campaign.
The Tropang Texters will play Air 21 in the quarterfinals, with the Tropang Texter enjoying twice-to-beat advantage. The series starts on Thursday.
You cant take any team for granted. I believe theyre better than their record, said Peek.
Ginebra will take on Rain or Shine in a best-of-three series that kicks off Wednesday. It marks the second straight year the two teams face each other in the Philippine Cup quarterfinals. The Elasto Painters swept the Gin Kings in two games last season in the final eight of the same tournament.
Fajardo's double-double lands him Player of the Week award - 5 days ago
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27-year old center June Mar Fajardo (210-C-89) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for SM Beermen and receives a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 3.
He had a double-double of 23 points and 22 rebounds, while his team beat Alaska Aces (#10, 0-2), the league's bottom-ranked team 93-88. SM Beermen is placed at 5th position in Filipino league. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost that single game earlier this season. SM Beermen will need mo... [read more]
27-year old center June Mar Fajardo (210-C-89) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for SM Beermen and receives a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 3. He had a double-double of 23 points and 22 rebounds, while his team beat Alaska Aces (#10, 0-2), the league's bottom-ranked team 93-88. SM Beermen is placed at 5th position in Filipino league. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost that single game earlier this season. SM Beermen will need more victories to improve their 2-1 record. Fajardo has many years of experience at SM Beermen, through which he has constantly improved. Fajardo has impressive league stats. He is in league's top in points (3rd best: 22.0ppg) and averages solid 57.6% FGP.
Second best performed player last round was Chris Newsome (187-G) of Meralco Bolts. He is a guard in his 2nd season at Meralco Bolts. In the last game Newsome recorded impressive double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds. Of course he led Meralco Bolts to another comfortable win 106-93 over NLEX RW (1-1) being unquestionably team leader. The season is still at the very beginning and this victory may help a lot. Let's wait for the next round. Newsome is well-known at Meralco Bolts and he already established his position as one of the team's leaders.
Third place about best performers goes to center Jean Marc Pingris (193-C-81) of Star Hotshots (#11). Pingris scored 19 points and grabbed ten rebounds. Despite Pingris' great performance Star Hotshots lost 84-91 to Globalport (#1, 2-0). But his team cannot count on just a single player as he also needs help of the other teammates. Star Hotshots can only dream about fighting for top spots in the league. They have awful season losing so far all 2 games. Pingris has a very solid season. In 2 games in Philippines he scored 13.0ppg.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Stanley Pringle (184-PG-87) of Globalport - 24 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists 5. Japeth Aguilar (206-C-85) of B.Ginebra - 23 points and 13 rebounds 6. Eduardo Daquioag (180-G-91) of Meralco Bolts - 23 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists 7. Ranidel deOcampo (197-F-81) of TNT Ka Tropa - 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists 8. JC Intal (193-C-83) of Phoenix - 24 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists 9. Jayvee Casio (178-PG-86) of Alaska Aces - 20 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists 10. Prince Caperal (197-PF-93) of Phoenix - 12 points and 17 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)
Action in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup remained hot this weekend with Meralco downing NLEX, SMB surviving Alaska, Phoenix tripping Mahindra, and Ginebra handing ROS its first loss. Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon): MERALCO BOLTS over NLEX ROAD WARRIORS, 106-93 Chris Newsome and rookie Ed Daquioag led a big Meralco breakaway in the fourth quarter as the Bolts trumped the NLEX Road Warriors, 106-93, in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. Ne... [read more]
Action in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup remained hot this weekend with Meralco downing NLEX, SMB surviving Alaska, Phoenix tripping Mahindra, and Ginebra handing ROS its first loss.
Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon):
MERALCO BOLTS over NLEX ROAD WARRIORS, 106-93 Chris Newsome and rookie Ed Daquioag led a big Meralco breakaway in the fourth quarter as the Bolts trumped the NLEX Road Warriors, 106-93, in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Newsome and Daquioag each scored 10 points in the fourth period, where Meralco went on a decisive 24-5 run to turn a tight contest into a rout.
That run included a string of 11 unanswered points, capped by a big three-pointer from Daquioag with 46 seconds left that pushed the lead up to 16 points, 103-87.
Newsome finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds and five assists while Daquioag added 23 points, four boards and three assists in the win, Meralco's first in two Philippine Cup games.
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao's squad had six players in double figures scoring, led by Sean Anthony with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Lines of the Game: Chris Newsome (MER) - 28pts, 10rebs, 5asts, 2stls, 2 triples. Sean Anthony (NLX) - 15pts, 8rebs, 2asts, 2blks, 1stl.
SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN over ALASKA ACES, 93-88 June Mar Fajardo and the San Miguel Beermen did just enough to get past an admirable stand from a depleted Alaska Aces squad, 92-88, to score get back on the winning track in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Alaska missed the services of Calvin Abueva and Sonny Thoss due to injuries while Vic Manuel and Ping Exciminiano sat out on team suspensions for playing in an unsanctioned event.
But that didn't stop the gutsy Aces from taking leads of as high as 15 points in the first half before San Miguel stormed back in the second half to secure the win.
Fajardo dominated for 23 points - 17 of those in the second half - and 22 rebounds as he towed his Beermen to a second win in three games.
Arwind Santos added 16 points, including a clutch jumper that tied the game in the final minute, and eight rebounds while Marcio Lassiter added 14 markers. RR Garcia, meanwhile, chipped in with 13 from off the Beermen bench.
Lines of the Game: June Mar Fajardo (SMB) - 23pts, 22rebs, 1ast, 1blk. JV Casio (ALA) - 20pts, 5rebs, 4asts, 2stls, 3 triples.
PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS over MAHINDRA FLOODBUSTER, 114-104 JC Intal and Matthew Wright waxed hot from downtown to propel the Phoenix Fuel Masters to a 114-104 victory over the lowly Mahindra Floodbuster in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Intal led all scorers with 24 points, seven rebounds and four assists off the bench while Wright followed it up with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists to lead the Fuel Masters (2-1) to their second straight win.
The two combined for 11 triples, six of which they hit in the first quarter where Phoenix began to run away before Mahindra gave them a very late scare.
Alex Mallari scored 19 points while Philip Paniamogan scored all of his 15 points in the first half for Mahindra. Ryan Arana and Joseph Eriobu added 12 markers apiece for Mahindra (0-3), which lost its first three games by an average margin of 18 points.
Lines of the Game: JC Intal (PHX) - 24pts, 7rebs, 4asts, 2blks, 6 triples. Alex Mallari (MAH) - 19pts, 4rebs, 2asts, 1stl, 2 triples.
BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS over RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO-PAINTERS, 81-74 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel launched a big 11-0 run in the fourth quarter to stifle the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 81-74, and pick up their first win in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Japeth Aguilar tallied 23 points and 13 boards to lead Ginebra (1-1) which spoiled the bid of Rain or Shine (2-1) for a 3-0 start.
Down by four, 74-70, with 4:08 remaining, Ginebra woke up starting with Aguilar's two free throws. Sol Mercado tied the score at 74-all on a jumper with 3:01 left.
Joe Devance then surprised his defender with a quick jumper, then Aguilar followed it with his own basket to give Ginebra a 78-74 lead with 1:05 left.
Devance added 13 points and eight boards for Ginebra which won the game despite missing all of its 14 three-point attempts.
Raymond Almazan scored 13 points while Yap chipped in 10 markers for Rain or Shine in the losing effort.
Lines of the Game: Japeth Aguilar (GIN) - 23pts, 13rebs, 1ast, 1blk. Raymond Almazan (ROS) - 13pts, 15rebs, 1blk.
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.
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