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 number one in Philippines for round 8 - 2 hours 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.
Ginebra lit up Iloilo in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup, beating Meralco, 83-72, for their third win in seven games. Game Capsules: BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS over MERALCO BOLTS, 83-72 The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings took care of business against their rivals from the previous PBA finals, dumping the skidding Meralco Bolts, 83-72, in an out-of-town Oppo PBA Philippine Cup battle on Saturday in Iloilo City. Joe Devance led Ginebra with 19 points, including a basket that allowed him... [read more]
Ginebra lit up Iloilo in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup, beating Meralco, 83-72, for their third win in seven games.
BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS over MERALCO BOLTS, 83-72 The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings took care of business against their rivals from the previous PBA finals, dumping the skidding Meralco Bolts, 83-72, in an out-of-town Oppo PBA Philippine Cup battle on Saturday in Iloilo City.
Joe Devance led Ginebra with 19 points, including a basket that allowed him to hit a career scoring milestone by joining the PBA's 5,000-point club with a jumper in the fourth quarter.
LA Tenorio added 18 points while Japeth Aguilar tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Scottie Thompson had a huge showing as well, scoring just seven points but grabbing 16 big rebounds and dishing out seven assists, both game-highs.
With the win, Ginebra improved to 4-4 while dropping cellar-dwelling Meralco down to 2-7 after a sixth consecutive defeat.
Reynel Hugnatan led the Bolts with 18 points while Chris Newsome had 14 but neither player shot well from the field. The two Meralco players only scored 12 of their combined points total off of field goals with the other 20 of their points coming from the free throw line. (Interaksyon.com)
Lines of the Game: Japeth Aguilar (GIN) - 17pts, 12rebs, 1blk. Chris Newsome (MER) - 14pts, 9rebs, 4asts, 1stl, 1blk.
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