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02-13-2008, 09:13 AM
PBA's HOT and COLD Players



By waylon galvez
mb.com.ph


The Smart-PBA Philippine Cup semifinal is over. Surviving the grueling pair of do-or-die games to arrange the titular showdown are Purefoods TJ Hotdogs and Sta. Lucia Realty.


The past week, particularly in Game 7, saw tremendous performances by several players from both teams that propelled the Giants and the Realtors to the best-of-seven Finals series, which begins Friday.

A rookie point guard stepped up big time that someone thought he was a veteran player.

Also shining in the week that was were three others, including two veterans who reestablish their status in the league.


HOT

RYAN REYES

Guard, Sta. Lucia Realty

Showing no sign of the knee injuries that have bedeviled him in the past, the 6-foot-1 rookie rose to the occasion at the most crucial game of the series, coming through with 21 points and four rebounds to help Sta. Lucia Realty beat Alaska in their deciding game, 92-84.

Averaging just 5.8 points in the first six games of the series, Reyes, Sta. Lucia’s first round pick and third overall in last year’s Rookie Draft, suddenly went hot, making 5-of-9 from the field and 8-of-10 from the foul line to keep the Aces at bay.

He was also effective in orchestrating the team’s offense.


KELLY WILLIAMS

Forward, Sta. Lucia Realty

Although he had trouble getting his offensive rhythm humming early in Game 7, the former Rookie of the Year still managed to produce his regular output, particularly in helping turn back the Aces’ repeated rallies.

A strong contender for Best Player of the Conference award, Williams finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds despite his horrible shooting in the first quarter. In the end, he was close to his averages during the first six games where he normed 21.3 points and 10.3 rebounds.


JAMES YAP

Guard, Purefoods TJ Hotdogs

The 2006 Most Valuable Player (MVP) winner again posted MVP-type numbers in Game 7 with 28 points as the Giants downed Red Bull, 83-71.

Known as ‘Boy Thunder’ in the league, Yap struck hard when it mattered most, making 12-of-26 from the field which he highlighted by four three-pointers, while adding six rebounds and three assists.

Yap, who averaged 20.3 points in the first six games of the series, also played solid defense on Kiko Adriano, who was limited to 13 points after scoring a career-best 29 points in Game 6 which the Bulls won by a wide margin.


MARC JEAN PINGRIS

Forward, Purefoods TJ Hotdogs

The former Most Improved Player winner easily redeemed himself from a mediocre performance in Game 6 with his splendid showing in Game 7.

With his father-in-law Vic Sotto watching on the sidelines, Pingris raised his game several notches to the delight of Purefoods supporters.

He logged in 18 points and 14 rebounds in 46 minutes of play. The 6-foot-4 forward was also responsible for making life miserable for Red Bull top gunner Cyrus Baguio. He held Baguio to just seven points.


COLD

WILLIE MILLER

Guard, Alaska

After averaging 22.7 points in the first six games of the series, the league’s reigning MVP was a huge disappointment for Alaska in the deciding Game 7.

Unable to shake off Sta. Lucia’s pesky defense, Miller made only five of 14 attempts, including 0-of-4 from the trifecta zone. He also turned the ball thrice.


REYNEL HUGNATAN

Forward, Alaska

After scoring 14 points in a 106-87 win in Game 6 that forced sudden-death, Hugnatan struggled in the seventh game of the series with only eight points, shooting just 2-of-8 from the field. It was the smothering defense of Sta. Lucia that made it difficult for the 6-foot-5 forward to score at the post for Alaska.


CYRUS BAGUIO

Guard, Red Bull

He averaged 17 points in the first six games of the semifinals, but in the crucial Game 7, the one-time University of Santo Tomas (UST) stalwart turned ice-cold.

Baguio was held to just seven points on 3-of-11 shooting from the field. He was simply out of synch he committed four turnovers.

Nike Air
02-13-2008, 05:57 PM
X-factor talaga si Ryan Reyes nung series nila against Alaska. The guy is an effective combo guard and was a match-up problem for either Cariaso or Miller/Cortez. Malaki katawan nung bata at kayang-kaya makipagbanggaan sa loob even if he plays more of the two-guard spot.

Kelly Williams' energy on the other hand will be the crucial match-up against Pingris for the championship series. He edged out Hugnatan, Thoss, and the other SF-PF-C's of Alaska in the series. Actually, all four players will be the players to watch-out for in the championship series but then you have to look at Chico Lanete/Richard Yee/Noy Castillo for example in Purefoods and Nelbert Omolon/Denok Miranda/Joseph Yeo for Santa Lucia as the other X-factors that might swing the series in favor of their respective teams.