View Full Version : 2012 PBA PHILIPPINE CUP

Sam Miguel
09-11-2012, 01:43 PM
Never too early to get things going with the opening of Asia's first play-for-pay hoops league opening at the end of this month.

It should be interesting to see if the magic weaved by Yeng Guiao for Rain Or Shine will carry over into the all-Filipino conference of the PBA. He had a very good import in Jamelle Cornley in the last conference and this conference will test his local roster.

Also expected to make headlines is the man they call "The Kracken", Cebuano big man June Mar Fajardo. At 6-foot-10, Fajardo will literally be head and shoulders above the competition. With the sudden "retirement" of long-time superstar big man Asi Taulava, Fajardo is seen as the next generation dominant big man for the PBA.

Chris Tiu also makes his PBA debut, as the multi-media darling, long known as the "dirtiest player" in amateur basketball, will now get the chance to show he can play at this level.

LA Tenorio, who had a heck of a Jones Cup under Coach Chot Reyes, has a new home in Barangay Ginebra. How he gets along with incumbent hotshots Mark Caguioa and Jay Helterbrand will determine how long he stays with the Gin Kings. He will also have to ease rookies Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen into the pro game.

Here's hoping the 2012 Philippine Cup will open the league's 38th season up with a grand bang.

Sam Miguel
09-11-2012, 01:45 PM
Got this from Joe's post, just so everybody knows who went where as far as the draft picks:

First Round

1. Petron Blaze Boosters June Mar Fajardo
2. Alaska Aces Calvin Abueva
3. Petron Blaze Boosters Alex Mallari
4. Meralco Bolts Clifford Hodge
5. Barako Bull Energy Cola Aldrech Ramos
6. Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Chris Ellis
7. Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Chris Tiu
8. Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Keith Jensen
9. Global Port Batang Pier Vic Manuel
10. Global Port Batang Pier Jason Deutchman

Second Round

1. Air21 Express Yousef Taha
2. Barako Bull Dave Marcelo
3. B-Meg Llamados Jewel Ponferada
4. Global Port Batang Pier Alfred Mandani
5. Barako Bull Energy Cola Lester Alvarez
6. Barako Bull Energy Cola Eman Monfort
7. Meralco Bolts Kelly Nabong
8. Barako Bull Energy Cola Woody Co
9. Alaska Aces Raffy Reyes
10. Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters Jaypee Belencion

Third Round

1. Air21 Express Simon Atkins
2. Alaska Aces Karl Dehesa
3. Barako Bull Ryan Boado
4. Meralco Bolts Janus Lozada
5. Petron Blaze Mark Sarangay
6. Global Port Mark Acosta
7. Rain or Shine Raymond Austria
8. Barangay Ginebra Jerick Canada
9. B-Meg Llamados Gian Chiu
10. Talk ‘N Text Jason Escueta

Fourth Round

1. Alaska Aces Pass
2. Air21 Express Pass
3. Barako Bull Joseph Hermosisima
4. Meralco Bolts Eric Suguitan
5. Petron Blaze Pass
6. Global Port Jan Colina
7. Rain or Shine Jewel Palomique
8. Barangay Ginebra Paul Christian Zamar
9. B-Meg Llamados Ramon Mabayo
10. Talk ‘N Text Pass

Fifth Round

1. Air21 Express Pass
2. Alaska Aces Pass
3. Barako Bull Pass
4. Meralco Bolts Pass
5. Petron Blaze Pass
6. Global Port Virgilio Serios
7. Rain or Shine Pass
8. Barangay Ginebra Virgil Buensuceso
9. B-Meg Llamados Pass
10. Talk ‘N Text Pass

Sixth Round

1. Air21 Express Pass
2. Alaska Aces Pass
3. Barako Bull Pass
4. Meralco Bolts Pass
5. Petron Blaze Pass
6. Global Port Pass
7. Rain or Shine Pass
8. Barangay Ginebra Elliot Tan
9. B-Meg Llamados Pass
10. Talk ‘N Text Pass

Please feel free to correct any entries that may have gone on to other teams in subsequent trades / deals, and also to post updates as to who got and did not get signed.

Sam Miguel
09-11-2012, 01:48 PM
From the PBA Web Site ___

Guiao is the recipient of the Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan Trophy as the Coach of the Year while Yu
and Que get the Danny Floro Trophy as the Executives of the Year in the awards rites to be graced by
former Sen. Freddie Webb as guest of honor and speaker.

The blue-ribbon affair starts promptly at 7 p.m. with Sev Sarmenta and Erika Padilla as masters of

The firebrand Rain or Shine coach brings homes the Dalupan Trophy for the second time in 11 years
after engineering the breakthrough championship of the Asian Coating Inc. franchise in the PBA in
the season just past.

Smart Gilas II and its coach Chot Reyes receive special citation for their amazing title run in the
recent Jones Cup in Taipei.

Composed mostly of PBA stars, Smart Gilas II handed the country its first cage crown outside of the
Southeast Asian region in 14 years.

Reyes will be given a separate citation for being the first Filipino coach to win the Jones Cup. The
Philippines had its first two Jones Cup championships under coach Ron Jacobs and the third one under
coach Tim Cone.

Rain or Shine skipper Jireh Ibanes, Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa, Talk n Text’s Larry Fonacier and
Powerade’s Gary David are also major awardees as Defensive Player of the Year, Comeback Player of
the Year, Mr. Quality Minutes and Scoring Champ, respectively.

Also to be feted are Paul Lee, Jayvee Casio, Marcio Lassiter, Dylan Ababou and James Sena composing
the All-Rookie Team.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud, current board chairman Robert Non, immediate past chair Mert Mondragon
and other PBA officials are expected to grace the occasion.

Sam Miguel
09-11-2012, 01:51 PM
From the PBA Web Site ___

The Meralco Bolts have suddenly found themselves with a gaping hole in their roster with star center Asi Taulava deciding to play elsewhere.

Taulava declined Meralco’s offer of a two-year extension at the maximum salary, bidding the team goodbye after playing as a Bolt the last two PBA seasons.

A 13-year PBA veteran, Taulava actually bade the whole league farewell though there was no official word yet from his camp where they’re heading to. It’s either the Asean Basketball League or Chinese Basketball League.

“I just want 2 thank Boss MVP, Boss Vargas n management 4 everything dey have done 4 me n my family. Will always cherish my time w u guys,” said Taulava on his Twitter account.

“I would also like 2 thank Coach Ryan 4 da 2 years I spent with him. Learn a lot from him n will never 4get it coach. Appreciate it.

“I would like 2 thank Comm Salud n da Pba fam 4 giving me da opportunity 2 play in da PBA. PBA will always have a special place in my heart,” he also said.

Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio admits Taulava is a huge loss although they have prepared for this eventuality, getting JayR Reyes and Jason Ballesteros last season.

“We did what we had to do to get Asi back. But he still went to a different direction. We offered a max deal for two years and an assurance that he will have a life after his basketball is over in our organization,” said Gregorio.

“For every difficulty, there is an opportunity. Our big guys must step up. The sad thing is that our fans and the PBA in general will be robbed of an opportunity to see an icon play and finish his career in the PBA,” Gregorio also said.

One thing sure is that Meralco retains its rights on Taulava should the player decide to return to the local pro league.

“Commissioner (Chito) Salud said (Taulava) only becomes an unrestricted free agent in the PBA if he sits out a season without playing for any other team or any other league,” said PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial.

“It is not just a loss for Meralco, it is the PBA’s loss as well,” Gregorio said.

Taulava has really become a Philippine basketball icon, being a one-time PBA MVP awardee, 12-time PBA All-Star player and several-time member of the national team.

He has donned the national colors in two Asian Games (2002 Busan and 2010 Guangzhou) and three FIBA Asia Championships (2007 Tokushima, 2009 Tianjin and 2011 Wuhan).

Outside of his MVP award in 2003, Taulava has also been a three-time Mythical First Team awardee and two-time Mythical Second Teamer.

He was still in the thick of things in his 13th PBA season at 39, churning out solid averages of 8.2 points and 8.7 rebounds.

The Fil-Tongan player owns the league all-time best rebounding average of 11.67 through the 2011-12 campaign.

But as they say, good things never last.

Sam Miguel
09-11-2012, 01:54 PM
Alaska Milk and its chief playmaker eventually parted ways Friday as a result of a blockbuster multi-team trade deal that also involved two-time MVP winner Willie Miller and one-time BPC awardee Enrico Villanueva among others.

After thoroughly going over the trade papers, league commissioner Chito Salud gave the approval on the transaction jointly agreed upon by five teams.

“These trades are balanced and even. They will result in a more competitive league in terms of lineup strengths and potentials. As always, fundamental in my evaluation of trades is the parity among involved parties,” said Salud.

Movements approved by Salud are those of Barako Bull’s Miller for Ginebra’s Villanueva; Ginebra’s Miller plus 2014 first-round pick for Global Port’s Jayvee Casio; Ginebra’s Casio plus its 2015 second round pick to Alaska for Tenorio; and Petron’s Dondon Hontiveros for
Alaska’s Wesley Gonzales and Hans Thiele.

Practically all parties were happy with the deal, expressing readiness to move on.

“We wish LA well and thank him for his leadership while he was wearing an Aces jersey. He will be successful wherever he goes. At the same time, we believe Casio can bring a lot of dynamism to our team and has the youth to have a long career with Alaska," said Alaska team owner Wilfred Uytengsu.

“I have mixed emotions dahil, of course, napamahal sa akin ang Alaska. At the same time, excited ako to be with Ginebra. Syempre lahat ng players gusto maglaro for the league’s most popular team,” said Tenorio.

“It’s a new chapter in my career. Tapos na ang stress, concentrate na uli sa laro,” added Tenorio, finding himself reunited with his former San Miguel coach Siot Tanquingcen at Ginebra.

“Homecoming,” said Villanueva, who is returning to his original team Barako Bull.

“Sorry Petron, I didn’t get to really be of help last year. (I was) hoping it would be this year but things happen for a reason. Hello Alaska Aces,” said Hontiveros.

Tenorio believed Alaska got a good deal in exchange for him, Gonzales and Thiele.

“Ang ganda ng nakuha ng Alaska. Jayvee Casio and Dondon Hontiveros joining joining Cyrus Baguio, Sonny Thoss, Gabby Espinas, Mac Baracael, solid yon,” said Tenorio.

Alaska general manager Joaqui Trillo said they just took the good opportunity that came along.

"We have been approached by many teams for LA and they have all been denied because we felt LA was an integral part of our team,” Trillo said. "However, looking forward, we also see the promise of Jayvee and feel he can bring a lot to Alaska. So we are taking a leap of faith but a calculated one.”

Trillo was also elated at their acquisition of Hontiveros.

"Although approaching the twilight of his career, we believe Dondon still has a great game and will open things up for us with his great shooting and occasional penetration. Plus he is a good defender and has strong leadership skills."

The Aces have earlier added a couple of veteran Alaska returnees Nic Belasco and Eddie Laure.

Sam Miguel
09-11-2012, 01:58 PM
AFTER languishing in the cellar its maiden season in the PBA there is nowhere for Air21 to go but up.

And the Express made sure of that by securing a trade that netted the players they feel would help erase the stigma of them being the usual whipping boys by the league's more established team.

In the deal approved by PBA commissioner Chito Salud Thursday, Air21 nabbed big men Noy Baclao and Rob Reyes from Petron Blaze and wingmen KG Canaleta and John Wilson from Barangay Ginebra.

In return, the Boosters obtained center Magi Sison and playmaker Paolo Hubalde and Air21's 2014 second round pick while the Kings got forward Elmer Espiritu and the Express' 2013 first round draft rights.

"It will surely help us," said Air21 coach Franz Pumaren, whose team debuted in the PBA as Shopinas.com and promptly lost its first 14 games before winding up with a season-worst 5-27 win-loss slate.

"Last year we had a hard time defending big teams," added Pumaren. "KG will give us additional scoring."

Wilson, meanwhile, is set to take over Ogie Menor's role as the team's primary one-on-one defender.

It is not that Petron and Ginebra did not benefit from the trade initialized by the comebacking Lito Alvarez, Air21's new representative to the PBA Board.

The departure of Baclao and Reyes frees up minutes for Petron's top pick overall, 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo. Dorian Pena and Sison should be main relievers and Danny Ildefonso can slide over to the power forward spot.

Hubalde also adds depth to the Boosters' guard rotation that previously only boasts of Alex Cabagnot and Denok Miranda.

Espiritu is sure to bring his athleticism to Ginebra's wings, although the real catch in the trade should prove to be the first round pick, which, if Air21's positivity does not take concrete form, should prove to be a high selection.

Salud studied the trade proposal on his way to Taipei, where he is set to watch the games of Smart Gilas-Pilipinas 2.

With Salud and PBA Media Bureau chief Willie Marcial are chairman Robert Non, while vice-chairman Ramon Segismundo and Talk N Text representative to the Board Patrick Gregorio are set to follow Friday.

Sam Miguel
09-11-2012, 02:06 PM
^^^ Air 21 could actually use a lot more than the guys they have now. Nonoy Baclao and Rob Reyes are hard workers with good size and strength, but they are really more complementary players than true superstars in the Arwind Santos mold. Air 21 needs to have that one true superstar that can carry a team fulltime. Several years ago they had Santos and Gary David, and they should have just left it at that. Unfortunately, Air 21 has made a reputation for being the PBA's favorite trade bridge, and giving away superstars. Time for these guys to rebuild, for real.

Sam Miguel
09-19-2012, 11:09 AM
By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star)

Updated September 19, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Global Port, the new kid on the PBA block, is dreaming of a feat that’s only been achieved once in the league’s long, colorful history.

“We have the chance to win a title on our first year,” said Global Port team owner Mikee Romero during yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.

Romero, winner of seven straight PBL titles with his Harbour Centre team, knows it’s not an easy task but thinks that it’s no mission impossible.

“The big question for us is will we be another Cinderella team to come out as champion? That’s the question that I pose to my team,” he said.

At 41, Romero is the youngest team owner in the PBA, and it’s hard to underestimate the way he motivates his players, his team.

“I remember our fourth title in the PBL. In the final game we were down by nine points with only 50 seconds left against Hapee. During the timeout, I told my players it was our destiny, not the other team’s.

“We won. Since then, I never lost any hope of winning. In the PBA, we are new. We’re infants. But we will still go for it. We will fight all the way. We’re hoping for that Cinderella finish,” he said.

Only Coca-Cola has won a PBA title on its first year – in 2002. Other teams struggled six to eight years before finally winning a PBA title.

“Maybe we can shorten that (wait period). But you cannot say if it’s your destiny. You’re only a Cinderella team on your first year. After that you become a regular team,” said Romero.

He came to the forum with coaches Glen Capacio and Ricky Dandan, team manager BJ Manalo, team official Erik Arejola and players Willie Miller, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Rey Guevarra.

“We are a competitive team. Even in practice, we’re getting better every day. We have a chance to be in the semis or the finals. It’s nice to be part of this team,” said Miller, a well-traveled MVP in the PBA.

Global Port, which bought the Powerade franchise for P100 million, also has hotshot Gary David in the fold, a couple of promising rookies and old-timers out to prove their worth.

“We want to achieve great things in our maiden season. I think we’re headed toward that direction. Every single day we look for ways to improve,” said Manalo, a former collegiate star.

“This is a dream come true for us – to be part of the league. Do-or-die kami dito,” said Arejola.

On Sept. 30, when the PBA raises its curtains for its 38th season, Global Port will have the great privilege, a misfortune to some, of facing crowd-favorite Ginebra.

“Ginebra is our first game. But we’re not just preparing for Ginebra. We’re preparing for all of the teams,” said Capacio.

Romero, who sat a few seats away from his coach, smiled at the prospects of facing the crowd favorites right on opening day.

“There’s only one thing I can guarantee. We will be there fighting like tigers,” he said.

Sam Miguel
09-19-2012, 11:14 AM
^^^ Global Ports has a pretty good core with Gary David, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Romel Adducul, Willie Miller and Rey Guevarra.

If they retain Vic Manuel he will also be a big boost for them. I don't know if they can get anything out of Jason Deutchman.

They might also want to take in Allan Mangahas through free agency to bolster the backcourt.

Sam Miguel
09-21-2012, 09:46 AM
By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:45 am | Saturday, September 15th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra, with two promising rookies and the reigning MVP Mark Caguioa, will battle PBA newcomer Global Port on Sept. 30 as the league takes the lid off of its 38th Season with the Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen, the sixth and eighth overall picks, respectively, in the Rookie Draft, will be the focus of attention along with Caguioa, who, last season, became the league’s first MVP even without winning a championship.

Ellis played for the Philippine Five in the Southeast Asian Games last year in Indonesia, but the steal of the Draft, this early, is tipped to be Jensen, a big guard seen as the future of the Kings.

Global Port will flaunt PBA Press Corps scoring champion Gary David as the lone game follows what league officials describe as an opening day that “will be one of the best, if not the best opening rites in the history of the PBA.”

The traditional parade of athletes and the team’s respective muses will be the highlight of the opening day show, although league chair Robert Non didn’t divulge any details.

“The ceremony is designed to conform with the league’s main focus this season and that is to bring back the fans who made the pro-league as it is now—the biggest sports and entertainment show this part of the world,” Non said.

“I just cannot reveal the details yet today, but suffice it to say that all the 10 teams in this year’s cast will be contributing their share to make our opening a moment to be remembered for a long time,” said Non during the Scoop sa Kamayan Session.

Also guesting in the session yesterday was Rene Pardo, who announced the change of the name of the B-Meg Llamados to the San Mig Coffee Mixers.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner’s Cup will have imports of unlimited height, while the Governors’ Cup will feature reinforcements of 6-foot-5 and below.

09-25-2012, 01:55 PM
PBA Press Conference will be tomorrow 12:00 NN at the Manila Diamond Hotel along Roxas Blvd in Manila.

09-26-2012, 09:10 AM
By Jasmine W. Payo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

3:33 am | Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

A NEW name but the same old winning formula.

That’s how San Mig Coffee hopes its new season will play out when the Mixers, formerly the B-Meg Llamados, kick off their bid in the PBA Philippine Cup which starts Sunday.

“We’re really looking at winning the All-Filipino because it’s truly the crown jewel,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone, who steered the franchise to the 2012 PBA Commissioner’s Cup crown last summer.

“We’re not where we want to be at the point of season since we started later than everybody, but we’re confident we’ll get things going.”

San Mig Coffee formally unveiled its new team name in a grand launch on Monday night at 1 Esplanade in Pasay City, where the team officials and players vowed to lead the squad to a 10th overall title.

“We had a good year last year, but not a great year,” said Cone. “We’re hoping this year we can bring a little bit of greatness. Whether it’s Purefoods, Tender Juicy Hotdog, Coney Island or B-Meg, we’re here to win for the brand, for the organization and the fans.”

Two-time MVP James Yap spearheads the Mixers’ bid anew along with Marc Pingris and Peter June Simon.

“The mission is to keep the tradition of winning, excellence and fair play that made us a force to reckon with in the PBA,” said San Miguel Pure Foods Company president Francisco Alejo III.

Rookie big men Aldrech Ramos, Jewel Ponferada and Gian Chiu also join the veteran cast of JC Intal, Joe Devance, Mark Barroca, Wesley Gonzales, Jonas Villanueva, Rafi Reavis, Yancy de Ocampo, Chris Pacana, Ken Bono and Mike Burtscher.

09-27-2012, 08:24 AM
By Celest R. Flores


8:34 pm | Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines — A new franchise, fresh faces, overhauled uniforms and a tweaked format are just few of the indications that the PBA is headed to another exciting ride this season.

As the 38th edition of the PBA kicks off Sunday, league commissioner Chito Salud is nothing optimistic that the surge of support will continue throughout the season.

They will start with reformatting the old semifinals scheme, which led to games with lesser or zero stakes.

“Our format will be exciting for the three conferences, eliminating no bearing games and low incentive games,” said Salud at the pre-season press conference at the Diamond Hotel Wednesday.

From L-R; PBA Vice Chairman Ramon Segismundo, PBA Commissioner Chito Salud and PBA Chairman Robert Non. Photo by Nuki Sabio

“Every game will count,” Salud continued.

From round-robin semifinals, the teams will have a lot more riding on getting the top two spots for the golden twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.

The middle of the pack, meanwhile, will have to gut it out in a best-of-three clash just for a slot in the final four in the All-Filipino Cup, Commissioner’s Cup and the Governor’s Cup.

Games in the race-to-three series for the finals spot will always continue to be enjoyed by fans on a daily basis.

Coming off a banner season, where records were broken in terms of gate receipts and new champions were feted, Salud is also banking on the infusion of new talent to make a more leveled playing field.

“We will continue to polish that product to the liking of our fans,” said Salud. “Fans want a balanced competition within 10 teams.”

“In terms of level of comp and the balance in the balance of teams, we’re getting there,” said Salud, referring to last season where two teams, who are not perennial contenders, made it to the finale.

The newcomer Global Port Batang Pier will try to pull off a Cinderella finish this season, but will have to go through nine more established teams.

Under 20 rookies — products of premier collegiate leagues and the PBA D-League — meanwhile, will pump in some more action to the league, which also calibrated some rules for this season.

According to Salud, players who are diving for the ball are now allowed to slide without getting called for a travelling violation, which encourages the value of the intangibles.

“But hey have to dribble the ball before standing up,” continued Salud, who is also open to having a “retro week” as more and more teams are rocking the throwback jerseys.

In terms of better officiating, Salud said the league is continuing to prune down the referees for the best to remain.

In the past two years, Salud has cut down from 22 to 14, and has harvested three more from the academy for this season.

The opening ceremonies is promised to be a one big show at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, from the video technology to the select squad’s muses, who will cater to the youth — from Artista Academy to seasoned actress Alice Dixon.

09-27-2012, 11:16 AM

September 26, 2012

After the success of the previous season, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner Atty. Angelico “Chito” Salud is optimistic that the 38th PBA Season will reach another milestone for at least two reasons – balanced competition and the arrival of new faces.

“We have quite a year behind us,” said Salud during the press conference for the 2012-13 Season yesterday at the Diamond Hotel in Roxas Blvd., Manila. “We are looking forward, and we are optimistic to sustain the gains we had in the previous season.”

The league’s new season will start Sunday at 4 p.m. with an extravagant opening ceremony which new league chairman Robert Non of Ginebra said described as “A show like no other”.

After the parades of 10 participating teams along with their respective muses, the league’s avid supporters and its TV audience will be treated to another entertaining showdown between crowd-darling Ginebra and newcomer Global Port at 6 p.m.

“May I reiterate that our product is the game, and we at the Commissioner’s Office, we’ll continue to polish that product to the liking of the fans. Proof to that is the last season which broke live attendance and gate receipts.

“The fans have clearly spoken. They want a fast-paced action, a balanced competition, and they’re looking forward to the new faces, the rookies, who will continue to challenge the veterans. We intend to pound on these elements,” Salud added.

Last season under the term of PBA chairman Atty. Memerto Mondragon of Rain or Shine, the PBA posted a record P114 million in gate receipts in the combined three conferences that saw Talk ’N Text win the PH Cup and B-Meg the Commissioner’s Cup.

The season that passed was highlighted by the breakthrough title win of Rain or Shine in the Governors’ Cup – a win that enabled Raymond Yu to filfil his promise to co-team owner Terry Que.

Even they are new, Erick Arejola, basketball operations chief of the Global Port Batang Pier, said they’ll do their level best and try to make a statement.

For the coming season, there will be 17 rookies led by 6-foot-10 center June Mar Fajardo, the top pick of Petron Blaze in the previous Draft.

09-28-2012, 10:40 AM
By Nelson Beltran

(The Philippine Star)

Updated September 28, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Talk n Text and Rain or Shine remain awesome with their intact champion rosters but top-rate trade deals and draft jackpots by other clubs could well effect a major shakeup in the order of finish of the 10 PBA teams last season.

Alaska Milk, Air21, Barako Bull and Meralco present new looks and challenges while Petron Blaze, San Mig Coffee and Barangay Ginebra have beefed up their respective rosters as the 38th PBA season comes off the wraps Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Jayvee Casio forms a triumvirate with Cyrus Baguio and Sonny Thoss at Alaska; Rico Villanueva, Sean Anthony, Jason Ballesteros, Roger Yap, Josh Urbiztondo, Dave Marcelo and Lester Alvarez inject Barako Bull new blood as replacements to Willie Miller, Sunday Salvacion, Carlo Sharma, Don Allado and Jimbo Aquino while Cliff Hodge, Ronjay Buenafe, Kelly Nabong, Sharma and Salvacion are the new faces at Meralco in its post-Asi Taulava days.

Junmar Fajardo and Alex Mallari provide Petron added inside presence and backcourt smarts, LA Tenorio brings his backcourt leadership and experience over to Ginebra while Aldrech Ramos and Jewel Ponferada make San Mig Coffee a complete team.

All these off-season wheeling and dealing could well spark a shift in the balance of power in the league dominated by Talk n Text in the last two years.

Talk n Text continued to be the most dominant team last year, logging 40 wins against 22 defeats through three conferences.

B-Meg was second at 38-24, followed by Rain or Shine (31-22), Ginebra (26-19), Petron (23-23), Meralco (21-23), Powerade (22-27), Barako Bull (18-24), Alaska Milk (11-24) and Air21 (5-27).

Talk n Text, under new coach Norman Black, opted not to make any change in its lineup while Rain or Shine gave up just one player in Ronjay Buenafe and took in as replacement former Smart Gilas skipper Chris Tiu.

Here’s the complete team rosters:

Air21: John Wilson, Nelbert Omolon, Eric Salamat, Nonoy Baclao, KG Canaleta, Ogie Menor, Mark Isip, Renren Ritualo, Wynne Arboleda, Rob Reyes, James Sena, Yousif Taha, Simon Atkins.

Alaska: Nic Belasco, Sam Eman, Cyrus Baguio, Joachim Thoss, Mac Baracael, Paolo Bugia, Brandon Cablay, Dondon Hontiveros, Gabby Espinas, RJ Jazul, Tony dela Cruz, Jayvee Casio, Eddie Laure, Raphael Reyes.

Barako Bull: Celino Cruz, Josh Urbiztondo, Lester Alvarez, Reil Cervantes, Roger Yap, Leo Najorda, Jason Ballesteros, Doug Kramer, Sean Anthony, Enrico Villanueva, Danny Seigle, Ronald Tubid, Mick Pennisi, David Marcelo.

Barangay Ginebra: Billy Mamaril, LA Tenorio, Rico Maierhofer, Mike Cortez, Jayjay Helterbrand, Allein Maliksi, Kerby Raymundo, Elmer Espiritu, Willy Wilson, Dylan Ababou, Mark Caguioa, Rudy Hatfield, Chris Ellis, Keith Jensen.

Global Port: Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Rudy Lingganay, Jondan Salvador, Rey Francis Guevara, Marvin Cruz, Romel Adducul, Willie Miller, Mark Yee, Gary David, Joshua Vanlandingham, Angelus Raymundo, Vic Manuel, Alfred Mandani, Jason Deutchman.

Meralco: Sunday Salvacion, Carlo Sharma, Reynel Hugnatan, Mark Borboran, Gilbert Bulawan, Mark Cardona, Paul Artadi, Ronjay Buenafe, Chris Ross, Sol Mercado, Kelly Nabong, Clifford Hodge

Petron Blaze: Dennis Miranda, Chris Lutz, Dorian Pena, Alex Cabagnot, Danny Ildefonso, Jojo Duncil, Marcio Lassiter, Magi Sison, Joseph Yeo, Jay Washington, Chico Lanete, Arwind Santos, June Mar Fajardo, Alex Mallari.

Rain or Shine: Jonathan Uyloan, Paul Lee, Larry Rodriguez, Jireh Ibanes, Gabe Norwood, Tyrone Tang, Jeff Chan, Ryan Arana, Jervy Cruz, Chito Jaime, Beau Belga, Ronnie Matias, JR Quinahan, Chris Tiu.

San Mig Coffee: Wesley Gonzales, Jonas Villanueva, Rafi Reavis, Peter June Simon, JC Intal, Andy Mark Barroca, James Yap, Jerwin Gaco, Chris Pacana, Marc Pingris, Joe DeVance, Yancy de Ocampo, Jewel Ponferada, Aldrech Ramos.

Talk ‘N Text: Jimmy Alapag, Riego Gamalinda, Ryan Reyes, Larry Fonacier, Pamboy Raymundo, Jayson Castro, Gilbert Lao, Harvey Carey, Kelly Williams, Ranidel de Ocampo, Ali Peek, Jared Dillinger, Richard Alvarez, Aaron Aban.

09-28-2012, 10:58 AM

By Joaquin Henson

The Philippine Star

September 28, 2012 12:00 AM

Crowd darling Barangay Ginebra missed out on a finals slot in three PBA conferences last season, finishing sixth in the Philippine Cup and third in both the Commissioner’s and Governors Cups. But things are looking up for the Kings with the pro league’s 38th campaign set to open this Sunday.

Ginebra brought in major reinforcements in the offseason and from the way the Kings are shaping up, Barangay diehards are conjuring visions of a return to the glory era when coach Siot Tanquingcen led the franchise to back-to-back championships in 2004-05. L.A. Tenorio, 28, has moved in from Alaska to infuse youth in the backcourt that still counts on crack holdovers Jay-Jay Helterbrand, Mike Cortez and Mark Caguioa.

From the rookie draft, Fil-Ams Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen hopped aboard the Ginebra bandwagon. Ellis, 23, was the sixth overall pick after June Mar Fajardo, Calvin Abueva, Alex Mallari, Cliff Hodge and Aldrech Ramos via NLex in the D-League. Jensen, 24, was the eighth choice. In official PBA measurements, Ellis came in at 6-4 1/16 and Jensen at 6-4 1/8. Among the 58 rookie applicants, Ellis had the highest vertical leap at 11 feet, three inches. Jensen wasn’t far behind at 11 feet flat. Another recruit is 6-3 Elmer Espiritu who transferred from Air 21.

Others returning to the Ginebra fold are Willy Wilson, Billy Mamaril, Rico Maierhofer, Allein Maliksi, Rudy Hatfield, Dylan Ababou and Kerby Raymundo. Eric Menk is in the reserve list and will likely join former Ginebra guard Rob Labagala in the San Miguel Beermen team in the ABL. While the ABL is still on vacation, Menk could fill in as an emergency player with Ginebra. Menk was the casualty in the numbers game as the PBA limits a team to five Fil-Ams. Ginebra has six Fil-Ams with Menk, Hatfield, Wilson, Cortez, Ellis and Jensen. Struck out of the roster in the offseason were Labagala, K. G. Canaleta, John Wilson and Enrico Villanueva.

* * * *

A statistic where Ginebra will probably show an improvement this season is fastbreak points. Long known as a run-and-gun team, the Kings weren’t as explosive in transition last campaign, ranking only eighth in the league with 7.6 fastbreak points a game. But the Kings made their mark as a tough defensive unit, topping that statistical category with an average yield of 86.4. Rebounding wasn’t a problem either as Ginebra ranked No. 2 with an average of 50.4, a shade behind B-Meg’s 50.5. The figures clearly pointed to where Ginebra needed to get a shot in the arm. Tanquingcen looked for a quick point guard with a transition mentality and wings who could run the floor. He got exactly what he wished for in Tenorio, Ellis and Jensen.

In the pre-season exhibitions, Ginebra gave a glimpse of what’s in store for the fans. The Kings bamboozled Rain or Shine, 98-83, and walloped San Mig Coffee (formerly B-Meg), 103-77. They crushed the visiting Australian under-20 squad by 40 points. There were close losses to Alaska by four and Air 21 by two but Tanquingcen wasn’t at all perturbed.

“Nice to see the team running,” said a Ginebra source. “If you see us run and gun, you’re gonna love it.” Ellis and Jensen figure to play major minutes as rookies in Tanquingcen’s scheme of things. Ellis was described as a John Arigo look-alike because of his incredible 79.5-inch wingspan. “He’s super athletic with long arms,” said the source. “Chris can guard one, two and three. He’s quick, he can jump like hell. On the break, he elevates for a dunk without momentum, ‘di niya kailangan ng bwelo. I haven’t seen anyone dunk like Chris before.”

As for Jensen, the source said he’s a younger version of Hatfield with a three-point touch. He’s expected to play the three and four spots. Tanquingcen’s challenge is to find minutes for his players. But he’s not likely to stick to a rigid rotation. He’ll shuffle his troops depending on match-ups and how he plans to attack a game. Two holdovers expected to play key roles this season are Maliksi and Ababou who’ve been on fire all pre-season long.

Raymundo and Mamaril will anchor the middle with Hatfield, Maierhofer and Wilson helping out off the boards at the four spot.

* * * *

What’s making things exciting in the Barangay is Tenorio’s arrival. L.A.’s coming in fresh from a scintillating performance with Smart Gilas in the Jones Cup and the FIBA Asia Cup where he gained the respect of opposing coaches and players as the Philippines’ main man. He missed out on several pre-season games and practices while playing abroad so Tanquingcen is expected to break him slowly as the Philippine Cup progresses. Tenorio, however, should be playing at full throttle sooner than later. There’s no point guard in the league with a higher basketball I.Q. and Tenorio won’t take too long learning the ropes at Ginebra with Cortez and Helterbrand showing the way.

In the middle of this frenzy is reigning MVP Caguioa. The Spark would like nothing better than to play on a championship team as a follow-up to his MVP season. The new-look Ginebra makes its PBA debut against Global Part before an expected sell-out crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum this Sunday.

10-01-2012, 11:27 AM
By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

10:46 pm | Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Frolicking in a free-flowing game in front of the PBA’s biggest season-opening crowd, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel got off to a dream Philippine Cup start last night after posting a thorough 110-90 destruction of Global Port at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Six players scored in twin digits and LA Tenorio showed his true worth in his first game as a Gin King as Ginebra finished off the newcomer Batang Pier with a flurry.

“We got over opening day jitters, the distractions,” Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen said. “It is good to start this way.”

The Kings, sixth placers here last season, opened up leads of as many as 21 points in the first half and 24 in the third period before encountering some resistance midway in the fourth as the Batang Pier came within 86-94 after a triple by Gary David.

But Ginebra quickly regained momentum behind Tenorio, who dished off four of his night-high 10 feeds in a back-breaking 14-2 run that put the game away, 108-88, going into the final 62 seconds.

“That’s why we worked very hard to get him (in the preseason trade with Alaska),” Tanquingcen, who, as coach of San Miguel Beer several years back, dealt away Tenorio to the Aces for Mike Cortez, said.

“That’s his value to this team. He brings a lot of intangibles to the game, the poise in the endgame,” Tanquingcen added of Tenorio, who finished with just two points but also had nine rebounds.

Mark Caguioa led the Kings with 18 points, with seven of those points coming inside that run courtesy of Tenorio assists.

Willie Miller, the former two-time MVP, led Batang Pier with 26 points, carrying the fight for the rookie squad with national player and last year’s scoring champion David struggling all night offensively.

In fact, that three-pointer was David’s only field goal for the game.

The last time Ginebra won this big in a season-opening game was during the first year of Welcoat (now Rain or Shine) seven years ago, when the Kings destroyed the Elasto Painters, 102-69.

Rico Maierhofer, injured for most of last season, contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds for Ginebra, whose two rookies, Keith Jensen and Chris Ellis, played as good as advertised.

Jensen had 13 points and Ellis 12 as the duo got a great glimpse of what it feels like playing for the crowd-darlings with 18,901 people packing the Big Dome.

The scores:

GINEBRA 110—Caguioa 18, Maierhofer 14, Mamaril 14, Jensen 13, Ellis 12, Hatfield 11, Raymundo 8, Maliksi 7, Helterbrand 5, Cortez 4, Tenorio 2, Wilson 2.

10-02-2012, 10:09 AM

By Joaquin Henson

The Philippine Star Updated October 02, 2012 12:00 AM

You’ll need only one ticket to enjoy the triplebill that the PBA has lined up at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Nov. 4. Unlike in the UAAP where separate tickets are sold for a doubleheader, PBA special assistant to the commissioner Willie Marcial confirmed it’s a 1-for-3 deal.

The first game is scheduled at 3 p.m. pitting Barako Bull against Global Port. Then, at 5:15 p.m., it’s Meralco against Rain Or Shine. Finally, at 7:30 p.m., San Mig Coffee battles Barangay Ginebra. Fans will pay for the cost of a ticket for just the San Mig-Ginebra game so they’re getting a double bonus.

Marcial said the 70-game eliminations will end on Dec. 9 and the schedule was purposely crammed to keep to the deadline. There’s even a rare Saturday twinbill on Oct. 20 with Rain Or Shine against Global Port and San Mig Coffee against Talk ‘N’ Text, a potential box office blockbuster.

To get the show on the road, the PBA opened the season with a spectacular program at the Big Dome last Sunday. All 10 teams showed up with players, coaches and muses in a parade that will long be remembered for its glitz, glitter and glamor. The crowd of 18,901 got its money’s worth. Marcial said it was the largest attendance for a PBA opening day in recent memory, clearly a portent of things to come.

The inaugural game wasn’t close but it had exciting moments. Barangay Ginebra trounced Global Port, 110-90, behind a balanced attack that coach Siot Tanquingcen hopes will be a trademark for the Kings. Batang Pier staged a furious rally in the fourth period, coming back from 22 down to trim the deficit to eight but Ginebra refused to be snowed under. The Kings held on to break it open down the stretch with newly-acquired L.A. Tenorio leading the charge. Tenorio finished with only two points but made his presence felt with nine rebounds, 10 assists and two steals in 28 minutes.

Ginebra wound up with 32 assists compared to Global’s 12, playing unselfish basketball as eight Kings collected at least two feeds. In the offseason, Tanquingcen promised a return to Ginebra’s run-and-gun style. Last campaign, Ginebra ranked No. 8 in fastbreak points with only 7.6 an outing. Against Global, the Kings scored 18 points in transition, delivering a strong message that they’re back to playing at full throttle.

* * * *

Six Ginebra players hit in twin digits led by reigning MVP Mark Caguioa’s 18. Rico Maierhofer registered a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Same with Billy Mamaril who had 14 points and 12 boards. Rookie Keith Jensen displayed an impeccable touch from the perimeter and chipped in 13 points, 5-of-7 from the field. Another rookie Chris Ellis added 12 before fouling out. Rudy Hatfield contributed 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Kerby Raymundo, settled in at the No. 5 spot, came through with eight points, three rebounds and three assists.

With Enrico Villanueva gone to Barako and Eric Menk on the reserve list, Ginebra’s frontline didn’t lack for effort under the boards. The Kings outrebounded Global, 55-28, and hit more second chance points, 17-6.

For Global, the spirit was evident but chemistry is a work in progress. Gary David was mainly shadowed by Ellis and couldn’t buy a bucket until the fourth period. David was scoreless in the first three quarters but still finished with nine. Willie Miller picked up the scoring cudgels and erupted for 26. Imagine how dangerous Global could be with David and Miller in the groove.

Although Global emerged from Powerade’s ashes, it’s a radically different team. Global has four rookies and three veterans who joined in the off-season – seven new faces for coach Glenn Capacio to blend. Jvee Casio’s gone and his absence was telling with Global recording only 12 assists. Last season, Powerade was No. 1 in assists with a 21.9 clip. Starting quarterback Rudy Lingganay scored 14 points, 12 in the first period, but had no assist. Back-up A.J. Mandani, a rookie, showed a lot of spunk with his aggressive play on both ends and looks promising. Mandani, 25, had heads turning with his razzle-dazzle style. He tallied 13 points, on 6-of-6 from the field, including a triple. Mandani also collected two rebounds, three assists and two steals in only 18 minutes.

* * * *

Former PBL chairman Dioceldo Sy, owner of the D-League team Blackwater, applauded Mandani’s performance. “A.J. was our point guard with Blackwater,” said Sy. “He’s unstoppable in the open court, strong driving to the basket and quick.” Mandani, born in Canada, played NCAA Division II hoops at the University of Missouri-Rolla, now known as Missouri University of Science and Technology. His mother Maria is a Filipina.

Bogart Raymundo, 30, made his long-overdue debut in the PBA with Global. He wasn’t picked in the 2008 draft and now joins the league with other undrafted players like Lingganay, Chico Lanete, Mark Yee and Josh Urbiztondo. Global team owner Mikee Romero gave the 6-5 Raymundo a break to make his mark in the PBA. Raymundo is the first San Beda Alabang player to wear a PBA jersey. He was an Asean import with Kuala Lumpur in the ABL two seasons back and last campaign, played with the Philippine Patriots, co-owed by Romero.

Global team manager B.J. Manalo was a welcome sight in the PBA. He was drafted on the second round by Purefoods in 2005 but never got to play in the pros because of injuries. Manalo, a celebrated player in the UAAP ranks, is finally in the PBA family.

The opening game showcased the skills of six rookies – Jensen, Ellis, Mandani, Raymundo, Vic Manuel and Jason Deutchman. Jensen’s Filipina mother Lori or Vernalou Reyes was at courtside. She was born in Angeles City and married a serviceman David Jensen of Illinois. Lori has remarried. She was in town for four days and returned to the US yesterday. Keith is the oldest of her four children.

Deutchman, who turned 26 last week, played at San Diego State, an NCAA Division I school, and a teammate was Kawhi Leonard, now with the San Antonio Spurs. Manuel, 25, was the ninth overall pick in the last draft out of PSBA. He was officially measured at 6-2 7/8 by the PBA after years of being recognized as a 6-5 power forward. Manuel led the D-League in scoring last conference with a 16.9 clip and was eighth in rebounding with 7.5 a game.

10-02-2012, 10:11 AM
Ginebra Rookies Hurdle First Test


October 1, 2012, 9:10pm

MANILA, Philippines — Five of the 18 rookies in the 38th Season of the PBA made their debut with their respective teams and three of them, including Barangay Ginebra’s Keith Jensen and Chris Ellis made an immediate impact.

The 6-foot-4 Ellis, who was tabbed No. 6 overall by the Gin Kings in the previous PBA Rookie Draft, started at the small forward position and showed a glimpse of his talent by scattering 12 points.

He also dazzled the crowd with his athleticism and acrobatic plays.

On the other hand, the 6-foot-5 Jensen, the No. 8 overall pick by Ginebra, finished with 13 points as he displayed his range from the perimeter by shooting 5-of-7 from the field.

The performances of Ellis and Jensen helped Ginebra score its first win on opening day with a 110-90 victory over the league’s newest team GlobalPort in front of 18,901 fans Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We started on the right foot,” said Barangay Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.

As for GlobalPort, it was rookie guard AJ Mandani who had a solid game as he came through with 13 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the perimeter in just 18 minutes of action as the third string point guard of coach Glenn Capacio.

The 5-foot-10 Mandani, selected 14th overall, had eight points in the final quarter when he connived with Willie Miller and Gary David in helping the Batang Pier trim a 24-point deficit to just 95-87 with four minutes to play.

GlobalPort’s two other rookies, Vic Manuel and Jason Deutchmann struggled bigtime.

Seven more rookies will debut for their respective teams on Wednesday

10-02-2012, 10:17 AM
^ There's no way Keith Jensen is 6-5 and Chris Ellis is 6-4. I'd say they're both a little under 6-4 in their sneakers. I've stood next to both players many times when both were still in the D League. Ellis's NLEX teammate Ford Arao is a legit 6'5, and Ellis barely reaches up to Arao's nose, so there's no way Ellis is only an inch shorter.

In the times they stood next to each other on either side of the rebound line when somebody was taking freethrows, Jensen was a teenie-tiny bit taller than Calvin Abueva, a man the PBA officially measured at just about 6-2. So again there is no way Jensen is 6-5.

In this particular game, standing next to fellow rookie Vic Manuel at various times, both Ellis and Jensen looked more or less the same height as the 6-3 Manuel, certainly not taller.

10-03-2012, 11:44 AM
By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

3:02 am | Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

The top overall pick in the last Draft seen by many as a game-changer in the PBA gets his first taste of pro action today when rock-solid Petron Blaze battles Rain or Shine in the Philippine Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

June Mar Fajardo, an agile, 6-foot-10 center with a feathery touch, and the rest of the Boosters take the Big Dome floor in the 7:30 p.m. contest against the Elasto Painters.

Fajardo adds ceiling and muscle to an already formidable Petron roster, which has been prepared hard in the off-season by former national team coach Rajko Toroman.

Incidentally, it would be interesting to see how Toroman and newly appointed coach Olsen Racela would call the shots in the game, with the Serbian very much involved in the team’s tune-up games.

Fajardo now becomes the full time center of the Boosters, giving 6-foot-7 Jay Washington the chance to play the power forward spot and Arwind Santos the small forward position.

Petron will start to redeem itself from a disappointing stint here last year, when the Boosters held a 3-1 lead over eventual champion Talk ‘N Text in the Final Four only to lose the last three games of the series.

Rain or Shine also unveils a celebrated rookie in Chris Tiu, the former national team mainstay who will likely be the starting point guard for the Painters until last season’s Rookie of the Year, Paul Lee, returns.

Lee went under the knife to repair a dislocated shoulder sustained two months ago in the Painters’ breakthrough title series win opposite B-Meg, now San Mig Coffee.

Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan have also returned to the Rain or Shine fold after two months of duty with the Smart Gilas-Pilipinas Five, and both could become the biggest factors for the Painters here if they flash the form they did in the Jones Cup.

The Philippines won the Jones Cup in Taipei last August, going 7-1 because Chan was prolific from the outside and Norwood shut down the opposing team’s top guns with impunity.

Meanwhile, Air21 and Barako Bull, squads who have been out of the radar in preseason polls, battle it out in the 5:15 p.m. game.

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel posted a 110-90 victory over newcomer Global Port in the inaugurals last Sunday.

10-04-2012, 08:29 AM
By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:50 am | Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Ronald Tubid scored four of Barako Bull’s final five points and keyed a 90-87 victory over Air21 in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The veterans-laden Energy Cola got more than what they bargained for from the much-maligned Air21 lineup with the outcome in the balance until Tubid’s heroics put Barako Bull in the company of opening-day winner Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

Tubid capped a 19-point night with a follow-up of a Rico Villanueva miss in the last 9.2 seconds before KG Canaleta missed the potential overtime-forging triple from deep left corner for Air21 as time expired.

“We have a lot of new faces and we have to build on our chemistry as soon as possible,” Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi told reporters. “We struggled defensively the whole night.

“We didn’t respect them in the first half,” Baculi continued. “I told my players at halftime that we have to respect their (Express’) ability.”

Sean Anthony, a new acquisition coming from Global Port by way of B-Meg, scattered 18 points that went with nine rebounds and five assists, and Doug Kramer had 14 and 10 for Barako Bull.

Mick Pennisi added 11 and Villanueva, a member of the Smart Gilas-Pilipinas team, contributed seven points that went with a night-high 14 boards.

“We last played together as a team about two weeks ago, because Rico was with (the national squad),” Baculi said. “He is still groping to cope with our system.”

Barako Bull played without top scorer Danny Seigle, who was out because of the flu, and Baculi said that Tubid, with the departure of former two-time MVP Willie Miller, is now one of the team’s main offensive guns together with Seigle.

“With the exit of Willie (to Global Port), it’s now Ronald’s turn to step up to the plate,” Baculi said.

The Express had a solid chance at winning in the end until two Mark Isip misses inside the final minute and crucial fumbles by Isip and Nonoy Baclao, who had a career-high 18 points, led to that Tubid putback.

The scores:

BARAKO BULL 90—Tubid 19, Anthony 18, Kramer 14, Pennisi 11, Urbiztondo 8, Najorda 7, Villanueva 7, Yap 4, Marcelo 2, Cervantes 0, Cruz 0.

AIR21 87—Baclao 18, Wilson 17, Isip 16, Canaleta 16, Arboleda 7, Custodio 4, Omolon 4, Sena 3, Taha 2, Atkins 0, Ritualo 0.

Quarters: 26-27, 49-48, 71-69, 90-87

10-04-2012, 08:30 AM
By Mark Giongco


11:31 pm | Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Rain or Shine beat Petron Blaze as if the Boosters weren’t preseason favorites to win the title.

Riding high on their recent championship, the Elasto Painters pummeled the Boosters, 102-86, Wednesday night in the 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“As I said before the game, this is the best time to play Petron, they’re still in transition, they have a new coach,” said ROS head coach Yeng Guiao. “They’re going to be a lot more dangerous in the next two to three games and they won’t be the same when we play them the second time around.”

Petron, befuddled most of the time on both ends, couldn’t continue its solid first half while Rain or Shine found its groove.

Jeff Chan, the 2012 PBA Gorvernors’ Cup Finals MVP, led a balanced ROS attack with 20 points.

Jervy Cruz, JR Quinahan and Jireh Ibanes had 13 points each.

The Boosters launched a comeback and drew to within three, 77-80, after a rare made jumper by Dennis Miranda with still 9:23 left.

Guiao cited his team’s poise and new found confidence from winning the championship that helped them in this game.

And true enough, the Elasto Painters held their ground as it went on an 8-0 blitz as part of a 21-5 blast to take the Boosters apart in the latter part of the final period.

“We’re a little short on our guards but it really didn’t matter in this game everybody made some contribution,” said Guiao, who won’t have Paul Lee until December.

Chris Tiu’s debut was cut short after suffering a hamstring injury. He had two points and two assists in just six minutes.

Gabe Norwood also played solid with eight points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Top pick Junmar Fajardo fell a point shy of a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds but despite his size at six-foot-10 was occasionally pushed around by his smaller defenders.

Joseph Yeo and Arwind Santos paced Petron with 16 markers apiece.

10-04-2012, 08:32 AM
No offense to Rain Or Shine, but Petron has absolutely no business losing by that big a margin to the Elasto Painters. That lead was up to 19 or 21 points at one point in the game. Seriously, what the heck is going on? And why is Rajko Toroman doing the talking in Petron huddles instead of new head coach Olsen Racela?

Sam Miguel
10-05-2012, 09:57 AM
TNT calls in bid for 3rd PH Cup

Debuts vs Meralco today; San Mig Coffee tackles Alaska

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:34 am | Friday, October 5th, 2012

Talk ‘N Text starts its bid for a third straight PBA Philippine Cup title today using a style vastly different than the one that dominated the league for the last three years or so.

With Chot Reyes leaving the squad for the Smart Gilas-Pilipinas national team, the Tropang Texters have abandoned the run-and-gun “dribble-drive” offense and will come into their 5:15 p.m. game against Meralco at Smart Araneta Coliseum as a more methodical team.

Norman Black, the Grand Slam-winning coach with San Miguel Beer in 1989, will be handling the Texters starting this season and has infused a more disciplined approach into the Talk ‘N Text game.

But Aboy Castro will call the shots tonight as Black is still coaching the Ateneo Blue Eagles, who are seeking their fifth consecutive UAAP championship.

Crispa was the last team to win the all-Filipino title three straight times, pulling it off in 1982 with a squad that included legends like Atoy Co, Abet Guidaben and Philip Cezar.

Talk ‘N Text became the first team in 28 years last season to repeat as Philippine Cup champion after the defunct Great Taste, and winning again this season could be the greatest motivation for this squad that narrowly missed a Grand Slam last year under Reyes.

San Mig Coffee, formerly B-Meg and the third powerhouse team in the field, slugs it out with a retooled Alaska in the main game at 7:30 p.m.

The Aces will be without LA Tenorio for the first time in four years but will be parading a younger point guard in JV Casio and veteran gunslinger Dondon Hontiveros, whom they acquired from Global Port and Petron Blaze as part of the Tenorio deal.

Cyrus Baguio and Sonny Thoss complete the fearsome quartet of Alaska, which is also awaiting the availability of No. 3 overall Draft choice Calvin Abueva from San Sebastian.

Talk ‘N Text will come into the tournament one big man short with 6-foot-9 beanpole Japeth Aguilar electing to try his luck in the NBA D-League in the United States.

The Texters still have the same personnel that won a second straight Philippine Cup, with Jason Castro and Kelly Williams back from injuries that kept them out of national duty the last two months.

Ryan Reyes, former MVP Jimmy Alapag and the ever-reliable Ali Peek are the other big names returning for Talk ‘N Text.

Meralco is also without a legitimate center after Asi Taulava decided to play in the Asean Basketball League.

Jay-R Reyes and rookie Cliff Hodge will man the slot for the Bolts, who boast prolific scorers Solomon Mercado and Mac Cardona.

Sam Miguel
10-05-2012, 09:59 AM
Dream shelved, Aguilar now eyeing NBA D-League stint with Bakersfield

By June Navarro

Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:51 am | Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

With his NBA dream shelved, Japeth Aguilar could find solace in the NBA D-League.

The 6-foot-9 Filipino could earn a spot in the Bakersfield Jam roster after an impressive workout with Jam assistant general manager Brian Levy in Los Angeles last week.

According to Hoopshype.com, Aguilar earned positive reviews from Levy, who was fascinated with the former Western Kentucky Hilltopper’s jumping ability and explosiveness around the rim.

“He’s an explosive leaper that runs the floor well and has good instincts when crashing the offensive glass. He can shoot just well enough from the three and that must be respected,” said Levy, who also functions as the team’s director of player personnel. “He has the tools to contribute to a team this year if he finds the right situation.”

Aguilar hasn’t signed up yet with any team in the opening conference of the 2012-2013 PBA season, hoping to land a job in the NBA.

The former Smart Gilas Pilipinas and Ateneo forward didn’t make it in the training camp of the New Orleans Hornets and has turned his attention to the D-League, where Asian-American Jeremy Lin started his climb to the pinnacle of stardom in the NBA.

“The story of Jeremy Lin is really inspiring,” said Aguilar. “I actually had the chance to play with him in Las Vegas at Impact. He worked really hard. You can tell he’s really something special.”

Once he earns a slot in the Jam lineup, the 2009 PBA No. 1 overall pick could get a call for a 10-day contract from an NBA team.

The Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns usually hire D-League talent from the Bakersfield Jam.

Aguilar, 25, missed the San Antonio Spurs and Hornets training camp barely a month before the NBA season opens shop on Oct. 30.

10-05-2012, 03:32 PM
No offense to Rain Or Shine, but Petron has absolutely no business losing by that big a margin to the Elasto Painters. That lead was up to 19 or 21 points at one point in the game. Seriously, what the heck is going on? And why is Rajko Toroman doing the talking in Petron huddles instead of new head coach Olsen Racela?

Maybe Rajko is the "real" head coach? ;)

10-08-2012, 10:53 AM
^ Pota! Sinasabi ko na nga ba!

10-08-2012, 10:54 AM
By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

10:20 pm | Sunday, October 7th, 2012

LA Tenorio hit five straight points in the stretch and helped Barangay Ginebra San Miguel pound out a 98-94 decision of Rain or Shine last night for a second consecutive win in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The last four of those points came in a span of just over 21 seconds as the Gin Kings erased a 93-94 deficit for a 97-94 lead heading into the final 16.5 seconds.

“We were blessed by God to come out with a win,” Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen said. “We didn’t play well at all. It’s good that somehow we were able to squeeze out a win.”

Gabe Norwood gave the Elasto Painters the lead for the last time at 94-93 by plucking an offensive rebound over Mark Caguioa and putting it back in in one motion.

It was the first loss in two games for the Painters, whose first win came over powerhouse Petron Blaze.

Norwood was called for a questionable foul by referee Jun Marabe on Tenorio with 16.5 to go, leading to two free throws that gave the Kings that one-point lead.

Caguioa, the reigning MVP, sealed the win with a free throw with 6.4 seconds left after Jeff Chan, who scored 10 straight points in one stretch of the fourth, missed a triple.

Earlier, John Wilson came off the bench to shoot 17 points and Niño Cañaleta contributed eight fourth-quarter points to lead Air21 to an 88-81 decision of newcomer Globalport.

Wilson scored 10 in the first period and the veteran Wynne Arboleda also struck hard in the final frame as the Express held off a spirited closing charge by the Batang Pier.

The loss was the second straight for the Batang Pier, who were led by former two-time MVP Willie Miller with 22 points.

The scores:

First Game

AIR21 88—Wilson 17, Isip 12, Canaleta 12, Arboleda 9, Custodio 8, Sena 7, Omolon 6, Atkins 5, Taha 4, Baclao 4, Ritualo 4.

GLOBALPORT 81—Miller 22, David 17, Deutchman 14, Manuel 9, Salvador 8, Lingganay 5, Mandani 2, Vanlandingham 2, Adducul 2, Raymundo 0, Guevarra 0.

Quarters: 24-24, 41-39, 65-60, 88-81

Second Game

GINEBRA 98—Caguioa 22, Tenorio 20, Maierhofer 12, Raymundo 12, Maliksi 9, Wilson 6, Mamaril 6, Cortez 5, Ellis 2, Jensen 2, Helterbrand 2, Hatfield 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 94—Chan 25, Matias 14, Norwood 11, Rodriguez 10, Cruz 7, Belga 7, Tang 6, Ibanes 6, Quinahan 5, Arana 3.

Quarters: 30-30, 46-49, 69-67, 98-94

Sam Miguel
10-09-2012, 10:56 AM
Ref sacked on Gabe boo-boo

By Nelson Beltran

(The Philippine Star)

Updated October 09, 2012 12:00 AM

Games tomorrow (Smart Araneta Coliseum)

5:15 p.m. – Alaska vs Meralco

7:30 p.m. – Barako Bull vs Petron

MANILA, Philippines - PBA commissioner Chito Salud yesterday slapped referee Jun Marabe a three-week suspension for a bum call he made, helping Barangay Ginebra squeeze out a 98-94 win over Rain or Shine in a see-sawing duel Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Upon review of the game tape, Salud found Marabe “grossly erred in judgment” in calling a foul on Gabe Norwood when the ROS player appeared to have clearly grabbed the ball away from LA Tenorio in a loose ball battle.

Rain or Shine was down, 94-95, with 16.5 seconds left when Marabe made the call sending Tenorio to the foul line in the process.

Tenorio drained both penalty shots, and the Kings pulled through in what was an otherwise classic battle spoiled by that Marabe call.

“Referee Marabe is suspended because of non-observance of the game officials’ respective areas of jurisdiction to make a call and his disregard of the league’s officiating guidelines on loose ball situations,” said Salud.

ROS coach Yeng Guiao appreciated the commissioner’s swift action but rued “the damage has been done.”

“That call robbed us of the chance to win the game. It’s a pity for it was a great game before a great crowd only for the refs to decide its outcome,” said Guiao.

A crowd of over 14,000 watched the match that saw the two teams figure in 15 deadlocks and 13 lead changes.

As in their first win over Globalport, Tenorio played big in the crunch and, for this, he became the recipient of the first Accel Player of the Week honors handed out in the new PBA season.

Tenorio said he was merely repaying his new team’s trust in him.

“I’d like to thank my teammates for the patience. They really helped me to adjust right away in Ginebra’s system,” Tenorio said.

“I will play my best to help the team win,” he added.

Tenorio showed that first in the tourney’s kickoff game against Globalport, scoring only two points but dishing off 10 assists and hauling down nine rebounds. Four of his feeds and one of his two steals came in the last five minutes, helping dispel the Batang Pier’s last-ditch uprising and enabling Ginebra to notch a runaway 110-90 victory.

Against Rain or Shine last Sunday, Tenorio exploded for five of his 20 points inside the last two minutes that pulled the Kings out of a tight game.

It marked the first time since the 2009-10 edition of the same tournament that Ginebra had such a start and Tenorio aims to do all he can to further stretch the run.

“I’ll continue to play hard and help Ginebra win every game,” he vowed.

Sam Miguel
10-09-2012, 11:02 AM
Express transformation


By Joaquin Henson

The Philippine Star

Updated October 09, 2012 12:00 AM

Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren has transformed the Express from a doormat proposition to a competitive contender over a season but isn’t about to ring the church bells for a celebration just yet.

Last Sunday, Air 21 chalked up its first win of the PBA Philippine Cup, an 88-81 decision over Global Port at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. It wasn’t a walk in the park as the game featured seven ties and eight lead changes. Near the end, Batang Pier staged a furious rally that caused some concern but the Express held on to weather the storm.

“We’re still adjusting to each other,” said Pumaren referring to the Air21 lineup that retained only RenRen Ritualo, Ogie Menor and James Sena from last year’s All-Filipino roster. “We’ve got to get better in closing out games. But the guys are working hard, we’re a different team now. Maybe, we’re a point guard short in our rotation to become a complete team.”

In the offseason, Pumaren brought in rookies Yousif Taha and Simon Atkins along with veterans Nonoy Baclao, John Wilson, KG Canaleta, Bonbon Custodio and Rob Reyes. Other holdovers were pick-ups after the previous Philippine Cup – Bitoy Omolon, Eric Salamat, Mark Isip and Wynne Arboleda. Pumaren drastically revamped the cast after Air 21, then known as Shopinas, went 0-14 in the Philippine Cup with an average losing margin of 13. The worst losses were to Petron by 25 and Rain Or Shine by 21. The closest Air 21 came to a win was its 94-90 overtime setback to Barangay Ginebra.

The win over Global evened Air 21’s record to 1-1 this conference and could signal the start of good things to come even as Reyes and Salamat are still in sick bay, recovering from injuries. The season’s far from over but at least, the Express is guaranteed to finish with an improved record from the last Philippine Cup.

* * * *

Against Global, Taha was a revelation, earning Best Player honors for collecting four points, a game-high 12 rebounds, two assists, three steals and a blocked shot in 29 minutes off the bench. His contribution was vital as in Air 21’s first game against Barako, the Express lost by three and was badly mauled off the boards by 22. Late in the Global contest, Taha got a crucial steal and rebound to seal the outcome.

Pumaren called Taha the steal of the last draft as the 11th overall pick. At 6-6, the former Mapua center should’ve gone earlier but there was talk of Taha being a head case. “We heard about that,” said Pumaren. “We didn’t believe it. Besides, if you’ve got a player who’s a head case, it’s your job as a coach to do something about it. What we like about Yousif is he brings a lot of energy to our game. He’s quick for a big guy, he doesn’t look to score, he just does what he’s supposed to do – play defense, rebound and intimidate. He’s also a very smart player.”

Taha, 24, was born in Kuwait to a Jordanian father Feras and Filipina mother Bernardina Lopez. The 245-pound center grew up in Texas where he attended Oakwood Terrace Elementary, Trinity high school and North Lake College. He transferred to Mapua in 2010 and made his mark with the Cardinals at the Filoil Flying V Cup as the best defensive player and statistical MVP last year. Taha matriculated with Cebuana Lhuillier in the D-League before applying for the draft.

Pumaren said Air 21’s other rookie Atkins won’t find it difficult adjusting to the PBA’s physicality. “That’s what I like about Simon, he’s used to playing physical,” said Pumaren. “He’s familiar with our system which we ran at La Salle. He’s just a little too excited, a little ‘gigil’ but he’s adjusting. He had open looks from the perimeter against Global but couldn’t knock down the shots. He’ll come around.”

When Pumaren sent in Atkins and Custodio to play the backcourt together, the Express went on a tear in transition. They’re the perfect combination to work Pumaren’s patented killer-press because of their quickness.

Atkins, 24, was the 21st overall pick in the draft. He was the UAAP juniors Finals MVP in 2006 with La Salle Zobel and played five years with the Green Archers in the UAAP seniors. Atkins and Taha were Cebuana teammates in the D-League.

* * * *

Another major contributor to Air21’s win was Canaleta. “KG didn’t get to practice with us too long before the season began,” said Pumaren. “He came from a US vacation with James (Yap) and Rico (Maierhofer) then suffered a sprain. In our first game against Barako, he fractured a finger so he’s playing hurt. But he got going in the second half against Global. We went to the mismatch at the post and it worked.” Canaleta got away with 12 points, all in the second half, as Global failed to check the mismatch.

When Salamat and Reyes are activated, Air 21 should be even more formidable. Salamat was injured in the offseason, prompting Pumaren to negotiate a trade for Custodio. According to Pumaren, Reyes is recovering from a partial menisectomy and could resume practice pending passage of a “hop” test to be taken on Friday.

In beating Global, Air21 addressed the issues that led to the Express’ loss to Barako. Air 21 grabbed more rebounds, 52-37 and had more second chance points, 14-6. Against Barako, the Express scored only two second chance points and gave up 13. Aside from Taha, Pumaren drew double-digit rebounds from Sena with 10. What Air 21 will need to work on are its accuracy from the three-point arc (only 12.5 percent against Global as Canaleta, Custodio, Atkins, Ritualo and Omolon were a combined 0-of-13), rate of turnovers (committed 21 against Global) and consistency in transition on both ends.

Pumaren’s style of giving his players equal opportunity to produce has to be a positive. Against Global, seven of the 11 players who checked in logged at least 20 minutes. Atkins had the least exposure with 10 minutes but came through with five points, one rebound, one assist, one steal and no turnover. Chemistry is an essential ingredient of a contender and Pumaren knows how important it is for everyone to stay on the same page – game in, game out. On his second season at the Air 21 helm, Pumaren is beginning to like what he sees from the bench.

Sam Miguel
10-09-2012, 11:03 AM
^^^ No mention of Nonoy Baclao's very good first game, or even John Wilson's contributions in the win over Global Ports?

Sam Miguel
10-10-2012, 09:26 AM
Confused Boosters battle ‘high’ Energy

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

11:38 pm | Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

POWERHOUSE Petron Blaze battles Barako Bull today in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations, looking to bounce back after a season-opening loss that exposed the Boosters’ lack of cohesiveness under new coaches.

Gametime is 7:30 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum with the Boosters drawing a relatively lighter foe in Barako Bull, which is also looking to exploit the kinks in the Petron armor and secure a second straight victory.

Alaska and Meralco slug it out in the first game at 5:15 p.m. with both squads also looking for a first win.

Olsen Racela and Rajko Toroman were obviously both calling the shots for the Boosters in a lopsided loss to Rain or Shine last Wednesday, one which came so unexpectedly considering the strength of the Petron roster on paper.

June Mar Fajardo, the top overall choice in the last Rookie Draft, literally had a bloody debut and was held down to harmless numbers by the Elasto Painters.

Petron bombed out of the semifinals in this same tournament last season after leading eventual champion Talk ‘N Text, 3-1, in the best-of-seven series.

That elimination eventually triggered the sacking as head coach of Ato Agustin, who came up short again in two more conferences.

“I’m a team player, always have been,” Racela said, when asked about an incident when the Serbian Toroman yanked the whiteboard from his hands during one timeout in the Rain or Shine game.

“Masama bang tingnan (Does it look bad)?,” Racela said with a smile when asked about the coaching setup.

Petron has one of the league’s most talented lineups and topped all pre-tournament surveys.

Jay Washington, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, Chris Lutz, Joseph Yeo, Fajardo, among others, form the core of the Boosters.

The Energy, on the other hand, will be seeking a followup to their 90-87 victory over Rain or Shine with coach Junnel Baculi making no secret that his team is now being led by Ronald Tubid.

Danny Seigle is expected back in the Barako Bull lineup to give Tubid the much-needed scoring support.

Sean Anthony and Doug Kramer are also tipped to play pivotal roles if the Energy are to pin a second straight loss on the Boosters.

10-11-2012, 09:29 AM
Hodge sparks Meralco past Alaska

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

4:43 am | Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Games tomorrow (Smart Araneta Coliseum)

5:15 p.m.—Globalport vs Talk ‘N Text
7:30 p.m.—Rain or Shine vs Air21

Cliff Hodge shone on both ends last night as Meralco ripped Alaska, 93-86, and scored its first win in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The rookie Hodge scored 12 of his 20 points when the Bolts took command in the third before Meralco held off several mild uprisings by the seemingly lethargic Aces to secure its first victory since Asi Taulava orphaned the Bolts nearly a month ago.

Meralco is making do without a legitimate threat after Taulava left the squad to play in the Asean Basketball League.

It was the second straight loss for the Aces, who looked out of sync all night and would have lost by an even bigger margin had they been up against a stronger foe.

Petron Blaze downed Barako Bull, 98-89, in the second game to tie its victim at 1-1.

Hodge also had 11 rebounds while Mac Cardona tossed in 16 for the Bolts, who led by as many as 15 points in the third period and were ahead by 12 entering the final two minutes.

Cyrus Baguio paced Alaska with 19 points and Sonny Thoss added 17 and 11 rebounds for the Aces, who didn’t seem willing to run even though several opportunities were there in the second half.

“It’s unusual to have a rookie dictate our effort level,” Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio said of the fourth overall choice in the draft. “Obviously, he’s bringing a lot of excitement, dirty work inside. And he also scores.

“When we drafted him, I thought he was just a defensive player, a loose ball diver and rebounder,” Gregorio continued. “But after two games, he’s averaging close to 20.”

Hodge, a 24-year-old Fil-American, scored 19 points in a 112-110 overtime loss to Talk ‘N Text last Friday.

Another rookie, Kelly Nabong, also grabbed 11 rebounds for the Bolts.

Gabby Espinas tossed in 15 points but had a really nasty foul on Hodge late in the fourth quarter. Commissioner Chito Salud will summon Espinas tomorrow and his technical foul could be upgraded with a fine to boot.

The scores:

MERALCO 93—Hodge 20, Cardona 16, Buenafe 13, Mercado 10, Salvacion 10, Hugnatan 8, Nabong 6, Reyes 4, Borboran 2, Sharma 2, Artadi 2, Belencion 0.

ALASKA 86—Baguio 19, Thoss 17, Espinas 15, Casio 12, Hontiveros 9, Baracael 4, Bugia 4, Dela Cruz 4, Reyes 2, Jazul 0, Eman 0, Cablay 0, Belasco 0.

Quarters: 24-24, 50-44, 76-64, 93-86

10-11-2012, 09:30 AM
Petron Blaze thrives in the open court, downs Barako Bull

By Celest R. Flores


11:39 pm | Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Petron Blaze tried to run, and ended up first on the finish line Wednesday night.

Ruling on the open court, the Boosters notched their first victory of the season at the expense of the Barako Bull Energy, 98-89, in the 2012 PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

It was the transition offense that ultimately spelled the difference from their opening game defeat to Rain or Shine, scoring 30 points off fastbreak attempts.

“We had a hard time on our halfcourt sets the last game so we needed to find other ways to score,” said head coach Olsen Racela.

The athletic Chris Lutz led the attack, finishing with 22 points—perfect from the stripe—six assists and a steal, but Alex Cabagnot put the icing on the cake.

Cabagnot lit up from downtown in the fourth period—halting a comeback scare by Barako Bull with a trey, which restored a double-digit advantage with over two minutes left.

Cabagnot stole the leather then set up Arwind Santos for a punctuation of a throwdown in the ensuing play.

Santos scored 18 points and plucked 11 rebounds, then notched three assists and two steals while Cabagnot added 16 markers and 10 rebounds.

The Boosters, though, still managed to botch a commanding 20-point lead after taking it easy toward the start of the payoff period.

“We relaxed in that stretch, we still need to play consistent for 48 minutes,” said Racela, who thought his squad gave too much space for Barako Bull.

The Energy patiently weathered the lead and cut it to just five points, 77-82, on a freethrow by Enrico Villanueva and a gusty floater by rookie Lester Alvarez.

But Barako Bull just didn’t have enough to go on and push Petron Blaze to the limit, succumbing to its first loss in the conference.

Six players from the Energy side chipped in at least 10 markers with Josh Urbiztondo leading the way with 17 markers and seven assists.

Sam Miguel
10-15-2012, 12:30 PM
Aces defuse Energy, nail first victory

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

9:50 pm | Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Displaying hard-nosed work ethic for the first time, Alaska Milk played to its potential for most part and snapped out of the rut in the PBA Philippine Cup last night.

JV Casio tossed in 24 points, Cyrus Baguio had 23 and Mac Baracael made it a three-cornered blade for the Aces with 21 in a 102-86 victory over Barako Bull at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

“We have some pieces, but overall, you want to come in and bring the hard work,” Alaska coach Luigi Trillo said after improving to 1-2 and notching just the fourth win of his young pro coaching career dating back to last season’s Governors’ Cup.

“We didn’t do that in the first two games, and that’s my fault,” he added, referring to two lopsided losses, the first against powerhouse San Mig Coffee which he said “awed and frustrated” his team.

“We got shell-shocked in the first game,” said Trillo, who lost to the Mixers by 20 points.

But last night, it was Casio, Baguio and Baracael who shell-shocked the Energy in the second half as the Aces broke free from a 48-all game at the half with some torrid shooting from the outside.

Casio rifled in 12 of his total in the third period, Baracael had 17 of his 21 in the final two quarters and Baguio had all but four of his points in the last three as the Aces took a 16-point lead into the fourth.

Barako Bull, which took a second straight loss after a season-opening win, actually got it down to one near the halfway mark of the fourth period after Enrico Villanueva scored on a left-handed layup with 5:46 left for 84-85.

RJ Jazul actually gave up a foul on Villanueva in that play, but the Barako Bull center muffed the bonus free throw.

Barako Bull would score just two more free throws from there, dooming the Energy to the bottom of the pack in the company of their conquerors, just a rung ahead of Globalport, the only winless team left in the fold.

The scores:

ALASKA 102—Casio 24, Baguio 23, Baracael 21, Dela Cruz 10, Eman 9, Jazul 6, Reyes 5, Laure 2, Hontiveros 2, Bugia 0, Thoss 0, Belasco 0.

BARAKO 86—Villanueva 22, Tubid 16, Urbiztondo 14, Pennisi 14, Anthony 10, Najorda 9, Yap 1, Marcelo 0, Alvarez 0, Kramer 0, Cruz 0.

Quarters: 21-25, 48-48, 81-65, 102-86

Sam Miguel
10-15-2012, 12:33 PM
Texters give Black winning PBA return

1:59 am | Saturday, October 13th, 2012

FOR A fleeting moment out there, it looked like Norman Black was headed from UAAP high to PBA low.

Playing its first official game under Black, Talk ‘N Text blew a 16-point third quarter lead and needed to hold newcomer Globalport scoreless in the last 3:41 to hammer out a 108-104 win in the Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

Jason Castro scored nine straight points when the game was on the line, and Ranidel de Ocampo nailed the dagger trey with 9.2 seconds left as the duo made sure that Black’s PBA comeback would be a sweet one.

It was the second straight win for the defending champion Tropang Texters, whom Black said he has been handling in and out for less than a month because of his commitment with the Ateneo crew that won a fifth straight UAAP title just a night ago.

“It’s pretty much a work in progress for me,” said Black, who won a Grand Slam with San Miguel in 1989 but last coached in the PBA with defunct Sta. Lucia in 2002.

In the second game, Jeff Chan fired a career-high 35 points as Rain or Shine held off Air21, 99-98, in overtime.

The Painters hiked their record to 2-1 while the Express fell to 1-3.

Castro restored order in the Talk ‘N Text offense by hitting nine straight points for a 105-104 lead with 3:27 remaining, before the Texters’ defense clamped down hard on the Batang Pier, who fell to 0-3.

Vic Manuel, a rookie picked ninth overall, tossed in 21 points, including a split that gave the Batang Pier a 104-101 lead. That was the last time Globalport scored.

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel shoots for a third straight win today when the Gin Kings battle Meralco in a road game presented by Phoenix Fuel at Sports, Cultural and Business Center in Digos, Davao del Sur.

It looked like it would be a breeze for the Texters after a Larry Fonacier triple with 1:04 left in the third period gave them an 86-70 lead.

But Miller, Manuel and Rabeh Al-Hussaini, benched the last time out for disciplinary reasons, rallied the Batang Pier, which played without last year’s scoring champion Gary David because of a knee injury suffered from a freak accident in practice.

The scores:

First Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 108—Castro 30, Reyes 19, Fonacier 19, De Ocampo 15, Williams 11, Alapag 5, Peek 4, Carey 3, Gamalinda 2, Raymundo 0, Alvarez 0.

GLOBALPORT 104—Miller 22, Manuel 21, Al-Hussaini 17, Salvador 9, Vanlandingham 8, Deutchman 7, Guevarra 6, Yee 6, Mandani 4, Cruz 2, Antonio 2, Lingganay 0.

Quarters: 32-31, 57-52, 86-74, 108-104

Second Game

RAIN OR SHINE 99—Chan 35, Cruz 12, Norwood 12, Belga 8, Quinahan 8, Ibanes 7, Tang 5, Arana 5, Rodriguez 4, Jaime 3, Matias 0.

AIR21 98—Wilson 21, Canaleta 13, Isip 12, Omolon 11, Arboleda 10, Sena 8, Baclao 8, Escobal 6, Taha 4, Ritualo 3, Atkins 2.

Quarters: 18-26, 43-48, 75-68, 94-94, 99-98

Sam Miguel
10-18-2012, 08:48 AM
Globalport nails 1st PBA victory

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

11:46 pm | Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Displaying a lot of heart for a side with a supposedly low morale, Globalport came roaring back from 14 points down in the fourth period to steal its first PBA win, a 105-104 decision of Meralco last night in the Philippine Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.

With the three-point shot as their main weapon, the Batang Pier overhauled a 78-92 deficit with under 9 minutes left to pip the Bolts, who later on learned that their dugout had been ransacked by thieves who made a mockery of the ultra-modern arena’s security.

Willie Miller scored 33 points and rookie Jason Deutchman finished with 20, including two straight triples in a 25-second span that completed the Batang Pier’s improbable climb against one of the hottest teams in the tournament.

The second of those treys, Deutchman’s fourth for the game, gave the Batang Pier a 100-99 lead to stay with 73 seconds left.

Globalport’s first win after four tries came even with Gary David sitting out a second straight game because of a knee injury, and coach Glenn Capacio, who also won his first game, praised his squad’s heart more than anything else.

“This is a big thing for the players because their morale (coming into this game) was very low,” Capacio said in Filipino. “The players showed a lot of heart. Luckily, we played well in the last four minutes.”

Alfred Mandani, a rookie with foreign blood like Deutchman, completed a three-point play off Ronjay Buenafe with 17 seconds remaining for a 103-99 lead that practically iced the contest.

The robbery incident happened before the end of the first half, with Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio losing more than P100,000 to the thieves, who managed to slip through several security checkpoints.

It was Miller’s highest-scoring game since the 34 he scored in the 2008 Fiesta Conference for Alaska. With his explosive night, Miller, the former two-time MVP, became just the 25th player in league history to score at least 8,000 points and is the only active player in that elite club.

The scores:

First Game

GLOBALPORT 105—Miller 33, Deutchman 20, Al-Hussaini 17, Mandani 12, Manuel 6, Guevarra 6, Yee 5, Vanlandingham 4, Salvador 2, Lingganay 0, Cruz 0, Antonio 0.

MERALCO 104—Mercado 30, Buenafe 30, Hodge 15, Reyes 7, Nabong 6, Hugnatan 5, Artadi 4, Salvacion 3, Belencion 2, Cardona 2, Bulawan 0, Borboran 0, Sharma 0.

Quarters: 25-25, 52-48, 76-87, 105-104

Sam Miguel
10-18-2012, 08:49 AM
PBA: Jimmy Alapag reaches milestone as he makes 1,002nd triple

By Celest R. Flores

Philippine Daily Inquirer

11:30 pm | Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Jimmy Alapag now belongs to an elite cast of marksmen in the PBA.

Alapag, the Texters’ star guard, became only the fourth player in the storied PBA history to knock down 1,000 three-point shots after his 16-point performance Wednesday night.

After heating up the first half with two treys, Alapag converted two more to not only stir Talk N’ Text to an 96-89 win over Air 21 but to also close in on legends in “most 3-pointers made” list.

Alapag surpassed Al Solis, who made exactly 1,000 three-point conversions in his entire career, as he gave the Texters a 68-59 lead midway in the third quarter.

But still with gas left in his tank at 35, Alapag is expected to inch closer to PBA greats Allan Caidic and Ronnie Magsanoc on the all-time list.

Caidic, one of the purest shooters the league has ever come acrosss, owns the record with 1,242 treys while Magsanoc has 1,171 across his name.

Sam Miguel
10-18-2012, 08:51 AM
Meralco team suffers double black eye as dugout gets ransacked

By Mark Giongco


9:09 pm | Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Things couldn’t get any worse for Meralco.

Not only that the Bolts saw the game get snatched away from them by erstwhile winless Global Port, an unknown thief stole valuable items inside their dugout at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

“I lost my wallet, I lost my IPad, I lost my IPhone, I lost everything. I lost my credit cards, my money and the more important thing is I lost all my files in coaching and my files in my corporate work and the saddest thing is that when you just use a card you can open the back door (of the dugout),” said Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio, whose sling bag was recovered near the fire exit.

“They found my bag but the only things left were medicine and my car keys at least my puso pa,” added Gregorio.

Among the others who were victimized were assistant coach Ronnie Magsanoc and shooting coach Xavy Nunag and conditioning coach Mon Macatangay.

“I don’t want to speculate. They’re investigating now but the damage has been done and it’s painful,” he added. “They can take away my material things but the files those are things I worked hard for. The worst part of it was I got so distracted and we lost the game.” Meralco lost after squandering a 92-78 lead.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud has released a statement addressing the incident.

“It’s indeed unfortunate they just have to tighten the security measure and improve their response procedures.”

“I am confident the MOA Arena management can immediately rectify their shortcomings and ensure the safety of the teams and fans the full indemnify in full the victims of today’s theft and robbery.”

Sam Miguel
10-18-2012, 08:52 AM
Talk N’ Text still undefeated after turning back Air21

By Celest R. Flores


11:04 pm | Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Talk N’ Text kept it steady in the second half and turned back Air21, 96-89, Wednesday to remain undefeated in the 2012 PBA Philippine Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.

After quickly wiping off a five-point halftime deficit, the Texters—more fluid on the offense—built a safe cushion and never relinquished the lead en route to a 3-0 record.

“We played much better in the second half. We switched bigger players (on their big men) to make it a little harder for them to score in the paint,” said head coach Norman Black.

Jimmy Alapag, who reached a milestone by knocking down the 1000th triple of his career, led the Texters with 16 points—half of which scored in the pivotal third period.

Alapag nailed his fourth trey of the game, then scored on a baseline jumper before John Ferriols capped the run with an undergoal stab to make it 72-59 lead in the third.

“We just ran a free-flowing game in the second. We tried to do set plays but it didn’t work for us, so I just told them to go back to what they do best,” said Black.

Ranidel De Ocampo paced Talk N’ Text with 19 points, giving his squad the biggest lead at 93-79 with 3:37 to go, six rebounds and three assists.

Air21, which absorbed its third setback, got 26 points off turnovers but could not come closer than seven points in the payoff period.

Nino Canaleta led all scorers with 21 points—3-of-6 from downtown—while John Wilson and Winnie Arboleda chipped in 18 and 14 points, respectively.

Wilson and Arboleda accounted for eight of the 11 three-pointers of the Express, who held the lead at the turn of the first and second quarters.

Sam Miguel
10-19-2012, 09:33 AM
NCAA top gun Abueva debuts vs Boosters

(The Philippine Star)

Updated October 19, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Calvin Abueva finally brings his act in the pro league, debuting with an Alaska Milk team seeking a follow-up to its breakthrough win against a struggling Petron Blaze side in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.

Considered as the best player to come out of the NCAA in years, Abueva is a good addition to the Alaska roster where he is expected to boost the Aces’ scoring and defensive sock.

The Porac, Pampanga native was a dominant force for San Sebastian in the NCAA, leading all comers in scoring, rebounds and assists in his farewell season – a record in the league.

He, however, failed to help lift SSC past Letran in their Final Four encounter, bungling a twice-to-beat edge.

But Abueva looks forward to coming up with an impressive debut with Alaska after signing an P8.7-million, three-year pact Wednesday. He joined the Aces in practice right away.

Coach Luigi Trillo said he would break Abueva into the team gradually.

“Yes, he will play against Petron but it’s unfair to play him long with only two days of practice,” Trillo told The STAR.

The Aces, who just snapped out of a two-game losing streak with a 102-86 win over the Barako Bull Energy Sunday, go for a second straight win against a Petron side. crippled by the sidelining of prized rookie center Junmar Fajardo.

The Cebuano behemoth will be out for the next three or four weeks as he has undergone surgery.

Alaska and Petron clash at 5:15 p.m. before Barangay Ginebra and Barako Bull collide at 7:30 p.m.

The Aces, the Boosters and the Energy Coffee all go for a second win in four starts while the Kings chase a third victory against a lone defeat.

“I think Petron will play better without him (Fajardo). They have such a deep team that they play better with injured players,” said Trillo.

The Aces themselves are short-handed minus Gabby Espinas who’s nursing a viral infection.

Jayvee Casio had his breakout game with Alaska as the Aces bucked the absence of Espinas in scoring their first win in the season at the expense of the Energy Cola.

Meanwhile, the MOA Arena management expressed readiness to iron things out following the heist that happened in the Meralco dugout during the first half of the Bolts-Globalport Batang Pier tiff Wednesday in the Pasay venue.

“We’re willing to sort out whatever needs to be sorted out particularly that of the players and particularly that of Meralco which is a corporate partner. We have to make sure that our relationship sticks and would be better off after this untoward incident,” said MOA Arena business unit head Arnel Gonzales.

“It’s also a shock to us that this kind of an incident happened. After five months of operations, this is the most unfortunate thing that has ever happened in the arena,” said Gonzales.

Sam Miguel
10-19-2012, 09:34 AM
^^^ Those questionable shots and "errant" passes in the last three and a half minutes of their last Final 4 game versus Letran were especially telling. Yes, he did get good numbers, a 20-20 I believe. But still, numbers don't quite tell the entire story do they?

10-21-2012, 08:35 AM
Aces stun Boosters; Energy whip Kings

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:07 am | Saturday, October 20th, 2012

ALASKA finally unveiled the “Beast,” and the Aces are suddenly looking fearsome again.

Rookie Calvin Abueva debuted with 12 points and 16 rebounds, and Dondon Hontiveros struck hardest in the fourth period as Alaska stunned Petron Blaze, 88-86, last night in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Abueva was the energizer the Aces have been looking for, and Hontiveros played with his old brilliance, shooting four triples in the payoff frame as Alaska came charging back from 12 points down in the third period to win a second straight game.

Alaska also drew 21 points from old reliable Cyrus Baguio in its most impressive showing under the watch of Luigi Trillo to rise to 2-2 and deal the Boosters a second successive loss in a 1-3 card.

Barako Bull completed a night of upsets with a 92-82 conquest of Barangay Ginebra for a 2-2 card like its victim.

Sean Anthony scored 21 points to lead the Energy, who also got all of Josh Urbiztondo’s 19 points in the first three periods.

Mark Caguioa, the reigning MVP, fired 21 to lead all Ginebra shooters.

“He’s just an ‘Energizer Bunny,’” Trillo told reporters. “He brings so much to the team. I played him just six minutes in the first half and then just let him be Calvin (in the second).”

Abueva wound up his collegiate duties with San Sebastian last week and came into the bruising contest after turning in just four days of practice with the Aces.

He played the whole second half and figured in practically every crucial play, scoring four straight points during the Aces’ hottest run that had them taking an 80-75 lead with just over four minutes left.

The scores:

First Game

ALASKA 88—Baguio 21, Hontiveros 17, Abueva 12, Casio 9, Thoss 8, Jazul 6, Baracael 6, Espinas 3, Reyes 2, Eman 2, Dela Cruz 2.

PETRON 86—Lutz 20, Washington 15, Cabagnot 12, Santos 11, Pena 11, Miranda 7, Yeo 4, Ildefonso 4, Mallari 2.

Quarters: 17-18, 37-41, 57-65, 88-86

Second Game

BARAKO 92—Anthony 21, Uriztondo 19, Pennisi 11, Tubid 10, Villanueva 9, Najorda 7, Yap 6, Seigle 3, Alvarez 2, Ballesteros 2, Kramer 2.

GINEBRA 82—Caguioa 21, Raymundo 11, Mamaril 10, Ellis 8, Jensen 8, Tenorio 6, Wilson 6, Maliksi 5, Maierhofer 5, Hatfield 2, Cortez 0, Helterbrand 0.

Quarters: 27-22, 48-44, 68-69, 92-82

10-21-2012, 08:38 AM
Rain or Shine just too good for Globalport

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:25 am | Sunday, October 21st, 2012

(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:15 p.m.—Air21 vs Meralco
6:30 p.m.—Petron Blaze vs Ginebra

ANTIPOLO—Rain or Shine led practically all the way in turning back upset-conscious newcomer Globalport, 94-83 for its third win in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations last night at the Ynares Center here.

The Elasto Painters, the reigning Governors’ Cup champions, outscored the Batang Pier in every quarter to pound out the close win and rise to 3-1 overall.

Globalport, which came into the game seeking a followup to a breakthrough pro win, fought hard all night and earned praise from Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

“We played steady in the endgame,” Guiao said. “I think it’s the maturity we learned from playing in the Finals (of the Governors’ Cup), finishing the game in a solid manner the way we did tonight.”

San Mig Coffee and defending champion Talk ’N Text, the only undefeated sides remaining in the 10-team field, were clashing at press time for the solo lead.

“Globalport is a very good team, their new guys can really play,” added Guiao. “They just need a little time to jell, to know their roles. And they will be more dangerous in the middle of the tournament.”

Jervy Cruz, the former UAAP MVP with Santo Tomas who got married last Sunday, already had 14 points in just 16 minutes in the first half as the Elasto Painters finished the second quarter strong for a 46-42 lead.

The 6-foot-5 Cruz went on to lead all Rain or Shine shooters with 22 points, with Jeff Chan, the national team gunslinger, rebounding from a lukewarm first half to finish with 13 markers.

Jason Deutchman, a left-handed rookie whose two late triples against Meralco last Wednesday keyed an 89-88 win, paced the Batang Pier with 18 points even as former two-time MVP Willie Miller struggled to finish with just 10.

Miller, who came into the contest fresh from a 33-point night against the Bolts, had just six points in the final two periods.

The Painters were able to keep their heads above water in the first two periods even with usual heavy scorers Chan and Gabe Norwood struggling as Ronnie Matias came off the bench to shoot nine.

Fil-American rookie Alfred Mandani, meanwhile, was already in twin digits with 10 at the end of the first half.

The scores:

RAIN OR SHINE 94—Cruz 22, Chan 13, Matias 11, Quinahan 11, Norwood 9, Tang 8, arana 8, Rodriguez 6, Belga 4, Ibanes 2.

GLOBALPORT 83—Deutchman 18, Mandani 17, Guevarra 13, Miller 10, Al Hussaini 7, Vanlandingham 6, Manuel 5, Antonio 3, Lingganay 2, Cruz 2, Yee 0, Adducul 0.

Quarters: 27-24, 46-42, 70-63, 94-83

Sam Miguel
10-23-2012, 09:14 AM
Petron Blaze back on winning track, deals Ginebra third loss

By Celest R. Flores


9:23 pm | Sunday, October 21st, 2012

MANILA, Philippines — Joseph Yeo and Arwind Santos made key executions in clutch as Petron Blaze nipped Barangay Ginebra 98-95 to get back on the winning track Sunday in the 2012 PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Boosters, after losing two straight games, played with more grit down the stretch and relied on Yeo to nail a go-ahead bucket before Santos came up with a crucial rebound in the final second.

“It was really a team effort for us, everybody’s helping out,” said Petron head coach Olsen Racela. “I think Petron plays better with an injured lineup.”

“Santos and Lutz are really consistent for us; Cabagnot played well; Washington is really patient waiting for his minutes; Yeo hit big threes,” Racela added.

Yeo, whose finger roll with 57.1 seconds left brought Petron back in the lead, played consistently throughout and had 16 markers at the end of the night.

Cabagnot paced the Boosters with 25 markers, but couldn’t ice the game as he made just one of the two freethrows which gave them a precarious 98-95 edge with 8.1 ticks remaining.

The Kings had time to tie the game but Mark Caguiao flubbed a contested triple and it was Santos who zoomed to get the crucial bounce.

Santos, who thought his squad played with more heart this time, tallied 22 points and pulled 17 rebounds for Petron, which improved to 2-3.

Barangay Ginebra, meanwhile, after starting with so much zing at 2-0, has lost on its third straight assignment after a miscommunication down the wire keyed in its doom.

LA Tenorio, who improved offensively Sunday night and finished with 15 points, threw too strong of a pass to Willie Wilson, botching a chance to tie the game anew with 9.4 ticks.

Caguioa finished with 23 points — allowing the Kings to get back in the game at the fourth — but missed on a chance to send the game into overtime.

The scores:

PETRON 98 – Cabagnot 25, Santos 22, Lutz 18, Yeo 16, Pena 6, Washington 4, Ildefonso 4, Lanete 2, Mallari 1, Sison 0, Miranda 0.
GINEBRA 95 – Caguioa 23, Tenorio 15, Raymundo 14, Ellis 8, Wilson 8, Maierhofer 7, Mamaril 7, Helterbrand 7, Maliksi 5, Jensen 1, Hatfield 0.

Sam Miguel
10-23-2012, 09:17 AM
Energetic Abueva brings his ‘beast mode’ to the PBA

By Celest R. Flores


11:35 pm | Saturday, October 20th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Calvin Abueva played like the best collegiate player that he is Friday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

But only this time, the indefatigable Abueva—dubbed as ‘The Beast’—was making his debut with Alaska in the tougher pro ranks.

Abueva brought to the table what he did best in the NCAA—a dominating performance, providing the jolt in the Aces’ 88-86 victory over Petron Blaze.

“It’s just nice to have him. He brings so much to our team, energy wise. It’s nakakahawa (contagious),” said Alaska head coach Luigi Trillo.

And Trillo was wise let that energy of Abueva—which has always carried him in the NCAA—unleashed in his debut.

“I just let him be Calvin,” said Trillo, who barely took Abueva out of the game in the second half. “He’s going to be the backbone of this franchise.”

“I think he can thrive in both the open court and structured offense,” added Trillo, who even called Abueva an ‘Energizer Bunny.’

Abueva, just a few days removed from a heartbreaking ending with San Sebastian in the semifinals, delivered on his first night by pulling down crucial boards and being all over the court.

The rookie collected 12 points and 16 rebounds against two of the best big men in the league—Jay Washingon and Arwind Sanots—at the end of the night.

“Sinabi ko lang sa sarili ko na kung ano pinakita ko nung college, d-doblehin ko pa (I told myself what I gave when I was in college, I’ll double the effort),” said Abueva, a native of Pampanga.

“Pinaghandaan ko na rin yung katawan ko para sa banggaan dito (I prepared my body for the clashes here),” Abueva added.

Abueva has always played big as he repeatedly beat bulkier and taller guys to crucial rebounds and tip-ins, as he showed in the 4:28 mark in the fourth quarter.

“People don’t realize that he’s 6’1, and he’s playing against guys who are 6’5 and 6’6,” said Trillo.

But Friday night was just a start of a long, gruelling career in the PBA for Abueva, but at least he got off to an energetic start.

Sam Miguel
10-25-2012, 09:15 AM
Texters keep perfect slate

Petron gives Olsen team’s reins

11:12 pm | Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Jason Castro hit the marginal three-pointer to lead Talk ‘N Text to a low-scoring, 79-76 victory over Barako Bull that kept the Tropang Texters undefeated in the PBA Philippine Cup last night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The triple at the final 1:27 mark was Castro’s only basket in the fourth period and eventually secured for the Texters their fifth straight win.

Barako Bull had several chances to tie after that Castro conversion, but the Energy bungled them all, with Josh Urbiztondo capping a poor shooting night by throwing up an airball for the potential game-tying trey.

The Energy dropped to 2-3 although Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black praised Barako Bull for keeping the game close and almost stealing it in the end.

“I think coach Junel (Baculi of Barako Bull) did a great job of scouting us and coming up with a sound game plan against us,” said Black.

Meanwhile, Petron Blaze addressed its coaching situation by putting newly appointed head coach Olsen Racela in full command of the squad, a source revealed yesterday.

Before the move, Racela and assistant Rajko Toroman shared coaching duties.

The source added it is unlikely Toroman will stay on the Petron bench when the Boosters face Globalport tomorrow.

Rain or Shine rallied from 16 points down at the start of the fourth period to nip San Mig Coffee, 80-79, in the second game.

Jeff Chan completed a four-point play and Beau Belga nailed a triple with 1:50 left, completing the comeback from 50-66 for the Painters, who improved to 4-1.

San Mig took a second straight loss and dropped to 2-2 overall.

The scores:

First Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 79—Castro 15, Fonacier 13, Peek 10, De Ocampo 9, Reyes 8, Williams 7, Alapag 6, Gamalinda 4, Carey 3, Dillinger 2, Ferriols 2.

BARAKO 76—Villanueva 16, Kramer 15, Anthony 12, Tubid 12, Ballesteros 6, Pennisi 6, Najorda 5, Urbiztondo 2, Yap 2, Cervantes 0.

Quarters: 17-18, 46-45, 68-61, 79-76

Second Game

RAIN OR SHINE 80—Chan 22, Cruz 10, Norwood 9, Quiñahan 9, Belga 7, Rodriguez 7, Tang 5, Araña 5, Jaime 4, Ibañes 2, Matias 0.

SANMIG COFFEE 79—Yap 28, Simon 17, Ramos 9, Reavis 8, Gonzales 7, De Ocampo 4, Gaco 2, Barroca 2, Villanueva 2.

Quarters: 17-26, 31-40, 50-66, 80-79

10-29-2012, 08:08 AM
Reavis 'smart move' saves San Mig

By Nelson Beltran

(The Philippine Star)

Updated October 29, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Rafi Reavis didn’t score a single basket but made one crucial play, swiping the ball off the Barako Bull rim in the dying seconds as San Mig Coffee preserved a 92-91 win over the Energy Cola in a closely fought match in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

With the game hanging in the balance, Reavis knocked off the ball while it rested on the Barako goal, wiping away the Energy Cola’s chance to reverse the outcome.

For a while, there was confusion on the court as the Energy Cola maintained it’s an illegal goal interference by Reavis on Rico Villanueva’s close stab. The Mixers, on the other hand, claimed it’s a smart and brilliant move by Reavis.

Upon review of the tape, the referees ruled it a legal play, a defensive rebound by Reavis.

Barako coach Junel Baculi said they would also review the tape then confer with the team management on the proper action to do.

“If you ask my opinion, no disrespect to the commissioner, it’s counted. We’re robbed of the win, but it happens. Of course, we’re biased for us,” said Baculi.

In a huddle with Barako officials after the game, commissioner Chito Salud affirmed it’s a legal play.

“Once the ball hits the rim, anybody can swipe it off. That’s the rule,” said Salud.

The Mixers thus escaped with the one-point thriller and again breached the .500 mark with a 3-2 win-loss record.

“We needed this one tonight obviously after two tough losses,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.

“I don’t see the last shots. But FIBA rules allow one to knock the ball out of the rim. We’re not using the NBA goal-tending rule here,” Cone also said. “It’s really a smart play by Rafi. He’s been doing that since the rule change.”

Calvin Abueva barely missed a third double-double game with 19 points and nine rebounds, leading another balanced Alaska Milk game that resulted to an 87-69 victory over Barangay Ginebra in the nightcap.

10-29-2012, 08:51 AM
It mght be time for Mark Caguioa and Jay Helterbrand to call it a career after this conference, whatever happens. They are now more off than on, and even though I am a well-documented diehard Ginebra fan, I also see that this team should no longer be tied to Fast and Furious, because they haven't been that in at least the last three years. Sure, the Spark just won MVP honors, and he still has more moves than guys 10 years youngers. But he's taking more bad shots now. Given his already spotty shot selection over his entire career, that's saying a lot. He makes a spectacular feed about once every three to four games, and he's never been a willing passer. Same is true with the Brand, who is clearly no longer among the Top 5 PBA pointguards, and might not even be Top 10 anymore. It is time to pass the baton to LA Tenorio and let him work Chris Ellis and Kieth Jensen into new superstars. If Ginebra could move on without Eric Menk, surely they can move on without (not so) Fast and Furious.

Sam Miguel
10-30-2012, 10:46 AM
No longer bullish on protest

By Nelson Beltran

(The Philippine Star)

Updated October 30, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Barako Bull has accepted its sorry setback to San Mig Coffee Sunday night, hoping to perform well in its next three games against equally struggling rivals in the PBA Philippine Cup.

“We had a meeting with the commissioner (Chito Salud yesterday) and we got some clarifications. At the same time, we don’t want to prolong the process and we don’t want controversy so we’re moving on,” Barako coach Junel Baculi told The STAR.

“We’re moving on, but we had a suggestion that hopefully the league can take a look at. Hopefully, they can clear the gray area as this might happen again in a Game Seven of a championship,” Baculi also said.

Baculi was with team manager Raffy Casyao and assistant coach Jigs Mendoza in his meeting with Salud the morning after the Energy Cola’s sorry 91-92 loss to the Mixers.

Rafi Reavis preserved their win in swiping the ball off the Barako Bull rim following Rico Villanueva’s make-or-break shot in the dying seconds of the match.

The Energy Cola protested the referees’ non-call, claiming Reavis should have been given a goal-tending violation. Salud, however, affirmed it was a legal play.

“Once the ball hits the rim, anybody can swipe it in or swipe it off. That’s the rule,” said Salud on national television after the game.

Earlier yesterday, Villanueva called the league commissioner to apologize for his belligerent conduct after the game.

An online photo shows Villanueva pointing a finger at the commissioner while appealing their case.

“Pinalusot na natin iyon (We let that pass). I credit it to his passion for the game,” said Salud.

Despite back-to-back close losses, Baculi said his team remains optimistic.

“Their fighting spirit is still there. We’re hopeful we can bounce back and we’re really looking to do good in our next three games against Meralco, Globalport and Air21,” said Baculi.

Sam Miguel
10-31-2012, 08:57 AM
San Mig, Meralco eye win No. 4

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

11:54 pm | Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

San Mig Coffee and Meralco shoot for a share of second spot today when they clash with separate foes languishing in the lower half of the standings of the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

The Mixers will go into their 5:15 p.m. clash with newcomer Globalport fresh from a controversial victory over Barako Bull, which is hoping to put the unfortunate incident that doomed the Energy and get back on the winning track opposite the Bolts at 7:30 p.m.

A 92-91 victory sealed by a contested goal-tending noncall in the dying seconds allowed the Mixers to snap a two-game slide, and they are again installed as the solid picks over a considerably lighter foe in Globalport.

The Batang Pier need a win badly at 1-5.

Gary David, last year’s scoring champion, is expected to return from a knee injury in tonight’s game and help former two-time MVP Willie Miller with the scoring for the Batang Pier.

James Yap and Peter June Simon have been the consistent offensive weapons for Tim Cone at San Mig, which has a decided frontline advantage against the Batang Pier.

Both the Mixers and the Bolts have 3-2, cards and Meralco’s job tonight could be tougher considering that it would be coming off a 10-day break against a formidable Barako Bull five.

The Energy slugged it out toe-to-toe with the Energy last Sunday and looked like a clear winner when Enrico Villanueva had a clear look at a short stab for the game-winning shot with less than five seconds remaining.

But Rafi Reavis saved the day for the Mixers by tapping the ball away from the cylinder after it took its first bounce to seal the one-point win. Barako Bull didn’t bother to put the game under protest after being enlightened by commissioner Chito Salud.

Barako Bull has played the tough teams in the first part of its schedule and could climb up the ladder starting with the Bolts.

Sam Miguel
11-05-2012, 09:35 AM
San Mig outclasses listless Ginebra five

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

10:39 pm | Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Before the season’s biggest crowd, San Mig Coffee tore Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to shreds, 78-68, last night in what was supposed to be the thrilling finale to a rare tripleheader.

The Mixers rebounded from a pathetic start and held the Gin Kings to just eight points in the first quarter to post leads of as many as 22 points before coasting to their third straight win and a share of second place in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Joe Devance hit two triples in a torrid fourth-quarter stretch as the Mixers broke the game wide open and prompted many of the close to 20,000 Smart Araneta Coliseum fans to form bee lines to the exits.

San Mig won its previous two games despite not being in its best form, but its fifth win in seven outings was so clinical that Ginebra looked like it didn’t belong in the same class as the Mixers.

“We played a great defensive game tonight and there were times that Ginebra shot themselves in the foot with missed layups and such,” San Mig’s Tim Cone said later. “That happens in the midst of a downtime, when you lose some games.”

This latest loss was not just “some” for the Kings, who took a fifth straight defeat flush on the chin, their 2-5 card now good for an eighth-place tie with idle Air21.

Devance finished with 18 points and was named Best Player of the Game even as James Yap, Peter June Simon and Marc Pingris all finished in twin digits.

Ginebra came into the game with three veterans on the injured list, and the Kings also lost Dylan Ababou early to a suspected ACL injury.

The Kings actually started with an 8-1 lead, but the first quarter ended with Ginebra trailing, 8-15, after going scoreless for most of the last six minutes of the quarter.

Mark Caguioa led the Kings with 16 points, all scored in the final three periods.

The scores:

Third Game

SANMIG COFFEE 78—Devance 18, Yap 14, Simon 13, Pingris 11, De Ocampo 7, Barroca 6, Reavis 4, Villanueva 3, Intal 2, Gonzales 0.

GINEBRA 68—Caguioa 16, Tenorio 12, Ellis 11, Jensen 8, Mamaril 7, Maierhofer 6, Cortez 6, Ababou 2, Espiritu 0, Wilson 0, Hatfield 0.

Quarters: 15-8, 41-29, 61-45, 78-68

Sam Miguel
11-05-2012, 10:28 AM
Rain or Shine shocks Bolts

Tubid rescues Barako Bull

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

10:07 pm | Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Rain or Shine was so good on a night Meralco was so bad, even as Barako Bull snapped a three-game slide in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations before a mammoth crowd yesterday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Elasto Painters grabbed a piece of second place after waltzing to a 106-81 victory over the Bolts, whom they held to just nine points in the second period and 28 overall in the first half.

After building leads of as many as 33 in the fourth quarter, the Painters wound up with the most lopsided victory in the season-opening tournament as they rebounded from a sorry loss to league-leader Talk ‘N Text last week.

Earlier, Barako Bull won the first game of a rare tripleheader with Ronald Tubid hitting a short stab with 18 seconds left in a 95-94 decision of newcomer Globalport.

The Energy improved to 3-5 overall while dealing the Batang Pier their seventh loss in eight outings.

“Meralco is one of the hottest teams in the league and I am really surprised that we beat them in the manner that we did,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said after dealing the Bolts their third loss in seven game. “I was looking forward to a tight endgame struggle.

“But I think early on, we just got our rhythm both on offense and defense.”

Rain or Shine backed up its defense with a huge offensive effort, blasting the Bolts with a 39-point third quarter.

The scores:

First Game

BARAKO 95—Tubid 19, Villanueva 18, Pennisi 13, Najorda 11, Anthony 9, Urbiztondo 9, Yap 9, Kramer 4, Alvarez 3, Ballesteros 0.

GLOBALPORT 94—Yee 20, Miller 17, Manuel 12, Deutchman 11, Lingganay 10, Vanlandingham 7, Vergara 7, Al-Hussaini 5, Antonio 3, Adducul 2, Mandani 0, Guevarra 0.

Quarters: 22-18, 49-48, 77-74, 95-94

Second Game

RAIN OR SHINE 106—Ibanes 23, Belga 16, Arana 15, Quinahan 10, Tang 9, Cruz 8, Chan 7, Rodriguez 7, Norwood 6, Matias 5, Uyloan 0, Jaime 0.

MERALCO 81—Cardona 20, Salvacion 14, Buenafe 11, Hodge 9, Mercado 9, Hugnatan 6, Bulawan 5, Borboran 4, Reyes 3, Belencion 0, Ross 0, Sharma 0, Artadi 0.

Quarters: 25-19, 41-28, 80-53, 106-81

11-08-2012, 11:19 AM
Rain or Shine sends Alaska back to earth

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

10:24 pm | Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

After playing catch-up in the first three quarters, Rain or Shine pulled away in the fourth period and sent Alaska and Calvin Abueva back to reality last night.

Jeff Chan and JR Quiñahan served as offensive anchors as the Elasto Painters snapped the Aces’ five-game winning run in the PBA Philippine Cup with a 101-93 win at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Chan hit 10 straight points, including a wide-open triple with 8:33 left that gave the Painters the lead to stay, 85-84, and sent Rain or Shine on its way to a second straight victory and a 6-2 slate.

“We had to grind it out and it was only in the late stages of the fourth that we were able to break away,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said.

Talk ‘N Text remained in the lead after taking Petron Blaze apart, 92-82, in the second game.

Larry Fonacier scored 21 points and Kelly Williams 16 for the Texters, who bounced back from a narrow loss to the Aces to rise to 7-1. Petron lost for the second straight game and is now at 3-6.

Abueva, the second overall pick in the PBA draft who hasn’t lost a game since joining the Aces four games into the season, was held below twin digits for the first time. He scored just seven points and pulled down just six rebounds, four below his average.

Guiao said holding Abueva down wasn’t the only thing they needed to do to survive Alaska, which took just a third loss in eight games.

“We know Abueva hasn’t lost a game,” Guiao explained. “But we didn’t want to get distracted. The ‘Beast’ wasn’t going to beat us (by himself), kundi yung mga surot (but the pesky guys) like (JV) Casio and Cyrus (Baguio).

“We put a lot of pressure on them defensively and they got tired in the fourth quarter.”

Alaska was in command in the first three quarters, leading by as many as 10 points several times, before the Aces were held to 16 points in the fourth.

Casio and Baguio did finish with 16 apiece to lead Alaska, but JV laid a big fat egg in the fourth and Cyrus was held to just four as baskets came in trickles for the Aces when winning time was at hand.

“Give Rain or Shine credit, they played great defense in the second half,” Alaska coach Luigi Trillo said. “Granted we miss on offense, but there’s no excuse on (not playing) defense. We chickened out tonight.”

Trillo said that Abueva missed one practice before the game, being under the weather the past few days.

The scores:

First Game

RAIN OR SHINE 101—Chan 22, Quinahan 20, Arana 13, Rodriguez 12, Norwood 9, Matias 8, Belga 7, Tang 4, Ibanes 4, Cruz 2.

ALASKA 93—Casio 16, Baguio 16, Espinas 13, Baracael 9, Dela Cruz 8, Hontiveros 8, Abueva 7, Jazul 6, Thoss 4, Laure 4, Eman 2, Reyes 0.

Quarters: 22-25, 43-47, 71-77, 101-93

Second Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 92—Fonacier 21, Williams 16, De Ocampo 14, Alapag 13, Aban 9, Carey 6, Castro 5, Ferriols 4, Alvarez 2, Peek 2, Raymundo 0, Gamalinda 0.

PETRON BLAZE 82—Lutz 18, Santos 17, Washington 16, Yeo 10, Duncil 7, Miranda 6, Faundo 4, Cabagnot 4.

Quarters: 17-23, 42-42, 69-60, 92-82

Sam Miguel
11-29-2012, 12:05 PM
Talk ’N Text stifles Petron, seizes top spot

By Mark Giongco

Philippine Daily Inquirer

6:07 am | Thursday, November 29th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Defending champion Talk ‘N Text shut down Petron Blaze down the stretch to fashion out a 95-82 win and clinch the top spot Wednesday night in the 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang Texters held the Boosters scoreless in the last 3:19 to break loose from a nip-and-tuck payoff period.

“I’m really happy with the way we played defense in the second half. The players are starting to buy into becoming a defensive team,” said TNT head coach Norman Black.

Talk ‘N Text hiked its impressive slate to 11-2 going into its last elimination game against crowd-darling Ginebra.

“It doesn’t guarantee anything but we’re already qualified, that’s our goal from the beginning. It’s a good total team effort. We were very tenacious on defense,” added Black.

Jimmy Alapag uncorked a long three that broke a 78-deadlock, sparking an explosive 17-4 TNT run to end the game.

Jayson Castro shone anew with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Arwind Santos scored the Boosters’ last basket, 82-88.

The Tropang Texters also snapped the Boosters’ three-game winning streak as Petron dropped to 6-7.

Santos finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Petron led by as much as eight, 44-36, in the second period but just couldn’t sustain its form in the second half as TNT made the necessary adjustments on both ends of the floor.

The scores:

First Game

ALASKA 88—Abueva 20, Baguio 19, Baracael 12, Thoss 12, Casio 9, Espinas 7, Jazul 6, Dela Cruz 2, Eman 1, Reyes 0, Hontiveros 0.

MERALCO 85—Ross 14, Cardona 14, Hodge 13, Hugnatan 11, Mercado 10, Borboran 9, Nabong 6, Reyes 5, Buenafe 3, Salvacion 0.

Quarters: 24-21, 43-34, 64-66, 88-85

Second Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 95—Castro 23, Williams 14, Reyes 12, Alapag 11, De Ocampo 10, Peek 9, Dillinger 8, Fonacier 6, Carey 2, Aban 0, Alvarez 0.

PETRON 82—Santos 22, Cabagnot 17, Lassiter 12, Fajardo 7, Lutz 7, Yeo 5, Washington 5, Faundo 4, Miranda 3, Duncil 0.

Quarters: 15-18, 38-44, 66-66, 95-82

Sam Miguel
11-29-2012, 12:07 PM
Abueva sparks Aces past Bolts

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

11:50 pm | Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Less than a week out of the hospital, Calvin Abueva churned out a career game that sparked Alaska’s 88-85 victory over Meralco and snapped the Aces’ four-game losing streak in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Abueva, who had just five practices after being confined for three days because of a nasal infection, scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds with his energy on both ends helping the Aces improve to 6-6 and back within playoff range.

“I really just went hard out there and gave it my all because we really want to make the best-of-three,” Abueva said in Filipino, referring to an elimination round finish that would give them at least the No. 6 ranking.

Out of the running for the top two and the twice-to-beat advantage that goes with it, Alaska is in a fifth place tie with the Bolts at the moment.

“Calvin was all over the place,” coach Luigi Trillo said. “You see what he brings to the table. He inspires the entire team.”

JV Casio and Mac Baracael nailed back-to-back triples that ushered the Aces to an 85-82 lead heading into the final 1:32 before the Aces’ tough defense the rest of the way pulled Meralco down to a similar 6-6 record.

Abueva, probably the most abused rookie in the lot together with Meralco’s Cliff Hodge, also went home with a busted kisser after getting it from Hodge in the Bolts’ potential game-tying play at the buzzer.

Initially, there was a foul called on Abueva while Hodge was attempting the triple, but the referees, after a review of the tape, later ruled that the buzzer had sounded before Abueva committed the foul.

Cyrus Baguio scored 19 points, including the windmill layup with 63 seconds left that gave the Aces a five-point cushion, before Reynel Hugnatan completed a three-point play that inched Meralco to within two.

The scores:

ALASKA 88—Abueva 20, Baguio 19, Baracael 12, Thoss 12, Casio 9, Espinas 7, Jazul 6, Dela Cruz 2, Eman 1, Reyes 0, Hontiveros 0.

MERALCO 85—Ross 14, Cardona 14, Hodge 13, Hugnatan 11, Mercado 10, Borboran 9, Nabong 6, Reyes 5, Buenafe 3, Salvacion 0.

Quarters: 24-21, 43-34, 64-66, 88-85

Sam Miguel
12-10-2012, 09:16 AM
Bolts nail No. 4 seed, meet Aces in playoffs

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

11:12 pm | Sunday, December 9th, 2012

MERALCO led from start to finish in sweeping past a relaxed San Mig Coffee side, 87-77, last night at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, to seal the No. 4 ranking in the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs that start on Wednesday.

Mac Cardona and Reynel Hugnatan tossed in 15 each as the Bolts closed out their elimination round stint with an 8-6 card, tied with idle Alaska.

San Mig still finished at No. 2 despite the loss with a 10-4 card and the Mixers will be slugging it out with sister team Petron Blaze, needing to beat the Boosters just once to advance to the Final Four.

Talk ‘N Text, the No. 1 seed, will be paired with Air21, with the Texters also owning a twice-to-beat advantage.

As if to underscore their leading position, the Texters rallied from 17 points down in the third quarter to repulse Barangay Ginebra, 87-80, in the second game.

The Tropang Texters dug deep to win a game they really didn’t need, closing out with a winning feeling and a 12-2 card heading into their playoff clash with Air21 on Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Ginebra, which led, 58-41 in the third, finished with a 7-7 card and No. 6 seed.

“Being the No. 2 seed, this game was a luxury for San Mig,” said Meralco’s Ryan Gregorio. “For us, we just wanted to find ways to win this one. Luckily, we did.”

Meralco will battle No. 5 Alaska in a best-of-three series this Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao with the Gin Kings facing No. 3 Rain or Shine.

The Elasto Painters, the reigning Governors’ Cup champions, seem to be the most dangerous team in the lot after welcoming back last year’s top rookie Paul Lee on Wednesday.

Peter June Simon paced the Mixers with 19 points and Aldrech Ramos had 15.

But coach Tim Cone did not use former two-time MVP James Yap while experimenting on several combinations which could help him in the playoffs.

“We really wanted to put our spirits to the test in terms of finishing the elims at No. 4,” Gregorio said. “This is the best (elims) finish for our young franchise. Now, as No. 4, our minds are focused for the quarterfinals (series) against Alaska.”

“There’s no such thing as a no-bearing game (for us),” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black, who got 24 points from Jason Castro.

The scores:

First Game

MERALCO 87—Cardona 15, Hugnatan 15, Mercado 12, Borboran 9, Buenafe 9, Reyes 8, Sharma 7, Hodge 5, Salvacion 3, Nabong 2, Ross 2, Bulawan 0.

SAN MIG COFFEE 77—Simon 19, Ramos 15, Barroca 8, Pingris 8, De Ocampo 8, Gaco 5, Devance 4, Intal 3, Ponferada 2, Villanueva 2, Gonzales 2, Reavis 1, Pacana 0.

Quarters: 19-15, 45-39, 68-61, 87-77

Second Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 87—Castro 24, Peek 16, Williams 13, Fonacier 11, Reyes 8, Alapag 6, De Ocampo 4, Aban 3, Dillinger 2, Ferriols 0, Carey 0.

GINEBRA 80—Caguioa 20, Tenorio 19, Raymundo 10, Maierhofer 4, Mamaril 4, Hatfield 4, Ellis 3, Labagala 3, Helterbrand 3, Taha 2, Jensen 2, Maliksi 2, Espiritu 2, Wilson 2.

Quarters: 23-22, 38-49, 68-73, 87-80

Sam Miguel
12-11-2012, 11:51 AM
The Beast in 'Best Player' mix right in his first tournament

By Richard Dy

December 11, 2012, 11:02 am

ALASKA super rookie Calvin Abueva is making a strong case for the Rookie of the Year award and put himself in position to challenge for the Best Player of the Conference title after taking second spot in the statistical points at the end of the Philippine Cup’s 14-game elimination round.

The Balibago, Pampanga-born Abueva tallied 32.7 statistical points, behind only the 6-foot-3 Petron Blaze forward Arwind Santos, who had 35.

Amazingly, the 6’1” Abueva, this year’s No. 2 overall rookie pick, managed to make the strong run this early despite playing just 10 games this conference. Abueva had to finish his college playing career with San Sebastian College first in the recent NCAA tournament.

The 24-year-old, one-time NCAA MVP, is just one of two players to average double-double at the end of the eliminations after submitting 14.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per contest.

On the other hand, Santos punched in a league-best 17.7 points and 12.1 rebounds in 14 games. The former FEU King Tamaraw also led the league with the most double-doubles this conference with 11, including a near-triple-double of 29 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists in a 110-98 victory over Globalport on Oct. 26.

Abueva, meantime, registered five double-doubles this conference, including a monstrous 20-point-18-rebound performance in leading the Aces to an 88-85 victory over the Meralco Bolts on Nov. 28.

Talk ’N Text’s cat-quick guard Jayson Castro is running third in the statistical race with 31.9 points, while Meralco top playmaker Solomon Mercado (31.1) and another Tropang Texter forward Kelly Williams (29.3) are at fourth and fifth, respectively.

Rounding out the top 10 are Rain or Shine’s Jeff Chan (28.8), San Mig Coffee’s James Yap (28.7) Talk ‘N Text teammates Ranidel de Ocampo (28.64) and Larry Fonacier (28.57) and Alaska’s Cyrus Baguio and Barangay Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa who are tied at 10th spot with 28.4.

12-20-2012, 10:01 AM
Reyes triple tows Texters past Aces

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:17 am | Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Pushed to the limit by a very determined foe, Talk ‘N Text last night showed the resilience that has enabled the Tropang Texters to reign supreme in the PBA Philippine Cup the last two seasons.

“This is what (champion) teams are made of, you have to win games like this,” Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black said after a low-scoring 66-65 victory over underdog Alaska at the start of their Final Four series last night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang Texters needed to dig deep into their bag of tricks after the Alaska defense shut down their high-profile offensive machine practically all night.

They finally pulled through after holding the Aces scoreless in the last 2:34 to overhaul a four-point deficit with a huge three-pointer from Ryan Reyes with 14.3 seconds remaining turning out to be the marginal basket.

“This is a very difficult win for us,” Black continued. “I am happy because we ground it out. It became a defensive struggle and that’s what normally happens in the playoffs.

“This is our lowest point total for the season,” the Grand Slam-winning mentor pointed out. “We have to go back (to the drawing board) and take a look at what they did to us defensively. They (Aces) did a good job of slowing us down.”

Talk ‘N Text also benefited from the Aces’ seeming lack of experience in games like this one.

With more than enough time for a game-winning play, Tony dela Cruz took an ill-advised jumper that was way off target instead of giving the ball back to JV Casio.

The Aces also suffered a bad break when Casio, in an earlier play, didn’t get a continuation call after being fouled by Jason Castro.

“I have to see the video. I saw a foul that could have been a continuation,” Alaska coach Luigi Trillo, the most inexperienced and youngest in the semifinal cast, said. “Those are breaks of the game.”

The crucial Reyes basket came off a broken play, and he nailed it with just two seconds left on the shotclock to bail out the Texters from a miserable shooting night that had them missing five free throws inside the last five minutes.

Both teams combined for the lowest point production of the season, with the Texters winding up with the lowest winning score by any team here.

Game 2 is scheduled tomorrow at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

The scores:

First Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 66—Castro 17, De Ocampo 11, Fonacier 8, Carey 8, Alapag 8, Reyes 7, Dillinger 3, Williams 2, Peek 2, Gamalinda 0, Aban 0.

ALASKA 65—Thoss 14, Jazul 11, Abueva 10, Baguio 8, Espinas 7, Casio 6, Hontiveros 5, Baracael 2, Dela Cruz 2, Belasco 0.

Quarters: 17-11, 34-28, 47-50, 66-65

12-20-2012, 10:02 AM
Rain or Shine takes home game 1 vs San Mig Coffee

By Celest R. Flores


10:42 pm | Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Rain or Shine hung tough in the fourth for a 91-83 game victory over San Mig Coffee Wednesday in the 2012 PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Elastopainters, behind Paul Lee, never relinquished their lead in the payoff period, even with the Mixers constantly trying to find an entry to take over.

Lee poured nine of his 15 points in the payoff period, but pivotal baskets from Beau Belga and Gabe Norwood and Jervy Cruz’ sturdy rebounding carried them through.

Norwood’s fingerroll of the break made it an 85-76 lead for Rain or Shine with 4:16—enough space to withstand San Mig’s last ditch rally, which Belga quelled with a teardrop with over two minutes left.

Norwood, who scored all but one of his five points in the fourth, nailed two crucial free throws before two offensive rebounds from the Elastopainters secured their victory.

“We executed our offense well, we moved the ball well. Those are the things that coaches will be happy about, the rebounding and assists department,” said head coach Yeng Guiao.

Cruz had 15 of Rain or Shine’s 48 rebounds, a continuation of his performance thus fur, which is looking like his breakout season.

Jeff Chan, meanwhile, shrugged off his scoring woes with 18 points even as Larry Rodriguez stepped up with 15—11 of which in the third quarter.

The Mixers never really got into the groove and never had a quarter where they outscored the Elastopainters.

Marc Barroca came alive in the fourth quarter, while Yancy de Ocampo hit a huge trey to put them within 81-85 with over a minute to play—but their efforts just wouldn’t suffice.

De Ocampo led with 17 points while James Yap struggled with 11 points on 3-of-14 shots for San Mig Coffee, which looks to rebound on Friday in game two.

12-22-2012, 09:58 PM
I would like to see an Alaska-Rain or Shine Finals.

Interesado ako sa The Beast vs Extra/Unli-rice match up. May Lee-Chan-Chiu-Tang(?) vs Jvee-Cyrus-Dondon-RJ pa.

Maganda kombinasyon nila Casio at Abueva. Binabalanse ni Jvee ang pagka-wild ni Calvin.

Sa RoS din balansyado e- May mga wild (Unli-rice plus Coach Yeng) at mga kalmado (Tiu at Chan).

Sam Miguel
01-10-2013, 10:23 AM
TnT shines as RoS fades in Game One

By Nelson Beltran

(The Philippine Star) | Updated January 10, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Talk N Text fought toe to toe early on, protecting the lead and hanging tough, then uncorked its might in all departments in the crunch to subdue a fierce-fighting Rain or Shine and take game one of their best-of-seven title series last night in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The Tropang Texters nearly squandered an early 18-point bulge but hung on under pressure, holding the Elasto Painters down to three points in the last 2:34 to salvage an 87-81 win in thriller watched by a crowd of over 14,000 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

“We executed the things what we wanted to do,” said Talk n Text coach Norman Black, sounding very much satisfied with their performance, dominating the Rain or Shine most of the way.

“That was a good start for us but at the same time we have to prepare for Game Two. Otherwise, they would bounce back,” Black added.

With much better ball movement and better shooting, the Tropang Texters enjoyed an 18-point spread at 33-15 and stayed in full control until the E-Painters established some rhythm and charged to within three at 76-79.

The Texters, however, stayed composed with Larry Fonacier and Jayson Castro hitting clutch baskets to keep RoS at bay.

Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo finished with 16 points apiece, combining for a 5-of-12 three-pointers as the two alone outshot the Elasto Painters (4-of-21) in three-point shooting.

“I think the stats and the numbers will indicate we beat them in most departments, except three-point shooting. They had six more treys than we did, and that’s 18 points. Really, that’s where it happened,” rued Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

“We just didn’t shoot well. But as badly as we played, I still think we had a chance to win the game, and that’s what we wanted to do – to hang around. As long as we hang around, we can grind out some win,” Guiao also said.

Down by five at 79-84, the Elasto Painters continued to battle but eventually yielded as Paul Lee missed a layup then Jeff Chan committed a turnover.

“I’ve no expectation we can beat them with a big margin. “We’re playing Rain or Shine. They will fight you till the end,” said Black who curiously played a long rotation of 14 players as against Guiao’s 12.

“Some of the guys got fouls earlier and I had to go deeper to the bench. That’s gonna be the whole series. Similar to coach Yeng, I have confidence with my players,” said Black.

Jarred Dillinger was another TnT player who finished in double figures with 13, with Fonacier, Jimmy Alapag and Ali Peek adding at least eight apiece. Kelly Williams contributed 12 rebounds and six markers.

The losing team, meanwhile, was paced by Jervy Cruz and Lee with 13 and 11, respectively.

The Texters seized control early, 15-5, as the Elasto Painters went 1-of-11 from the field and committed three turnovers after making the game’s first basket through Larry Rodriguez.

After the E-Painters closed in at 15-19, the Texters uncorked a 14-to-nothing run in a four-minute stretch bridging the first two quarters as TnT took the 18-point spread

RoS whittled down the gap to 12, 39-51 at halftime as JR Quinahan scored on a short stab then Chan nailed two charities off a foul by Bam Gamalinda in the last 37 seconds.

The Texters dominated the opening half with better ball movement that had them hitting at a 43.9-percent clip as against the E-Painters’ 33.3-percent shooting.

Castro, Jimmy Alapag and Ryan Reyes spiked TnT’s offense in the first half with a combined 4-of-6 three-pointers. RoS, on the other hand, struggled with a 2-of-10 three-point shooting.

Third-string players Rich Alvarez and Pamboy Raymundo had their contributions as Talk n Text kept the initiative and sat on a 71-58 cushion at the end of the third period.

01-12-2013, 12:24 PM
Texters seize 2-0 cushion vs Rain or Shine

Abueva makes list of BPC bets

12:09 am | Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Talk N’ Text bottled up Rain or Shine’s big guns for the second straight game last night, and the best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup Finals many thought would be a long series is suddenly waving a checkered flag right around the corner.

The Tropang Texters zoomed to a 2-0 lead after getting 24 points from Ranidel de Ocampo and 21 from Jason Castro in an 89-81 victory where most of the men who took the Elasto Painters this far couldn’t deliver when needed at Mall of Asia Arena.

“As a team, we played good defense,” Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black said. “That’s what we have to do to be able to win this series. I think our defense really held up.”

De Ocampo posted his highest output of the season, shooting six of the Texters’ final nine points as Talk ‘N Text moved within another two wins of becoming the first team in 30 years to win this conference three straight seasons.

But Black is not about to fall into a relaxed state.

“I’m going up against Yeng Guiao, I wouldn’t be talking anything about any sweep,” said Black.

The scores:

TALK ‘N TEXT 89—De Ocampo 24, Castro 21, Williams 12, Fonacier 7, Dillinger 6, Aban 6, Reyes 4, Carey 4, Alapag 3, Peek 2, Raymundo 0, Ferriols 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 81—Quiñahan 16, Lee 15, Cruz 12, Norwood 9, Chan 9, Araña 9, Matias 4, Belga 3, Rodriguez 2, Ibañes 2, Tiu 0, Tang 0.

Quarters: 23-15, 44-35, 63-63, 89-81

01-12-2013, 12:26 PM
Rookie Abueva makes list of BPC bets

By Musong R. Castillo

8:21 am | Saturday, January 12th, 2013

MANILA, Philippines — Phenomenal Alaska rookie Calvin Abueva, riding on a solid performance that helped the Aces make the semifinals, is one of five candidates for the prestigious Best Player of the Conference award.

The 6-foot-1 former San Sebastian ace in the NCAA is the only rookie to make the elite list, joining Petron Blaze’s Arwind Santos, Meralco’s Sol Mercado, and Talk ‘N Text’s Ranidel de Ocampo and Jason Castro.

Abueva and Santos are the only two players to average double-doubles this conference.

Santos led the Boosters in scoring with 17.4 points a contest while grabbing an average of 12 rebounds, while Abueva tossed in an average of 14.5 points that went with 10.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks a contest for the Aces.

Sam Miguel
01-14-2013, 08:43 AM
Poise Power: Texters move a win from sweep

(philstar.com) | Updated January 13, 2013 - 8:17pm

MANILA, Philippines – Talk n Text rained down three-pointers on Rain or Shine to highlight its furious comeback from nine points down early in the fourth quarter, carving out a stirring 89-80 win and huge three-game-to-nil lead in the PBA Governors Cup best-of-seven finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.

Ranidel de Ocampo, Jimmy Alapag and Jason Castro combined for four treys in a 16-4 closing run carrying the Texters to the great come-from-behind win and into the threshold of an epic all-Filipino three-peat.

The Texters go for a series sweep Wednesday also at the Big Dome.

For the record, no team has ever come back and win a title after falling behind 0-3 in a best-of-seven series.

Chris Tiu and Ryan Arana came through with key baskets as Rain or Shine established some rhythm and opened a five-point lead, 64-59, in the third quarter.

Scoring only two points each in the first half, Tiu and Arana rifled in eight apiece in the third period.

Harvey Carey stood his ground against Paul Lee’s drive then the Texters ran their own transition play with Jason Castro stopping atop the key and popping a jumper just before the buzzer sounded, giving the Texters a 42-39 lead at the turn.

It was the E-Painters’ best first-half performance in the series that saw them fight the Texters through five deadlocks and nine lead changes.

It was a battle marred by a flagrant foul penalty one committed by Arana and a technical infraction by Larry Rodriguez both against Kelly Williams.

JR Quinahan, TY Tang and Jeff Chan made three straight drive-in baskets as ROS led for the last time in the first half at 32-31.

Williams, Castro and Ryan Reyes answered with a 9-4 binge for TnT as the Texters raced ahead at 40-36.

A three-point play by Beau Belga followed by a defensive stop by RoS gave the E-Painters a chance to take the upper hand at the half.

But instead of playing the clock before taking the last shot, the Elasto Painters quickly attacked the basket with Lee missing on shot off Carey. Thus, the Texters gained last possession and Castro made a basket in the nick of time as TnT sat on the three-point cushion at the half.

Sam Miguel
01-14-2013, 08:49 AM
Guiao challenges PBA over perceived unfair officiating in Game Three

Richard Dy [ Source: Spin PH ] - January 14, 2013

RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao challenged PBA commissioner Chito Salud to deliver fair officiating in the Philippine Cup Finals as promised, claiming that spotty officiating in Game Three pretty much ruined the Elasto Painters’ title hopes.

The Elasto Painters held a 70-61 lead early in the final quarter, but the defending champions managed to unload a blazing 28-10 windup to reverse the tide and clinch the win, giving them a formidable 3-0 lead on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The fiery Rain or Shine mentor said he’s disgusted with how the calls went against them just as the Elasto Painters were trying to prevent Talk ‘N Text from making a mighty comeback.

“This is the Finals and games are going to be won very closely. The difference is probably one or two possessions,” Guiao pointed out.

“Those possessions were I think, important for us but we did not get (the calls). Finals ito eh. Napakalaking bagay nung ganung mga tawag na dapat naman ibigay sa team,” he added.

The 53-year-old Guiao cited instances where rookie guard Chris Tiu lost the ball after being hit by Talk ‘N Text guard Jason Castro in transition that led to an easy basket at the other end.

Another play saw Paul Lee slapped with a foul even though Guiao said, he was just standing straight up against a driving Talk ‘N Text guard Ryan Reyes.

“I think the league has to take care of that (officiating). That is their responsibility. They promised us … nangako si commissioner ng fair officiating. Dapat panindigan nila iyun,” Guiao said.

“I’m challenging the league to look at those incidents. This is the Finals. Malaking bagay para sa amin yun. They didn’t give it (calls) to us. We tried our best but the referees ruined the nice game … or ruined our (title) chances at least,” he added.

Source: http://www.spin.ph/sports/basketball/news/guiao-challenges-pba-amidst-perceived-unfair-officiating-in-game-3-loss

Sam Miguel
01-14-2013, 08:51 AM
Tiu gives Rain or Shine a lift, but team still falls short

Carlo Pamintuan

[ Source: GMA Network ] - January 14, 2013

Chris Tiu played the best game of his young PBA career by leading the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in scoring, with 14 points in only 22 minutes of play. However, the effort of the former Ateneo Blue Eagle and national team player went for naught as his team lost to the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters 89-80 Sunday, to fall into a 0-3 hole in the best-of-seven Philippine Cup Finals series.

The seventh overall pick in the 2012 PBA Draft said that he would gladly trade away his career game for a victory. "Nothing is more important than a win, Tiu said. "If I have to score zero points in a game and just keep giving assists to my teammates, that's enough for me as long as we win."

Tiu was a force inside the paint as Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao made a concentrated effort of posting up their guards against Jayson Castro and Jimmy Alapag. Tiu scored eight of his 14 points in the two-point area coming from an array of moves that left Talk 'N Text head coach Norman Black impressed.

"Chris has always been a good post-up player," said Black, who coached Tiu in Ateneo. "I'm actually surprised that they only started posting up Chris now."

The ROS rookie brushed aside the compliments and simply said that he did what he could do to help the team. "Depende naman kasi sa match-up," he pointed out. " Hindi makakonekta sila Jeff [Chan] at Paul [Lee] so I needed to step up offensively."

Chan and Lee struggled in this game again, combining for only 10 points.

"Napagod ako down the stretch kasi di ako sanay sa mahabang minuto," admitted Tiu. "But it was nice to be in the game for a long time again. I'll learn from this game and keep trying to get better. I'm still trying to earn the trust of coach Yeng."

At the tailend of the game, Tiu dribbled upcourt in an effort to cut the Talk 'N Text lead but the ball was stripped from him by Castro. The Rain or Shine bench howled as they though there was a foul.

"I think that should have been a foul," said Tiu who showed scratches on his left arm which he said came from that play. "I saw an opening kaya dederecho ko na sana but decision ng referees iyun so we have to respect it."

"We're not even thinking of the championship right now," he also confessed. "We'll have to come back on Wednesday focused on getting a win."

"We just have to take it one game, or even one possession at a time." - AMD, GMA News

Sam Miguel
01-17-2013, 08:46 AM
Texters sweep it for epic 3-peat

By Nelson Beltran

(The Philippine Star) | Updated January 17, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Unrelenting, unwavering and unstoppable.

Talk n Text was just that as it reaffirmed its proud status as the most dominant team of its generation, stretching its PBA Philippine Cup reign to three seasons with a four-game final sweep of Rain or Shine before a screaming crowd of over 17,000 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

Ranidel de Ocampo churned out a near triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and the whole team made a big push together, the very kind of game the Tropang Texters put in night in and night out to nail an all-Filipino three-peat with a 105-82 victory.

The Texters simply outclassed the Elasto Painters for a fourth straight night, a sweet sweep that served as the grand highlight of the Smart/PLDT franchise becoming the first organization in three decades to win the all-Filipino tourney in three straight seasons.

Through the last five years, the Texters were easily the league’s most successful team with a total of five crowns.

Coach Norman Black came from his five-peat in the UAAP to be part of the TnT dynasty.

“This championship means a lot because I’ve been away for so long. I’ve always wanted to get back in the country’s best league. I’m just waiting for the right time and I’m fortunate to coach a team with a winning formula,” said Black, now a 10-time PBA champion coach.

“I’m very happy with the victory and very happy for my players. I pushed them a lot and they worked hard for it. Credit goes to them,” Black added.

Jayson Castro won the Best Player of the Conference honors while De Ocampo bagged the Papa John’s Pizza Finals MVP award.

Coming out with fire in their belly, the Texters established control early, briefly lost it then stormed away again for an emphatic win to cap the sweep.

Talk n Text took Game One at 87-81, Game Two at 89-81 and Game Three at 89-80 and went on to be the only third team to sweep a best-of-seven finals after Swift Mighty Meaty versus Seven-Up in 1992 and Purefoods over Alaska in 2010.

The Texters were simply unstoppable last night with a remarkable 14-of-34 three-point shooting and a 42-of-86 total field goal through a league conference best 34 assists.

“No question, Rain or Shine is a good team, but the Alaska series helped us a big deal. Tonight, Talk n Text was just playing great basketball. Sometimes, it happens,” said Black.

Providing big help to De Ocampo’s near triple-double output were Kelly Williams, Ali Peek, Jared Dillinger, Larry Fonacier and Jimmy Alapag who tossed in at least 10 points each.

The Texters came out smoking, opening an early huge margin at 29-13 before settling for a 53-46 spread at the turn.

Dillinger fired a trey before the buzzer sounded as TnT kept a seven-point margin, 70-63, at the end of the third period.

Fonacier, scoring no more than nine points in any of the first three games, led the Texters in their hot start, knocking in 10 in the first half on 4-of-5 field shooting.

TnT was enjoying a double-digit spread, 49-36, before TY Tang and Beau Belga provided RoS some spark coming off the bench, allowing the E-Painters to trim the deficit before the final half.

The Texters seemed to come out with an offensive mindset, engaging the E-Painters in a shootout with Fonacier, Peek, Williams and De Ocampo firing away at least eight points each in the first 24 minutes of play.

Game Four’s first-half outputs by the two teams were the highest in the series.

Sam Miguel
01-17-2013, 08:49 AM
Ranidel de Ocampo wins PBA Philippine Cup finals MVP

By Celest R. Flores


12:07 am | Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Talk ‘N Text forward Ranidel de Ocampo was awarded the 2012-2013 PBA Philippine Cup Finals Most Valuable Player.

MANILA, Philippines—For his steady showing in the finals, versatile forward Ranidel de Ocampo was awarded the 2012-2013 PBA Philippine Cup Finals Most Valuable Player.

De Ocampo averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and 3.5 assists in four games where the Texters methodically put away the Elastopainters to clinch their third straight All-Filipino title.

The sly forward wound up with 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven of the Texters’ league conference high 34 assists in the 105-82 beating of Rain or Shine in game four.

In game two, De Ocampo shone best with 24 points—including clutch buckets—and nine rebounds to carry Talk ’N Text to a commanding 2-0 lead.

Sam Miguel
01-17-2013, 08:50 AM
Castro pips teammate for best player trophy

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:54 am | Thursday, January 17th, 2013

This could be a sign of bigger things to come for Jason Castro.

The heady and speedy Talk ‘N Text guard was named the PBA Philippine Cup’s Best Player, handily beating out teammate Ranidel de Ocampo and super Alaska rookie Calvin Abueva for his first such citation.

Castro won out in the media, players and league votes to make up for a third place finish in the statistical points race and tally 1,146 points, and beat De Ocampo by more than 400 points.

And more importantly, the award gives Castro an automatic berth in the list of candidates for the season-ending MVP award.

Castro, who averaged 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists in the eliminations and the playoffs, garnered 32 out of 36 first place media votes, 16 of 37 players’ votes and 150 points out of a possible 250 points from the PBA.

De Ocampo, the Texters’ pillar of strength underneath, finished with 730 points, getting the bulk of his total from 30 second place votes from the covering media. He also cornered 75 points from the PBA.

Abueva, the main reason for Alaska’s resurgence as a legitimate force in the league once again, actually got two first place votes from the media and tallied 612 total points.

Arwind Santos of Petron Blaze, the statistical points topnotcher with 456 points in that category, finished fourth with 520 points, his chances of bagging the BPC vanishing into thin air after the Boosters were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Sol Mercado of Meralco brought up the rear of the five-man field with 437 points.

Mercado made the list of candidates after finishing second to Santos in the statistical points’ race after leading the league in scoring and assists with averages of 19.1 and 6.7, respectively.

The Tropang Texters were trying to wrap up the best-of-seven title series with Rain or Shine with a 4-0 sweep at press time, and Castro and De Ocampo are also locked in a heated battle for the Papa John’s Pizza-PBA Press Corps Finals MVP award.

Sam Miguel
01-17-2013, 08:51 AM
Yeng Guiao: ‘It was not really meant for us’

By Mark Giongco

6:21 am | Thursday, January 17th, 2013

MANILA, Philippines—Talk ‘N Text put on a shooting clinic while Rain or Shine missed the easiest of shots.

It was literally that kind of night for both teams.

“They just hit three-point shots from way way off,” said ROS head coach Yeng Guiao, whose team got swept after an 82-105 blowout loss in Game 4 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals Wednesday night. “Biglang pumutok yung three-point shooting nila.”

“Before that, I actually thought we had the chance because nahabol na namin and we had momentum.”

That opportunity came midway through the third quarter where the Elasto Painters rallied from 16 down early to just two points, 63-65, on a basket by guard Chris Tiu.

But Rain or Shine’s comeback was cut short as Talk ‘N Text shot the lights out.

“Abruptly those three-point shots killed us and from then on mahirap na talagang pigilan because their confidence was up,” added Guiao, whose quest for his first all-Filipino cup championship will have to wait for at least another season.

“And we were missing layups naman on the other end, ayaw naman pumasok,” chuckled Guiao, who seemed in disbelief at how it just transpired in the end game.

Talk ‘N Text, which became the first team to win three straight Philippine Cup titles since the Crispa Redmanizers pulled off the same feat back in the early 80s, connected on a league conference-high 14 treys.

Jared Dillinger hit four, the first one beat the third quarter buzzer while the last three came in the final frame which sparked the Tropang Texters’ big run.

Veteran playmaker Jimmy Alapag drilled in two straight that put the outcome beyond doubt.

Gabe Norwood botched an easy lay in, Beau Belga’s open layup rimmed out while Paul Lee, Jeff Chan and Larry Rodriguez also had attempts near the rim that just wouldn’t trickle in.

“It was not really meant for us. Talk ‘N Text was the better team this conference,” admitted Guiao.

“We will take this as our painful lesson and we will be better next conference.”

Sam Miguel
01-22-2013, 09:05 AM
Black’s TNT as great as ’83 Crispa

By Musong R. Castillo

Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:38 am | Friday, January 18th, 2013

TALK ‘N Text will go down in PBA folklore as one of the best teams ever; a squad painstakingly assembled several years back with nothing but greatness in mind.

By ruling the Philippine Cup for the third straight season with a 4-0 sweep of Rain or Shine Wednesday night, the Tropang Texters carved their names permanently in the annals of Asia’s first play-for-pay league.

They achieved what only one team was able to do before, a feat which only Crispa owned for so long that very few people thought it would ever be duplicated.

So now comes the question: Had these teams been on the same era, which would have been better?

Talk ‘N Text lost just four of 24 games this time, two of them coming in the eliminations and two against Alaska in the Final Four.

In Crispa’s all-Filipino run in 1983, the Redmanizers, according to coach Tommy Manotoc’s recollection, lost just the first game and “I don’t remember losing again for the rest of the tournament.”

The Redmanizers ripped Gilbey’s Gin apart, also scoring a sweep, but at that time, in a best-of-five series.

“It would have been a toss-up,” Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black said. “That team had a superstar in every position. It was actually ridiculous. I played against that team several times and I know how good all of them were.

“If at all, the only advantage we have is that we could be the more athletic team because of Kelly Williams,” Black added. “All things being equal, I think it would be a great game or series. But I really cannot say who will win because that (Crispa) team was great.”

Black, like Manotoc, also owns a Grand Slam, pulling it off while with San Miguel in 1989, while Manotoc had his in Crispa’s swan song season of 1983, when Billy Ray Bates played as an import in two of the three conferences.

“I think we were as deep as Talk ‘N Text is today,” Manotoc told the Inquirer yesterday. “The only difference I can see if you compare them (Texters) with Crispa in 1983 is that they have Fil-Ams now.”

“And in that regard, with Kelly Williams and Ali Peek there, they have more horsepower than we did in 1983,” Manotoc continued. “But looking at their lineup, and remembering my team, we’re practically the same in the sense that we can both win games using our second units.”

“We are basically the same as far as depth goes because both of those teams can go 10-deep on any given night,” Black said. “In those days, you didn’t know who would star for Crispa in a particular game, like in my team now, I’m the coach, yet I don’t know who is going to be the star of any game.”

It would have been enjoyable to find out whether Ryan Reyes and Jared Dillinger could shut down scorers like Atoy Co and William “Bogs” Adornado; or whether Jason Castro is quicker than Bernie Fabiosa; and how a smooth center like Abet Guidaben could operate in a very physical atmosphere against the likes of Peek, Williams and Ranidel de Ocampo.

And Black admits that Crispa in 1983 could have been younger, because that time, the likes of Yoyoy Villamin, Mon Cruz, Padim Israel, etc., were recruited and were on the way to stardom themselves.

“Another thing that is very different is that the players are more conditioned in these days,” Manotoc said. “The players today are obviously stronger. But I think, if it (Crispa-Talk ‘N Text) is a best-of-seven series, even with the physical conditioning that we had before, we can hold our own.”

Black echoes that fact, acknowledging that teams these days have physical therapists and nutritionists that take care of the players. And in those days, Manotoc and Black were one in saying that players didn’t do physical conditioning that much.

It’s really impossible to know how both Crispa and Talk ‘N Text would fare against each other. It won’t happen.

And while everyone is harping about the ‘three-peat’ of the Redmanizers that the Texters had matched, it seems that this fact has escaped everyone’s mind up to now: Talk ‘N Text is now in a position to win four straight, and if it does so next season, then all bets are off.

02-04-2013, 07:04 PM
http://servssports.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/normanblackskil.jpg?w=300&h=225 (http://servssports.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/coach-norman-has-the-right-tools/)

IF THERE is a job to be successfully done, one has to have the right tools. Last January 16, multi-titled basketball coach Norman Black added another championship to his glowing resume by steering the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters to their third straight PBA Philippine Cup. READ MORE (http://servssports.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/coach-norman-has-the-right-tools/).