View Full Version : 2015 PBA Commissioners Cup

Sam Miguel
02-03-2015, 08:21 AM
Davis, David spark Meralco past Barangay Ginebra

Naveen Ganglani

Published 9:29 PM, Jan 27, 2015

Updated 11:36 PM, Jan 27, 2015

MANILA, Philippines - The Meralco Bolts leaned on the stellar play of import Josh Davis and veteran swingman Gary David in their 85-74 victory over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Tuesday evening, January 27, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Davis finished with 25 points, 24 rebounds, and 3 steals in his inaugural PBA game, while David came off the bench to spark his club with 21 points.

Ginebra received 23 points and 16 rebounds from second-year big man Greg Slaughter. Their import Michael Dunigan - who was Meralco's original import choice for the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup - registered 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 assists.

"It's a great start for us, being able to beat Ginebra in the first game," Meralco head coach Norman Black said after the contest.

He was complimentary of his import, saying: "Josh gave us control of the boards, which is what we brought him here for."

Black was also pleased with the performance of David, who hit a number of jumpers to give Meralco a double-digit lead in the first half, and down the stretch to put the stamp on the victory for his club.

"He came in and made big shots for us in the first and second quarter… we're in better shape this time around."

Meralco was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup by the Alaska Aces. Their biggest weakness in the prior conference was their lack of depth up front. With Davis in the lineup, the Bolts figure to be stronger this conference.

"We scrambled and we were able to get a good import in Josh Davis," Black also said.

A 3-pointer by Mac Bacarael drew Ginebra to within three in the early goings of the third period, awakening their fan base at the MOA Arena in the process. But Meralco responded with a 17-1 run, thanks in most part to a number of jumpers from David and stellar defense by Davis on Dunigan.

Led by Slaughter's series of baskets in the final period, Ginebra trimmed the deficit to eight, 70-62. But the defense of returning head coach Ato Agustin could not muster a stop, as Davis and Davis maintained the lead for their team by scoring on consecutive possessions.

A midrange pull-up J by David extended his lead's back to 10 at 78-68. Not long after, Davis converted in the paint to increase the lead to 12, sealing the contest.

In their first game back utilizing the run-and-gun system, Ginebra shot 36% from the floor and was limited to 3 fastbreak points. LA Tenorio was a horrific 1-of-11 from the field, while Joseph Yeo fired blanks, converting 0-of-8.

Japeth Aguilar was held scoreless and attempted just one shot in 12 minutes.

Meralco hit only 38% of their shots but converted 7-of-14 from long range. The Bolts were relentless on the glass, pulling down 15 offensive rebounds that led to 21 second chance points.

Mike Cortez played a complete game, finishing with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting, 4 boards, and 4 dimes.

Coach Black and his boys (1-0) will be back in action on Friday, January 30, when they take on the KIA Carvinal (0-1). Ginebra (0-1) will look to bounce back on Sunday, February 1, as they go toe to toe with Barako Bull (0-0).


Meralco (85): Davis 25, David 21, Cortez 12, Hodge 6, Wilson 6, Ferriols 4, Hugnatan 4, Atkins 3, Anthony 2, Sena 2, Reyes 0, Ildefonso 0, Reyes 0, Buenafe 0, Macapagal 0

Barangay Ginebra (74): Slaughter 23, Dunigan 17, Baracael 11, Urbiztondo 6, Caguioa 6, Tenorio 3, Monfort 3, Helterbrand 3, Ellis 2, Mamaril 0, Yeo 0, Reyes 0, Aguilar 0, Ababou 0, Brondial 0

Quarter Scores: 18-23, 43-34, 64-50, 85-74

Sam Miguel
02-03-2015, 08:22 AM
GlobalPort opens Commissioner's Cup with win over KIA

Naveen Ganglani

Published 6:46 PM, Jan 27, 2015

Updated 7:30 PM, Jan 27, 2015

MANILA, Philippines - The GlobalPort Batang Pier (1-0) opened the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup with a 100-89 victory over the KIA Carnival (0-1) on Tuesday evening, January 27, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Batang Pier import CJ Leslie impressed in his debut game, registering 33 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 4 assists. Rookie of the Year favorite Stanley Pringle finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists, and made a number of plays down the stretch that sealed the win for his club.

Second-year star Terrence Romeo opened the second conference with 19 points - most of which coming from open jumpers off his impressive ball-handling skills - 6 assists, and 5 rebounds.

"Actually, honeymoon stage kami nang import… yung locals wala akong problema," GlobalPort head coach Eric Gonzales said after the game.

(Actually, we're still on our honeymoon stage with our import… when it comes to the locals, I don't have a problem.)

"Thankful ako nag-deliver [si Leslie]."

(I'm thankful that he delivered.)

KIA import PJ Ramos didn't disappoint in his highly-anticipated debut. Doing most of his damage from the post and free throw line, the 7-foot-2 and 3/4 import recorded 41 points, 20 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 blocks, and went 11-of-13 from the charity stripe.

Outside of Mark Yee, who put up 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, Ramos didn't receive much aid from the rest of his teammates.

"Hindi naman kaming malaking team [na may] malaking player (We're not a big team with big players). So we need to work hard in the backcourt," Gonzales said about his Batang Pier, who opened the game forcing turnovers from the opposition thanks to their high-pressure press defense.

Gonzales admitted the defensive tactic was inspired from the defense the Alaska Aces displayed in their seven-game finals series against the San Miguel Beermen. "Nakakatulong siya (it helps), so why not do it?" he said.

While Ramos lit up the scoreboard early in the game, his teammates failed to provide the necessary additional firepower. LA Revilla and Reil Cervantes went just 3-of-15 from the field in the first 12 minutes, and ended the game with a combined 15 points on 6-of-30 shooting.

The Batang Pier extended their lead up to 22 in the second quarter, and maintained their advantage at double figures until midway through the final period.

A basket by Cervantes cut KIA's deficit to nine, 90-81. A few possessions later, one of Ramos' multitude of field goals (15 overall) in the post trimmed the Batang Pier's edge down to seven, 92-85.

The bleeding stopped for GlobalPort when Stanley Pringle, who froze Ramos with a hesitation move in the paint, dished a pass to a wide open Jewel Ponferada, who subsequently threw down a dunk. Not long after, Pringle was left open on a fastbreak to seal the game for his club, 96-85.

The Carnival shot just 38% from the field while GlobalPort hit 51% of their attempts. Constant double and triple teams thrown at Ramos led to open shots from long range for KIA, but they went just 7-of-30 from downtown.

The Batang Pier scored 18 points off KIA turnovers and outscored them 21-8 in the fastbreak points.

KIA has now lost 11 straight games in their maiden PBA season. Their last win came on the opening day of the Philippine Cup on October 19 when they beat the Blackwater Elite.

GlobalPort and KIA will be back in action on Friday, January 30. The Batang Pier will aim to go 2-0 as they go up against the Purefoods Star Hotshots, while the Carnival will aim to snap their losing streak against the Meralco Bolts, who are currently taking on Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.


GLOBALPORT 100 - Leslie 33, Romeo 19, Pringle 17, Miranda 8, Semerad 6, Ponferada 5, Isip 4, Nabong 4, Pinto 2, Baclao 2, Buenafe 0, Taha 0, Caperal 0, Jensen 0, De Ocampo 0

KIA 89 - Ramos 41, Yee 15, Cervantes 8, Ighalo 8, Revilla 7, Buensuceso 6, Sanga 2, Alvarez 2, Thiele 0, Poligrates 0, Padilla 0, Pascual 0, Dehesa 0, Burtscher 0, Custodio 0

Quarter Scores: 32-22, 56-42, 79-67, 100-89

Sam Miguel
02-03-2015, 08:24 AM
Mercado, Lanete lead Barako Bull past import-less Blackwater

Barako Bull had little trouble dispatching Blackwater, which was without their 7-foot import Christien Charles

Jane Bracher

Published 6:52 PM, Jan 28, 2015

Updated 8:12 PM, Jan 28, 2015

MANILA, Philippines — Sol Mercado scored 20 points in his first game for his new team and Chico Lanete added 19 to lead the Barako Bull Energy Cola to a 92-70 win over the Blackwater Elite in the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Wednesday, January 28 at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Mercado and Lanete led a backbreaking 15-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to pull away from a close 60-58 edge and erect a 75-58 lead over the Elite, which played without its 7-foot import Christien Charles who was sidelined due to a hamstring injury.

Mercado, who was traded from San Miguel to Globalport and to Barako at the tailend of the Philippine Cup, went 7-of-11 from the field and added 3 assists for his new team.

Lanete went 7-of-9 from the stripe as well.

"I thought we started well on the defensive end," said Barako head coach Koy Banal. "Our goal was to give our opponents 22 points per quarter. And in the first half we limited them to 17 and 18."

Barako Bull import Solomon Alabi had a strong debut with a double-double of 21 points and 22 rebounds.

"I can't ask for more. He delivered what I was expecting from him. He was there. He was the rim protector," Banal said of the 26-year old Nigerian center who played for the Toronto Raptors.

"I'm hoping this won't get to his head and he will work some more. But I like his attitude. He's a very positive influence on the team even when nothing is going our way."

JC Intal added 13 points and 5 rebounds as Barako took a while to shake off a determined Blackwater team hungry for their first PBA win.

The defining statistic was the Energy's 33 free throw attempts compared to just 9 from the Elite.

Bryan Faundo was the only player in double figures for Blakwater with 16 points to go with 8 rebounds.

Raphy Reyes, who was activated in lieu of Paul Artadi, and Brian Heruela added 9 points apiece. - Rappler.com

Sam Miguel
02-03-2015, 08:25 AM
Talk 'N Text makes big shots late to squeak past Rain or Shine

Jayson Castro led all Texters with 15 points, including the crucial basket that notched the final tally to lead Talk 'N Text to a hard-earned victory

Jane Bracher

Published 10:35 PM, Jan 28, 2015

Updated 10:35 PM, Jan 28, 2015

MANILA, Philippines — Ranidel de Ocampo sank the go-ahead turnaround jumper with a hand on his face and with 52 seconds remaining, then Jayson Castro followed that up with a much more difficult turnaround shot off a crossover closer to the basket for just enough cushion with 5.2 seconds left on the clock.

That, and some previous much-needed key baskets from import Richard Howell, and the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters escaped with an 89-86 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Wednesday, January 28 at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Guard Castro led all Texters with 15 points, including the crucial basket that notched the final tally, along with two assists. De Ocampo, whose go-ahead jumper put his team ahead for good, 87-86, finished with 14 markers on top of 11 boards as Talk 'N Text came back from 7 points down midway in the final period.

Whatever character the Texters showed in the endgame, and how many more tough shots they made in order to win, head coach Jong Uichico was still disappointed overall with his team.

"We don't look pretty. We've really got some work at hand," said the coach who took over just before the start of the season.

"I thought the first conference was a learning process that we can carry over to the next. But it seems like we're starting our first conference again the way we're playing."

Talk 'N Text struggled from the field and shot just 38% in total but fortunately for them, the Painters weren't much good either with only 37% field goal shooting.

Comebacking import Howell, who was the 2014 Commissioner's Cup Best Import, struggled to get on an offensive groove which was made worse with foul trouble in the second half.

He showed up in a crucial stretch in the fourth, however, scoring on a hook shot to knot the count at 81 and later on draining a jumper over the outstretched arms or Rain or Shine counterpart Rick Jackson, 85-84.

He went 1-of-6 from the stripe and wound up with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

"He just has to learn not to get into foul trouble without losing his aggressiveness that he has on defense," Uichico said of Howell.

Veteran guard Willie Miller, whom the Texters signed just before the conference, added 10 points and 3 assists.

Jackson topscored for Rain or Shine with 30 points and 10 rebounds. He had his share of the limelight, scoring over Howell late in the game with a jumper, 86-85, which was the last time the Painters tasted the lead. He later tried for a similar shot to counter De Ocampo's basket but it simply bounced off the rim.

Jonathan Uyloan, who hit a go-ahead three-pointer, 84-81, with 2:32 left, contributed 11 points and two assists.

While Paul Lee had 10 markers for Rain or Shine, which had a chance to tie and force overtime with a long Chris Tiu triple attempt that hit only the backboard. — Rappler.com

Sam Miguel
02-03-2015, 08:27 AM
Meralco Bolts overcome slow start to down KIA

Naveen Ganglani

Published 6:41 PM, Jan 30, 2015

Updated 7:38 PM, Jan 30, 2015

MANILA, Philippines - Most of the time in basketball, the outcome of a game is dictated not by how you start, but how you finish.

Fortunately for the Meralco Bolts, that statement held true on Friday evening, January 30.

Coach Norman Black's squad fought through a slow performance out of the gates and an early scoring barrage from KIA import PJ Ramos to come away with a 90-80 victory over the Carnival on Friday evening at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Coupled with their win over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel last Tuesday, January 27, Meralco has now improved their record in the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup to 2-0. KIA, who lost their opener to the GlobalPort Batang Pier, falls to 0-2 and are currently owners of 12 straight defeats.

Bolts import Josh Davis followed up his 25-24 outing against Ginebra by recording 19 points, 19 rebounds, and 7 steals against a similarly-tall Carnival frontline.

With starting point guard Mike Cortez (right knee) out, Coach Norman Black turned to his former Ateneo Blue Eagles starting point guard, Jai Reyes, who stepped up to the challenge with 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Gary David had another impressive outing, finishing with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting off the bench on Friday.

"We did a good job at halftime of making some adjustments to instill some more energy in our defense," said Black, whose team was down 18-12 and 38-36 at the end of the first and second quarters, respectively.

"Gary David, once again, was very consistent scoring for us offensively," Black said about his team's leading scorer, who's disproving claims that he is now "over the hill" or past his prime.

But the biggest local contributor of the night was Reyes, who was playing against the same team that cut him from their lineup last conference.

"Jai really stepped up for us today and played a big role, scored a lot of points for us in addition to organizing the offense. I'm really proud of Jai…" Black said.

Ramos scored 11 points in the first few minutes of the contest, even hitting a 3-ball at one point. "Did we play any defense against Ramos tonight?" Black jokingly asked after the game. "No matter what you do, it's going to be very difficult to stop him," he later said.

The 7-foot-3 Puerto Rican spearheaded KIA with 34 points and 21 rebounds, but received minimal help from his local teammates once again as only Virgil Buensuceso scored in double-figures with 11 points.

Mark Yee put up just 5 points, while LA Revilla was vastly outplayed by Reyes, coming up with just 3 markers and 1 assist in 20 minutes.

Meralco went on a game-changing run in the third quarter to turn a two-point deficit into an eight-point advantage, 56-48, entering the final period.

Relentless defense by KIA helped them cut the lead to one, 69-68, early in the fourth quarter as Kyle Pascual did a good job of denying Meralco from sending a pass their import's way.

After another defensive stop, the Carnival had a chance to take the lead but threw the ball away, leading to a transition 3-ball from David. Moments later, a basket by Reyes put his team back up seven, 76-69.

After Revilla countered, Reyes earned a trip to the free throw line where he went 2-of-2. Another steal by Davis on the subsequent KIA play led to an easy layup in transition, sealing the contest.

Meralco shot just 38% from the floor in their second straight game without Jared Dillinger, who Black expects to be back for their next game against the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters on Wednesday, February 4.

"We're looking forward to Talk 'N Text on Wednesday, which will be a tough test for us," he also said.

The Bolts went 7-of-15 from downtown and nailed 23-of-25 attempts from the free throw line. Their bench outscored the Carnival's, 57-22.

Sam Miguel
02-03-2015, 08:27 AM
Purefoods returns in style, trounces GlobalPort

Naveen Ganglani

Published 9:38 PM, Jan 30, 2015

Updated 9:38 PM, Jan 30, 2015

MANILA, Philippines - The third quarter of the game between the Purefoods Star Hotshots and Globalport Batang Pier on Friday, January 30, was a tale of two stories.

On one side of the court, the Hotshots were playing championship-caliber basketball: sharing the ball with crisp passes, impressive off-ball cutting to get easy looks under the rim, and a continuos fastbreak assault that all but sealed the contest.

On the other side, the Batang Pier's import looked dejected. With sweat dropping from every fiber of his body and a quadricep clearly hobbled, most his shots were blocked multiple times by the opponents' superior import. The rest of his teammates weren't any better, going one-on-one almost every play and taking ineffective shot attempts.

By the start of the fourth period, it was no longer a game. And it didn't take after long for the final buzzer to ring, signaling a 83-70 victory for Purefoods - their first in the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup - at the Cuneta Astrodome - the same arena where their previous championship dynasty came to an end.

"We're all about moving forward," said Purefoods head coach Tim Cone, whose team was eliminated by the Meralco Bolts the last time they were at the Cuneta Astrodome. "We don't look back in our defeats and we don't look back at our wins. And that's what makes this team successful."

By the look of their performance, he's right. Purefoods was lethal against GlobalPort, led by their temporary import Marqus Blakely who put up 26 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, and swatted 7 shots.

"He's like a warm blanket because we know him so well, we know what we can do with him, he's comfortable with all our defensive schemes," Cone said.

"He plays so much bigger than 6-5. He plays like he's 6-9."

Blakely dislocated his shoulder during the game, but the team's trainers popped it back in and he was able to close out the contest. PJ Simon missed the game due to a back injury, while Marc Pingris was hounded by the same issue but still came off the bench to record 6 points and 6 rebounds.

Mark Barroca and Alex Mallari each played well, putting up a combined 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists. James Yap scored 9, and Justin Melton put up 8.

"We're no longer in the mountain top, but if we want to get back to the mountain top, it's going to be through the defense we play," said Cone. On Friday, his words rang true to his players, who forced GlobalPort to 35% shooting from the floor.

"Three or four times I think we held them to 24-second violations because we were able to sustain our defense," Cone said.

The Batang Pier were led by Leslie, who finished with 25 points on 22 shot attempts and 8 rebounds. Terrence Romeo scored 19 on 8-of-17 shooting.

"It feels good to come out and get our first game. I can't remember the last time we won the first game of the conference. Hopefully that bodes well for us," Cone said.

Both teams countered punches in the first half, with Purefoods ahead only by five, 41-36, at the start of the third quarter. But that would quickly change as the Hotshots unleashed a 20-10 run to build a 15 point lead, and later went up by 18, 68-50.

GlobalPort got stuck in such a big hole due to their putrid offense, which yielded tons of contested midrange jumpers. With Leslie playing but banged up, the team also had no inside presence.

Purefoods' lead was cut to 11 midway through the fourth, but they managed to rack up consecutive field goals - capped off by a thunderous alley-oop slam by Blakely from Barroca - to seal the contest.

The Hotshots will be back in action on Tuesday, February 3, against the Alaska Aces. "It's harder to play the runners-up than it is the champions," Cone said about his team's next opponents, who are coming off a finals loss to the San Miguel Beermen in the Philippine Cup.

But Purefoods is dangerous as well. As Cone said, "We've got a team that's formidable."


Purefoods 83: Blakely 26, Barroca 11, Mallari 10, Yap 9, Melton 8, Pingris 6, Devance 6, Maliksi 5, Reavis 2, Alvarez 0, Pennisi 0, Gaco 0, Allado 0

Globalport 70: Leslie 25, Romeo 19, Miranda 10, Pringle 4, Ponferada 4, Semerad 3, Taha 2, Isip 2, Pinto 1, Buenafe 0, Caperal 0, Nabong 0, Baclao 0

Quarter Scores: 21-20, 41-36, 57-46, 83-70

Sam Miguel
02-03-2015, 08:29 AM
Talk ’N Text flips switch late to keep Blackwater winless

Import Richard Howell, who struggled in his first game, found his rhythm again and led his team with 29 points and 21 rebounds

Jane Bracher

Published 6:01 PM, Feb 01, 2015

Updated 8:00 PM, Feb 01, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Trailing for the better part of the contest, the Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters uncorked a 13-0 blast midway in the payoff period to surge past a still winless Blackwater Elite, 88-78, in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday, February 1 at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.

Import Richard Howell, who struggled in the Texters’ first game with just 13 points and 12 rebounds, finally found his rhythm again and led his team with 29 points on top of 21 rebounds and 5 assists.

Guard Jayson Castro registered 22 points while Jay Washington kept Talk ’N Text afloat in the first half with 8 points.

Despite keeping it close for the entire first half and leading by as much as 64-55 late in the third, the Elite’s inexperience proved detrimental as they could not finish off a more battle-tested Texters.

Led by Howell, Talk ’N Text broke a 71-all deadlock with 7:06 remaining and went on a 13-0 run, built on fastbreak points off of Blackwater turnovers, to lead by 84-71 with 4:17 left to play.

Bambam Gamalinda ended Blackwater’s scoring drought with a triple which was followed by back to back Bryan Faundo baskets to cap off a 7-0 counterattack that cut the deficit to just 84-78 with under 3 minutes left.

But Blackwater’s inexperience came to fore as guard Brian Heruela missed a couple of baskets on the drive, and Val Acuña hesitated in one possession that could have cut the lead down to just 4.

Howell, who dropped 19 points in the fourth, scored the dagger putback, 86-78, with just over a minute remaining to seal the win.

Faundo topscored for the Elite with 19 points while fomer national team big man Marcus Douthit added 14 points. Douthit is a temporary import for Blackwater in lieu of 7-footer Chris Charles, who is currently nursing a hamstring injury.

Acuña and Heruela each registered 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Blackwater brought back the classic blue and yellow jerseys it last wore when they won the 2013 PBA D-League Foundation Cup, hoping the franchise could win its first PBA game wearing it. But the jerseys brought them no such luck.

Blackwater suffered its 13th straight loss in the league since the Philippine Cup, while Talk ’N Text won back to back to start the Commissioner’s Cup at 2-0.


TALK N' TEXT (88): Howell 29, Castro 22, Washington 8, Alas 8, Miller 8, De Ocampo 7, Carey 2, Williams 2, Aban 2, Labagala 0, Fonacier 0, Espiritu 0, Reyes 0.

BLACKWATER (78): Faundo 19, Douthit 14, Acuna 12, Heruela 10, Celiz 7, Timberlake 5, Gamalinda 5, Reyes 4, Erram 2, Austria 0, Laure 0, Ballesteros 0, Bulawan 0, Ciriacruz 0.

Quarter scores: 19-17, 41-39, 60-66, 88-78.

– Rappler.com

Sam Miguel
02-03-2015, 08:30 AM
Barako Bull hangs on and sends Ginebra to second straight loss

Barako Bull survived a scare as Ginebra showed a glimmer of its once prominent “Never Say Die” philosophy late and climbed back from 6 points down

Jane Bracher

Published 8:04 PM, Feb 01, 2015

Updated 8:04 PM, Feb 01, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – The Barako Bull Energy Cola survived an endgame run from Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and hung on to a 69-68 win in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday, February 1 at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.

Chico Lanete was the brightest spot for Barako with his 17 points on 8-of-16 field goals, along with two assists, and 3 steals. The 35-year old guard, whose three-point play conversion gave Barako Bull a 67-59 advantage with a shade over 3 minutes left to play, also provided the hustle and energy on both sides of the ball.

Veteran JC Intal added 14 points, including 4 three-pointers, while import Solomon Alabi and Dave Marcelo contributed 13 and 11 markers, respectively.

Barako very nearly lost the game when Ginebra, who dropped its second straight game this conference following a loss to Meralco, showed a glimmer of its once prominent “Never Say Die” philosophy late in the game, as they climbed back from 6 points down within the final minute and 13 seconds to make it just a one-point affair.

Streaky guard Joseph Yeo orchestrated the 5-point swing from a 63-69 spread, putting the pressure on ball-handler Sol Mercado which resulted in a steal and a lay-up on the other end, 65-69, with under a minute reamining.

The former La Salle standout forced another stop again and swiped the ball from Mercado a second time, as LA Tenorio hesitated from the corner and instead dished out to Yeo for the huge three-pointer that notched the final tally with 39 seconds still on the clock.

Barako could have iced the game with a basket in the ensuing possession but came up empty owing to Ginebra’s pesky defense, leaving an exhausted Lanete to take an off-target triple.

Ginebra had a chance to complete their heart-racing comeback in the final 6.3 seconds after RR Garcia gave up the foul, but coach Koy Banal, known as a defensive coach, had his team ready as they forced Yeo to fire a hurried trey that just bounced off the back iron at the buzzer.

Big man Greg Slaughter kept Ginebra in the game for much of the third quarter when Barako made its rally with a game-high 18 points. While import Michael Dunigan settled for just 11 points as he was reportedly feeling under the weather with fever.

Mark Caguioa chipped in 10 points, as Ginebra started the game down by 7-1.

The Gin Kings with its comebacking coach Ato Agustin have yet to win this conference while the Energy get a share of the lead with a 2-0 slate.


Barako (69): Lanete 17, Intal 14, Alabi 13, Marcelo 11, Mercado 7, Garcia 5, Lastimosa 1, Pascual 1, Pena 0, Hubalde 0, Salvador 0, Wilson 0, Salva 0, Paredes 0, Sorongon 0.

Ginebra (68 ): Slaughter 18, Dunigan 11, Caguioa 10, Baracael 8, Yeo 7, Urbiztondo 5, Tenorio 4, Mamaril 3, Aguilar 2, Monfort 0, Helterbrand 0, Ababou 0, Ellis 0, Brondial 0.

Quarter scores: 15-12, 28-34, 50-50, 69-68.

– Rappler.com

Sam Miguel
02-03-2015, 08:34 AM
Willie Miller comes back strong from semi-retirement

The two-time PBA MVP is not disappointing the one team that showed faith in him as he quickly makes a difference for Talk 'N Text

Jane Bracher

Published 1:34 PM, Feb 02, 2015

Updated 2:40 PM, Feb 02, 2015

MANILA, Philippines — In his first two games back after missing one conference, Willie Miller proved "The Thrill" is still far from over.

The effects of being thrust into semi-retirement did not show for the veteran guard on Wednesday, January 28 when he scored 10 points, dished out 3 assists, and helped his new team Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters to an 89-86 escape of Rain or Shine.

Neither was it visible in his 8-point performance off the bench in the Texters' 88-78 win over Blackwater on Sunday, February 1.

"Parang na-injury ka lang ng one conference," he said following his first PBA game since June. "Buti nga nanalo sa first game, masarap yung pakiramdam. Hindi ako malas masyado." (It’s just like being injured for one conference. It’s a good thing we won our first game, it’s a great feeling. I’m not too unlucky.)

The two-time PBA Most Valuable Player was left out in the cold after his contract with Barako Bull was not renewed before the 2015 Philippine Cup.

While some teams showed interest in signing the 37-year old for his wealth of experience and the mentorship he could provide, Miller still wound up unsigned. He instead took his talents to barangay courts and played in local community leagues.

"I’m the speaker because I’m the oldest in our group. I have to control the game. I have to bond the team together."

Miller knew he had more to give, and one team showed faith in him — the same team he played for from 2004 to 2006, then side by side with the now retired Jimmy Alapag and the still thriving 41-year old Asi Taulava.

Talk 'N Text signed Miller for the remainder of the season, hoping to fill the void veteran guard Alapag left.

"Siguro yun yung pupunan ko kasi si Jimmy yun yung (iniwan) niya," Miller shared his playmaker-leader role. "Mas masarap kasi makikita mo yung kakampi mo, kahit nasa labas ka lang nakikita mo sila na as one sa loob."

(I'm likely filling in what Jimmy left behind. It feels good to see your teammates play as one inside even when you’re on the bench.)

“Alam ko na yung ganoong role. Pag ikaw nasa loob, ang role mo naman is be one of the leaders. Ako ung tagasalita dahil ako yung pinakamatanda dun sa grupo namin eh. Ako yung kailangan mag-kontrol ng laro. Ako yung taga-bond nung team,” he added.

(I know that role already. When you’re inside, your role is to be one of the leaders. I’m the speaker because I’m the oldest in our group. I have to control the game. I have to bond the team together.)

Miller did not disappoint as he stormed back into the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup, quickly making a difference for a Talk 'N Text squad enduring growing pains.

In his first game back, he was subbed in at the 2:53 mark of the opening period to cheers of “Miller! Miller!” from the crowd, and he recorded his first assist to Aaron Aban for a trey less than a minute into the second frame.

He looked at ease right away with the Texters, sharing jokes with teammates during huddles, but Miller, who has been practicing with them for just a little over a week, admitted his aging body could not keep up with speed just yet.

"Masyadong matulin yung basketball dito sa Talk 'N Text. Kasi rookie ako eh. Last time na takbuhan yung laro ko is yung nasa Talk 'N Text din ako. So from the year nung na-trade ako sa Alaska wala na, slow break na lahat, puro pagulangan na lang,” explained Miller, who missed his first 3 shots and traveled during his first few minutes in his first game.

"Yung first few minutes, depensa, takbo, opensa, takbo. Mas matulin ung tibok ng puso ko than usual. As a player kailangan maka-adjust kaagad ako dun sa ganoong sistema.”

(Talk ’N Text basketball is very fast for me because essentially I’m a rookie. The last time I played a running game was with Talk ’N Text also. So from the year I was traded to Alaska, everything was slow breaks and just outsmarting the opponent. In the first few minutes of the game it was all defense, run, offense, run. My heart beat faster than usual. As a player I have to adjust right away to that system.)

Miller also had quiet but crucial contributions in his second game with the Texters.

His 8 points off the bench were key to keeping Talk 'N Text at par with a surging Blackwater squad in a tight first half, before Talk 'N Text eventually seized the win with a fourth quarter surge.

Despite showing flashes of his vintage form with reverse lay-ups deep underneath the rim, and his playmaking that led to neat finishes from his teammates two games in, it was still clear Miller continues to adjust.

Adjustment will likely come easier for Miller thanks to familiarity.

While Alapag will no longer be his backcourt partner unlike the old days, Miller will still have the Mighty Mouse backing him up as team manager – or, as Miller put it, as someone he can poke fun at for being “The Boss.”

"Kinuklit ko nga parati eh. Pag dadaan hindi ako sanay na naka-uniform tapos siya hindi. Tinatawag ko parati, ‘Boss! Good evening.' Tatawa lang ng tatawa. Hindi na ‘kap' ngayon eh, boss na,” he shared his day-to-day dynamic with Alapag, before recalling the old days as teammates.

“Yung kombinasyon namin ni Jimmy, yun yung pinaka-masarap noon eh, tapos that time nandoon din si Asi.”

(I keep teasing him. When he passes me by I’m not used to being in a jersey uniform and he’s not. I keep calling him, ‘Boss! Good evening.’ And he’ll just laugh. He’s no longer captain now, he’s the boss. The combination with Jimmy and I before, that was the best, and at that time we also had Asi.)

Miller's first two games back were the perfect way to denounce those who said he was done for at 37.

Only time can tell if Miller still has one more championship run left in him, too. — Rappler.com

Sam Miguel
02-04-2015, 08:25 AM
Paul Lee sizzles to lead Rain or Shine over NLEX

by Rivals PH on February 3, 2015

MANILA — Rain or Shine got off to a quick start then held off NLEX in the fourth to complete a 96-91 victory in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Paul Lee waxed hot from beyond the arc to finish with a team-high 25 points, four rebounds and three assists while import Rich Jackson struggled from the field but still racked up 17 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks.

The Elasto Painters zoomed to a 15-3 lead in the opening minutes of the game then held fort even as Road Warriors reinforcement Al Thornton tried to rally NLEX back.

Rain or Shine fired 10 three-pointers and got 36 points from its bench players, including Jeff Chan and Jonathan Uyloan, who combined for 17 points highlighted by five triples.

Thornton led all scorers with 28 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks even as locals Rudy Lingganay and Asi Taulava posted 19 and 17 points, respectively.

Rain or Shine (96) — Lee 25, Jackson 17, Almazan 10, Uyloan 9, Norwood 8, Chan 8, Arana 6, Ibanes 5, Cruz 4, Tang 2, Belga 2, Tiu 0, Quinahan 0.

NLEX (91) — Thornton 28, Lingganay 19, Taulava 17, Cardona 7, Borboran 6, Ramos 6, Villanueva J. 4, Canaleta 2, Villanueva E. 2, Hermida 0, Camson 0, Apinan 0, Arboleda 0, Baloria 0, Soyud 0.

Quarterscores: 25-18, 43-34, 73-65, 96-91

Sam Miguel
02-04-2015, 08:28 AM
Ginebra makes yet another head-scratching move

by Angelo Falcon on February 3, 2015

MANILA — The recent trade between three PBA teams have been approved and San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra and Barako Bull better make sure they utilize their new pieces in their next games.

Especially the Gin Kings.

Viewed by many as a ‘panic move’ after two stunning losses to Meralco and Barako Bull, Ginebra pulled the trigger on releasing Jay-R Reyes to San Miguel to get Barako’s Dorian Pena.

Barako Bull, on the other hand, will be getting Justin Chua, a promising young forward who has been buried in the Beermen bench the moment he got traded from GlobalPort.

Let’s forget for a moment that Ginebra is looking to re-instill its run and gun offense and Pena, at age 37 with multiple injuries in his career, doesn’t necessarily fit in with that type of offense.

Let’s focus on the deliverables and ask the correct question: what will they bring to each team assuming they get the minutes from their respective coaches?

For the first time in a long time, Barako Bull may end up as a winner in a deal that involves two San Miguel squads.

For an aging Pena, they got a young slot man in Chua who showed flashes of brilliance in his stint in the D-League with Blackwater and in his rookie conference with GlobalPort.

With a seven-foot-one import in Solomon Alabi manning the paint, Chua seems like a perfect complimentary piece for the Energy with his extended range and decent passing ability. Put that one up for Barako.

Reyes, on the other hand, will give San Miguel depth on the bench to compliment their power frontline of June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos. He will have to fight for minutes with the likes of Doug Kramer, Rico Mairheofer and David Semerad, but with his size and experience, it would be a surprise to see him get the ‘Chua treatment.’

And now as always, the trickiest part of the equation would be Ginebra.

Pena, despite his age, would be a good addition to any team depending on how that team uses him.

An added bruiser down low with a no-nonsense attitude, the Kings could definitely use a guy like him right now, what with their top bigs in Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar being labeled as ‘soft.’

But Reyes was pretty much like Pena. A banger inside who will fight for every loose ball and will not give an inch to his assignment in the paint.

Yet, Reyes wasn’t utilized like he was supposed to. In his first full season with Ginebra, Reyes averaged just 14 minutes a game. Last conference, Reyes’ minutes went down to just nine per ball game.

Now where does Pena fit in? Or will he ever be utilized at all?

Pena has assured fans of Ginebra that he will fight hard the moment he gets used but the question is will he ever be used at all?

If he won’t, then we’re not sure how this move makes sense for a Ginebra team which is struggling for identity at all.

This move could make sense in the future, or this could be a total bust.

Until then, chalk this one up to the many head-scratching decisions the Ginebra franchise have made in the past. — Rivals 2015

Sam Miguel
02-04-2015, 08:33 AM
Purefoods notches second win after 20-point rout of Alaska

InterAksyon.com · Tuesday, February 3, 2015 · 9:23 pm

The Purefoods Star Hotshots were in sharp form as they crushed Philippine Cup runners-up Alaska, 108-88, to notch a second Commissioner’s Cup win on Tuesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

With the win, the Hotshots joined early leaders Barako Bull, Talk ‘N Text and Meralco atop the standings.

Purefoods didn’t lack for heroes in this one with James Yap, Marqus Blakely and Alex Mallari all tying for team-high honors with 17 points.

Mallari, in particular shot an efficient 5-for-8 clip from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line while Blakely grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out seven assists in a well-rounded effort for the Hotshots.

Marc Pingris also chipped in with 12 points and eight boards while Allein Maliksi had 11 points on perfect 4-for-4 shooting, including three three-pointers.

Alaska, playing in its first game since losing a heart-breaking Game Seven against San Miguel in the Philippine Cup finals, showed plenty of rust in the contest, especially missing two important pieces of their roster in center Sonny Thoss and JVee Casio, who both sat out the game.

Purefoods jumped out to a big lead right at the opening tip. They scored 14 of the game’s first 16 points with Yap, Blakely, Mallari and Mark Barroca all finding the bottom of the net in opening minutes.

The Hotshots would keep the Aces at arm’s length the rest of the period, closing the first with a 27-14 advantage.

Their wings gave them a boost in the second, with Maliksi scoring the first five Purefoods points and Mallari taking over after that as he and Yap would both finish with seven points in the second quarter. They pushed a 12-point lead, 32-20, up to 24 points, 55-31, after a jumper from Yap.

Yap led the way with 12 points while Mallari had 10 and Maliksi eight at the halftime break, where Purefoods led, 57-35.

Alaska import DJ Covington was limited to only four points in just 14 minutes of play after getting three fouls in the lopsided first half.

In the third, the Aces seemed like it would mount one of their trademark runs after a basket by Abueva and a long-range bomb from Dondon Hontiveros cut their deficit down to 15, 66-51.

But the Hotshots snuffed out those hopes when Justin Melton led a 7-0 run late in third, pushing the lead back into the 20s, 83-57. They entered the fourth quarter leading by 23 points.

Covington finally found his groove in the fourth quarter, where he put up nine points in the first five minutes of the period, but the Aces could not make much of a dent in the Purefoods lead, especially with Rafi Reavis crashing the offensive glass for the Hotshots.

The Alaska import finished with 19 points and six rebounds while Chris Banchero had 16.

Sam Miguel
02-05-2015, 07:59 AM
Expansion team Kia scores big-time upset over Philippine Cup champs San Miguel

InterAksyon.com · Wednesday, February 4, 2015 · 6:26 pm

The Kia Carnival, behind their hulking import PJ Ramos and some steady play from its local crew, pounced on a rusty San Miguel Beermen squad making its conference debut as it scored a major upset, 88-78, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The 7-foot-3 Ramos had 22 points and eight rebounds to lead Kia, which won for the first time since its franchise debut against fellow expansion club Blackwater last October.

He was limited by foul trouble for almost the entire second half, though, but drew plenty of help from his local teammates in this one.

LA Revilla played big with 12 points, five rebounds and six assists and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Mark Yee scored 11 points and crashed the boards with nine boards while JR Cawaling scored 10, including a key basket in the final minute that all but sealed the game for the Carnival.

Kia led by as much as 18 big points, 65-47, over the Philippine Cup champions. Though their lead was threatened in the fourth period, the Carnival showed great poise playing without their import, holding off the Beermen in the end.

Ramos imposed his will for the Carnival early on, getting open for a dunk and even knocking down a three-pointer in the opening minutes. He finished with nine points in the opening period as he anchored the Carnival’s attack.

Reigning PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo, faced with a much larger defender in Ramos, seemed content to fire away from the perimeter on the other end, shooting just 1-for-6 in the first quarter with half of his attempts coming from the outside.

In the second period, Kia’s gunners happily stretched the floor for their hulking import with Cawaling, Eloy Poligrates and Karl Dehesa all knocking down three-pointers.

That made it easier for Ramos to continue plugging away inside as he finished with 18 big points in the first half, twice the output of debuting San Miguel counterpart Ronald Roberts, Jr., who had just nine.

A 12-2 Kia run in the second, highlighted by a pair of treys from Cawaling, gave the Carnival a double-digit lead, 37-26, which they were able to carry into the halftime break, 46-35.

Kia shot a sharp 6-for-11 from three-point range in the first half and held a 27-15 edge on the boards.

Ramos continued his stellar play in the third, scoring the first four points of the quarter but picked up his third and fourth fouls in succession. Despite that, the Carnival didn’t seem to miss a beat as its local crew ran San Miguel up and down the court with their transition play.

Kia extended its lead to a stout 18 points, 65-47, after Mark Yee and LA Revilla sparked a 12-4 run even with Ramos glued to the bench.

Despite a gallant showing from Roberts, the Beermen entered the fourth quarter facing a 14-point deficit, 67-53.

With Ramos picking up a fifth foul early in the final period, San Miguel stormed right back into the game, overwhelming Kia with some pressure defense and a fastbreaking offense. The Beermen came right back to within two, 69-67, after a 14-2 run to open the fourth.

But San Miguel entered into early penalty and Kia took full advantage, earning repeated trips to the free throw line. With Revilla hitting charities and Kyle Pascual and Mike Burtscher finishing on crucial baskets, they were able to push the lead back up to 11, 81-70, with 2:47 remaining.

Not even the early exit of Ramos, who fouled out of the game with 4:37 left, could stop the Carnival as they continued to be steady from the line up until Cawaling made what may have been the biggest basket of the game, an undergoal stab that made it 85-76 for Kia with 59.6 second left on the clock.

Sam Miguel
02-05-2015, 07:59 AM
‘400 pounds yata yun eh’: PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo admits struggling against 7-foot-3 PJ Ramos

Rey Joble, InterAksyon.com · Wednesday, February 4, 2015 · 8:59 pm

Reigning PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo has played against imports that were equally as big as him in the past.

None of them, though, quite had the combination of height and heft that Kia import PJ Ramos had.

The 7-foot-3 Ramos used his large frame to frustrate the 6-foot-10 Fajardo on both ends of the floor and that resulted in a rare upset victory for Kia over the recently-crowned Philippine Cup champions San Miguel.

Fajardo was reduced to a jump shooter in the first half. He went 1-for-6 in the first quarter with half of his attempts coming from the perimeter. One of them even came from beyond the arc.

He went 0-for-1 in the second period and had only four points at the halftime break.

The player known as ‘The Kraken’, though, said it was all part of the team’s plan, even if it didn’t exactly pay off for them.

“Sabi ni Coach, kapag bakante sa labas tumira ako, kasi hindi naman nagcha-challenge si PJ Ramos, kaya itinitira ko. Tsaka tira ko naman talaga yun,” Fajardo told InterAksyon.com in an exclusive interview. “Nagmi-mintis lang talaga.”

The Cebuano center admitted that his bigger counterpart made things tough for him.

“Syempre mahirap, malaki rin eh. Mabigat rin siya, mga 400 pounds yata yun eh,” Fajardo added.

Fajardo struggled to keep up with Ramos on the defensive end as well. The Puerto Rican import scored 18 of his 22 points in the first half before he was slowed not by the San Miguel defense but by foul trouble.

Ramos fouled out with over four minutes left in the game but the Kia locals did an admirable job in the endgame as they got the job done to complete the upset.

Sam Miguel
02-05-2015, 08:01 AM
Meralco remains unbeaten in Commissioner’s Cup after win over Talk ‘N Text

InterAksyon.com · Wednesday, February 4, 2015 · 9:37 pm

The Meralco Bolts remained unbeaten in three PBA Commissioner’s Cup games after disposing of sister team Talk ‘N Text, 91-83, to move into the solo lead on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Import Josh David failed to reach double figures in the game but the Bolts didn’t lack firepower as their locals carried the load on offense.

Gary David scored 17 points on an efficient 5-for-8 shooting clip to lead the way. John Wilson hit four three-pointers to finish with 12 points while Cliff Hodge and Mike Cortez each added 11 markers in the game.

Davis shot a mere 1-for-9 for just eight points but grabbed 17 big rebounds and played some tough defense to help the team move up to 3-0 for the conference. Talk ‘N Text lost for the first time in PBA Commissioner’s Cup, dropping to 2-1.

Talk ‘N Text remained well within striking distance, trailing by just one point with about five minutes remaining after a three-pointer from veteran Willie Miller. But Meralco finished the game strong, scoring nine of the last 11 points to seal the win.

The Tropang Texters failed to score a field goal in the final 4:56. Jayson Castro gave the team its only points on two free throws with 26 seconds left.

Richard Howell led Talk ‘N Text with 24 points and nine rebounds while Castro had 18.

Meralco opened the game hot with starters Hodge and Cortez combining to shoot a perfect 5-for-5 (2-for-2 from three-point range). David, too, gave the team some scoring punch from off the bench as he came in to score four points on 2-for-2 shooting despite playing just over four minutes in the first.

With their offense in fine form, the Bolts led by as much as nine, 26-17, before settling for a seven-point lead, 28-21, at the end of the first.

They pushed the lead into double-digits in the second quarter with Talk ‘N Text sputtering as they shot blanks from the outside.

Castro shot 2-for-4 from three-point range but the rest of the team combined to shoot 0-for-6 from the outside to open the game. The team also missed its first six free throws.

The Tropang Texters managed to do better later in the period but still trailed by five, 46-41, at the half.

Meralco had an answer for every Talk ‘N Text run in the second half.

In the third, they closed to within one point, 62-61, after mounting a 7-2 run capped by a three-pointer from Ranidel De Ocampo. But the Bolts quickly responded with eight unanswered points – four of those from David – to take the lead up to nine, 70-61.

Talk ‘N Text threatened again in the fourth after Howell completed a three-point play that made it a 10-1 run, bringing the Tropang Texters to within one, 77-76, with 8:49 left on the clock.

John Wilson quickly answered with a three-pointer to put some distance but their opponents hung around, still down by just one, 82-81, with 4:56 remaining.

Meralco closed out strong, though, finishing off Talk ‘N Text with a flurry that saw David hit a three-pointer, Cortez slashing to the hoop and a couple of free throws as they held on to win the game.

02-09-2015, 08:46 AM
Barako catches leaders; Ginebra ends slump, pins 2nd loss on San Miguel

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:27 AM | Monday, February 9th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—Barako Bull rolled to a third straight win and sealed the best start in franchise history last night after trimming KIA Motors, 95-86, in the PBA Commissioners’ Cup eliminations behind the 26 points, 20 rebounds and eight blocks of import Sol Alabi at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Alabi spiked his strong offensive night with 12 fourth-quarter points highlighted by clutch free throws in the stretch as the Energy climbed into a tie for the lead with idle Meralco and defending champion Purefoods.

Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao returned and coached the Carnival for the first time in the tournament but couldn’t save KIA from crashing back to earth after tripping San Miguel Beer, 88-78, last week.

“This game is all about playing defense and making good decisions,” Barako Bull coach Koy Banal said. “We were ready for their small lineup.

“The goal was really to make it three in a row. This franchise hadn’t tasted that in a long time.”

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra finally snapped out of the rut, scoring a 95-82 victory over the Beermen, the reigning Philippine Cup champions who tumbled to a second straight defeat.

Michael Dunigan fired 29 points and three locals tossed in 14 or better for the Gin Kings, who arrested a two-game slide to climb out of the cellar.

Alabi hit four straight points with under two minutes remaining and opened up a 91-81 lead for the Energy, who put to naught another big game from hulking KIA import PJ Ramos.

Ramos dropped half of his 34 points in the fourth period as KIA came within 77-74 after being down by as many as 15 in the first half.

“Talo talaga,” Pacquiao later said as sportswriters also asked the latest on his projected fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. “Let’s just wait for the announcement.”

“I think we did the right things,” Ginebra coach Ato Agustin said. “What was our problem in our first two games? We couldn’t play the way we practice. But tonight, our running game is back.”

The scores:

First Game

BARAKO BULL 95—Alabi 26, Intal 18, Lanete 10, Hubalde 9, Garcia 8, Lastimosa 6, Wilson 6, Marcelo 4, Pascual 4, Chua 2, salvador 2, Salva 0, Paredes 0, Sorongon 0.

KIA 86—Ramos 34, Buensuceso 14, Revilla 10, Cawaling 8, Avenido 7, Burtscher 6, Pascual 4, Dehesa 3, Poligrates 0, Webb 0, Alvarez 0, Yee 0, Ighalo 0.

Quarters: 22-13, 37-28, 66-56, 95-86

Second Game

GINEBRA 95—Dunigan 29, Slaughter 18, Caguioa 17, Yeo 14, Mamaril 6, Tenorio 5, Aguilar 2, Ellis 2, Baracael 2, Pena 0, Urbiztondo 0, Helterbrand 0.

SAN MIGUEL 82—Roberts 32, Lutz 12, Lassiter 10, Fajardo 9, Cabagnot 8, santos 6, Tubid 5, Ross 0, Kramer 0, Reyes 0, Omolon 0, Pascual 0, Fortuna 0.

Quarters: 27-21, 48-41, 72-66, 95-82

02-09-2015, 08:47 AM
Alaska bounces back, clips NLEX

Mark Giongco



7:39 PM | Saturday, February 7th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—Alaska rebounded from a bad loss with a thrilling win over NLEX, 96-95, in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Saturday night at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

The Aces, who redeemed themselves from a 108-88 beating from defending champion Purefoods last Wednesday, made a big defensive stop in the last play with Road Warriors import Al Thornton not able to get a good look and put up a decent shot.

“We had to win it with a stop,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton.

But Compton showed concern with the Aces’ defense in their first two games

“But 95 points is a lot for us. I don’t think we can win this way defensively.”

The Road Warriors trailed by double-digits three separate times throughout the course of the game but they kept coming back behind Thornton.

A 3-pointer by the former NBA veteran Thornton brought NLEX back to within one, 93-92, with 1:42 left.

Calvin Abueva, who was Thornton’s primary defender, extended Alaska’s lead to three, 95-92, with 1:22 remaining. Asi Taulava cleaned up a miss by Thornton to make it a one-point game again, 95-94, with 1:08 to go.

Taulava had a chance to tie it at 96 but he split his free throws with 46 ticks remaining and Alaska held on with a stop.

Thornton finished with 39 points but it wasn’t enough as the Road Warriors fell to 0-2 after losing to Rain or Shine last Wednesday. KG Canaleta added 16.

DJ Covington played a better game and wound up with 24 points while Vic Manuel had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Aces, who overcame the absence of their two key players in Sonny Thoss and JVee Casio.

Thoss and Casio missed their second straight game due to injuries.

02-11-2015, 08:15 AM
Meralco snares solo lead; Globalport up

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:25 AM | Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—Meralco extended its franchise-best start to four games on Tuesday night after bringing down another powerhouse in Rain or Shine, 92-87, behind a strong windup for the solo lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cupat Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Josh Davis scored half of the Bolts’ 30 fourth-quarter points, spearheading their fightback from 11 points down in the period.

The win enabled Meralco to wriggle out of a three-team logjam at the top.

The Elasto Painters led, 76-65, early in the final frame before their outside shooting went south. Rain or Shine dropped to a level 2-2 record with its first loss in its last three games.

Globalport, meanwhile, was forced to stick it out with original import CJ Leslie and then picked injury-ravaged Alaska apart, 95-73, in the second game.

With his replacement, Calvin Warner, failing to secure his release from the Jordan pro league, the Batang Pier and Leslie broke away in the third period before improving to 2-2 overall and dealing the Aces their second loss in three starts.

Alaska was already without Sonny Thoss and JV Casio for the first two games and played without Vic Manuel and Calvin Abueva against the Batang Pier.

Leslie finished with 30 points, 18 rebounds and four assists.

Davis, with whom coach Norman Black had to settle for after failing to sign Barangay Ginebra’s Michael Dunigan, came up with his finest offensive game in the PBA so far to silence all doubters.

“I’d like to give a lot of credit to Josh Davis,” Black said. “A lot of people have been criticizing his offense. He was able to put the points on the board and help us win the game.”

Davis also hauled down 14 rebounds, had four assists and as many blocks.

Meralco has never had a start this good, and what makes it even more special as far as Black is concerned is the fact that his squad has chopped down three talented teams in that streak, the others being Talk ‘N Text and crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra. They also beat KIA Motors and 7-foot-3 PJ Ramos.

Mike Cortez contributed 13 points, and Gary David tossed in 11 with Cliff Hodge finishing with 10 for the Bolts.

Rick Jackson scattered 22 points and plucked down 18 rebounds for ROS.

Meanwhile, defending champion Purefoods tries to again climb into a tie with the Bolts when it tackles NLEX also at the Big Dome in Cubao at 7 p.m.

The scores:

First Game

MERALCO 92—Davis 31, Cortez 13, David 11, Hodge 10, Anthony 8, Wilson 7, Dillinger 6, Hugnatan 4, Ferriols 2, Reyes 0, Atkins 0, Ildefonso 0, Buenafe 0, Sena 0, Macapagal 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 87—Jackson 22, Lee 12, Chan 11, Arana 10, Norwood 9, Tang 7, Uyloan 4, Almazan 4, Quinahan 3, Ibanes 2, Cruz 2, Belga 1, Teng 0, Tiu 0.

Quarters: 22-27, 41-47, 62-73, 92-87

Second Game

GLOBALPORT 95—Leslie 30, Romeo 25, Pringle 12, Isip 6, Buenafe 5, Jensen 5, Semerad 4, Ponferrada 4, Nabong 4, Miranda 0, Taha 0, Caperal 0, Pinto 0, Baclao 0.

ALASKA 73—Covington 25, Hontiveros 11, Dela Cruz 7, Baguio 6, Espinas 6, Jazul 5, Exciminiano 4, Menk 4, Dela Rosa 3, Eman 2, Banchero 0, Vanlandingham 0.

Quarters: 18-27, 44-35, 66-54, 95-73

02-11-2015, 08:21 AM
Injured Manuel, Abueva sit out as Aces take beating from Batang Pier

Mark Giongco


9:29 PM | Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines — Injuries continue to hit Alaska’s campaign in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

It was obvious that the Aces sorely missed the services of their key cogs in the 95-73 blowout loss to Globalport Tuesday night.

Already without key players Sonny Thoss (foot) and JVee Casio (wrist) to start the conference, hardworking big men Vic Manuel and Calvin Abueva were the latest to get the injury bug.

Manuel and Abueva both missed the Aces’ game against the Batang Pier.

Both sustained their respective injuries in a win over NLEX last Saturday after banging their knees against the knee brace of the Road Warriors’ import Al Thornton.

Manuel said that Thornton landed on his knee late in the game. He clutched his left knee in pain and was needed to be helped by his teammates in walking back to bench.

Apart from a hurting knee, Abueva is also nursing a flu and was sent home in the first half of the match against the Batang Pier to rest.

Minus the bulk of its core that led them to the Philippine Cup Finals last January, the Aces staggered to its second setback in three outings.

02-12-2015, 08:03 AM
From PBA Online via Inquirer Online ___


7:31 pm | Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Finally, a win.

Blackwater ended their woeful 14-game losing streak and notched the monumental breakthrough PBA victory against the recently crowned Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer, coming away with an 80-77 victory in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

“Of course, it was a moment that you could really cherish especially for the Blackwater franchise,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac. “After 14 games going back to the first conference to finally taste a victory here, I just want to thank the good Lord for allowing us to taste this.”

Still looking like they’re still in a championship hangover, the Beermen dropped to the cellar with their 0-3 slate, which is also the worst start in a conference by a newly-crowned all-Filipino champion team in 21 years.

With Blackwater leading 78-77 under 30 seconds remaining, Robby Celiz was forced to throw a desperation jumper, but fortunately for them, Gilbert Bulawan was there to recover the ball and score on a putback to put the Elite up, 80-77 with 10.7 ticks left to play. The Beermen had three chances from Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter to knot the score, but their three-point heaves failed to hit the bottom of the net.

Marcus Douthit made sure that his stint with the Elite would be a memorable one, scoring 20 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks to tow Blackwater to the historic win.

Brian Heruela also got 11 markers, nine boards, and five assists even as Bryan Faundo got a double-double of 10 points and 10 markers before fouling out.

“It came a bit late. We really wanted to experience this a lot earlier, but we’re still very thankful. Hopefully, this win could turn things on the brighter side for Blackwater,” Isaac said.

The Elite coach also admitted that the great showing Douthit has had in the three games for them has allowed the management to reconsider its stand on whether to still field in the injured Chris Charles for the conference when he has fully recovered from a hamstring injury.

“With the way Douthit is playing now, I think it’s a very difficult decision for the management. Maybe next week available na yan si Charles. He’s on his way back to being ready for competitive ball. Hopefully, we will be making the best decision as to who were going to tap as our import here in the second conference,” explained Isaac, himself ending a 16-game losing streak as PBA head coach dating back to his Barako Bull days.

The Beermen, who also started the 1994 Commissioner’s Cup at 0-3 right after winning the all-Filipino title, thus grabbed the distinction of being the only team to lose against the two expansion squads so far this season.

San Miguel Beer also equals San Mig Coffee/ Purefoods’ fate for having the worst start for any team coming off of a championship, as the Hotshots, coming off a Grand Slam last season, started the 2015 Philippine Cup on a 0-3 slate.

Ronald Roberts led San Miguel with 18 points and 17 rebounds, while Chris Lutz got 16 markers. Arwind Santos also had a near double-double with his 11 points and nine rebounds.

June Mar Fajardo was limited to just five markers and nine boards in just 18 minutes of play. (RL)

The scores:

BLACKWATER 80 – Douthit 20, Heruela 11, Faundo 10, Nuyles 8, Gamalinda 7, Bulawan 6, Salvacion 6, Canada 3, Celiz 3, Ballesteros 2, Laure 2, Acuna 2.

SAN MIGUEL BEER 77 – Roberts 18, Lutz 16, Santos 11, Tubid 9, Cabagnot 5, Lassiter 5, Fajardo 5, Ross 4, Omolon 2, Fortuna 2, Kramer 0.

Quarterscores: 11-21, 38-44, 60-52, 80-77.

02-12-2015, 08:04 AM
From PBA Online via Inquirer Online ___


9:18 pm | Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

An import change didn’t alter the course the Purefoods Star Hotshots have been traversing in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Daniel Orton picked up from where Marqus Blakely left off as the Hotshots sustained their hot run, walloping the NLEX Road Warriors, 87-62, for a fourth straight win in the PBA mid-season tourney at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.

Orton played the game expected of him by coach Tim Cone, providing an imposing inside presence and showing the ability to spot open teammates as he helped the Hotshots regain a share of the lead with the Meralco Bolts at 4-0.

The former OKC Thunder and Washington Wizard piled up 16 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocks in his PBA debut even as he rested with a good five minutes left to play.

For all intents and purposes, the game was all over midway through the fourth quarter of the most lopsided match in the tourney thus far.

No sooner, NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez also gave import Al Thornton a rest.

Cone like what he saw in Orton’s PBA debut.

“He just showed why he’s a high NBA draft pick. He delivered a nice message,” said Cone of the 29th pick overall by the OKC Thunder in the 2010 NBA Draft.

“To be honest, getting him to replace Marqus (Blakely) was a tough decision for us. We were quite worried. His skills and his size were no question. What we didn’t know is his energy and whether he would be happy to be here. He just showed he’s happy to be here and he’s happy with his teammates,” Cone pointed out.

“He makes us tougher defensively as he’s a big man that can run the floor well. His wingspan makes him bigger than he is,” Cone also said.

More importantly, he has seemingly lifted the spirit and emotion of the Hotshots even more.

His nose to get the rebounds and the eyes to dish off complemented Purefoods’ game as the Hotshots sent the Road Warriors reeling with a third straight loss.

The Hotshots took command in holding the Road Warriors to six points in the second period.

After opening a 36-26 lead at the half, the Hotshots never let up, breaking the game wide open at 84-54 before completing the ghastly rout.

Mark Barroca top scored with 17 points while Allein Maliksi and Joe Devance added 13 and 11, respectively.

The Hotshots did a good job on the defensive end, neutralizing all the NLEX key men, particular Thornton who was held down to 11 points and seven rebounds. (SB)

Sam Miguel
02-14-2015, 04:06 PM
Texters halt Energy; Kings down Carnival

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:23 AM | Saturday, February 14th, 2015

TALK ‘N Text survived a sloppy second half and snapped Barako Bull’s three-game winning streak with Jason Castro leading the way in an 80-75 victory last night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tropang Texters scored just 33 points in the last two frames, but held on tenaciously on the defensive end to tie their victims at 3-1.

Six players scored in twin digits for coach Jong Uichico, with Castro shooting 16, including a booming triple entering the final two minutes that made it 79-72.

Barangay Ginebra scored a second straight win later in the night after peeling away from upset-conscious KIA Motors in the fourth quarter for a 100-92 win.

The Gin Kings drew 27 points and 11 rebounds from Michael Dunigan in rising to 2-2.

The Carnival slumped to a second straight loss in a 1-4 card despite the 37 points and 22 rebounds of import PJ Ramos.

Meanwhile, Purefoods shoots for a fifth straight win—and the solo lead—when the defending champion Star Hotshots slug it out with on-and-off Rain or Shine in a Petron Saturday Special Game slated at Dipolog Sports Center at 5 p.m. today.

This will be just the second game for new Purefoods import Daniel Orton, who had an impressive debut in an 87-62 massacre of NLEX on Wednesday.

Uichico said he didn’t think his Texters are in the form that he wants them to be at this point.

“We still have to get better,” he said. “We had a good first half and, obviously, we didn’t have a good second half. They (Energy) just missed some shots. We just escaped with a win.”

Richard Howell scored just 11 but grabbed 18 rebounds for the Texters, the losing finalists in this conference last season.

The Texters’ victory halted Barako Bull’s franchise-best conference start at three games, but not after surviving a huge scare from the Energy, who got 16 points from Carlo Lastimosa.

The scores:

First Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 80—Castro 16, Rosser 15, Miller 13, De Ocampo 11, Howell 11, Fonacier 10, Alas 4, Washington 0, Carey 0, Labagala 0, Espiritu 0, Reyes R. J. 0, Aban 0.

BARAKO 75—Alabi 21, Lastimosa 16, Pascual 12, Garcia 8, Intal 7, Lanete 5, Wilson 4, Marcelo 2, Chua 0, Salvador 0, Hubalde 0, Salva 0, Paredes 0, Sorongon 0.

Quarters: 25-19, 47-37, 62-59, 80-75

Second Game

GINEBRA 100—Dunigan 27, Slaughter 14, Tenorio 11, Yeo 11, Caguioa 11, Ellis 8, Mamaril 6, Baracael 6, Aguilar 4, Monfort 2, Pena 0, Urbiztondo 0, Helterbrand 0, Ababou 0, Brondial 0.

KIA 92—Ramos 37, Yee 13, Revilla 9, Avenido 9, Cawaling 6, Pascual 6, Thiele 6, Dehesa 2, Alvarez 2, Bagatsing 2, Poligrates 0, Ighalo 0, Burtscher 0, Buensuceso 0.

Quarters: 25-17, 46-45, 70-70, 100-92

Sam Miguel
02-14-2015, 04:09 PM
PBA chair Chito Salud stepping down after current season

Musong R. Castillo


Inquirer Sports

5:59 PM | Friday, February 13th, 2015

Chito Salud, under whose watch the PBA field bloated to an all-time high 12 teams, will be stepping down at the end of the season.

That would make for a total of five seasons at the helm for Salud, whose father, the late Rodrigo, also served five years from 1988, a span which is described by many as the golden years of the PBA.

No reason was given why Salud is stepping down, although he will have a press conference Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Salud had called his staff Friday to break the news, telling his people that he had come to the end of the duration he had initially thought of when he assumed control in 2010.

A source said that Salud had already talked to several team owners of his decision, including Ramon S. Ang of the San Miguel Corp. group and Manny V. Pangilinan of the PLDT group.

Salud came in as the eighth commissioner of Asia’s pioneering pro league.

His first act was to bring the league back to the three-conference format that had the All-Filipino and two import-flavored tournaments.

Also under his reins, the league accepted Meralco in 2010, Globalport in 2012 and NLEX, Blackwater and KIA Motors this season.

No names as his possible replacement has been floated at press time.

02-16-2015, 08:08 AM
Bolts, Texters repulse rivals


Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:09 AM | Monday, February 16th, 2015

It came in the most unorthodox way, but Meralco coach Norman Black swore Josh Davis has been practicing that not-so-pretty shot.

Davis drained a looping, wrong-footed left-handed floater under heavy pressure at the buzzer last night as Meralco nipped Globalport, 86-84, to stay unscathed in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Black said that Davis had asked for the ball during their timeout to draw the game-winning play with 2.7 seconds left.

“As a coach, when your best player asks for the ball, you have no choice,” Black said after Davis finished with 33 points, 24 rebounds and five steals in leading the Bolts to their fifth straight triumph.

“Surprisingly, he has been practicing that shot,” Black said with a smile.

In the nightcap, Jason Castro scored 31 points, had nine assists and the defensive gem of the game that helped seal a 104-103 Talk ‘N Text victory over Barangay Ginebra.

It was the second straight victory for the Tropang Texters, who climbed to a share of second with idle defending champion Purefoods at 4-1, as the Gin Kings, who blew a 17-point first-half lead, slumped to 2-3 with their first loss in the last three outings.

Ginebra had possession with 2.8 seconds left and making the inbound. But Castro came from behind to tap Mac Baracael’s pass away from LA Tenorio which silenced a pro-Ginebra gallery.

Gary David scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth period as he and Davis accounted for all but two of the Bolts’ 27 points in the quarter.

The loss was the third in five games for the Batang Pier, who decided on Friday to replace original import pick CJ Leslie with Calvin Warner even if Globalport drew 31 points and 18 rebounds in a 95-73 win over Alaska last Wednesday.

The scores:

First Game

MERALCO 86—Davis 33, David 22, Cortez 10, Wilson 8, Anthony 8, Reyes 3, Hugnatan 2, Atkins 0, Hodge 0, Ildefonso 0, Sena 0, Dillinger 0, Macapagal 0, Ferriols 0.

GLOBALPORT 84—Warner 24, Romeo 14, Ponferrada 10, Miranda 9, Buenafe 9, Pringle 6, Semerad 6, Isip 6, Jensen 0.

Quarters: 20-15, 38-31, 59-58, 86-84

Second Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 104—Castro 31, Howell 20, De Ocampo 17, Rosser 15, Alas 7, Reyes R. J. 7, Fonacier 4, Miller 3, Washington 0, Carey 0.

GINEBRA 103—Dunigan 30, Baracael 20, Tenorio 14, Yeo 12, Caguioa 11, Slaughter 9, Mamaril 4, Monfort 3, Aguilar 0, Ellis 0.

Quarters: 20-28, 49-52, 79-75, 104-103

02-16-2015, 08:09 AM
PBA accepts Salud’s resignation

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:04 AM | Monday, February 16th, 2015

With a heavy heart, the PBA board of governors yesterday accepted the resignation of league commissioner Chito Salud, who emphasized that his decision was “not about me, but the future of the PBA.”

In a brief press conference between games last night at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Salud said “this is the right time to pass the baton [to someone] with a fresh voice, fresh ideas, to take this league to greater heights.”

News of Salud’s decision to step down at the end of the current season first broke Friday night after he met with his staff and said his goodbye. He would have spent five years at the helm of Asia’s pioneering professional cage league by the time the third conference closed.

“The PBA [now] is stronger and more relevant than ever,” Salud said during the conference attended by all the alternate board members and led by PLDT representative and board chair Patrick “Pato” Gregorio.

“I think this is proof of our support to our commissioner,” Gregorio said. “Our presence here means that we are happy with how he performed in the last five years.”

Gregorio said a board meeting scheduled for Feb. 26 will come up with the criteria for the selection of Salud’s replacement. He added that the new commissioner will be named before the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup ends.

Under Salud’s watch, the PBA expanded to an all-time high of 12 teams with the entry of KIA Motors and Blackwater.

There was hardly a trace of happiness in the way Salud talked yesterday, and he quashed all suggestions that the next step for him would be to seek public office.

“No, let’s leave that to the experts,” he said.

02-17-2015, 08:12 AM
PBA great Fernandez says will decline commissioner job if offered


Francis T.J. Ochoa


Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:19 AM | Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

CEBU CITY, Philippines–Ramon Fernandez immediately ended speculation about his availability for the PBA commissioner’s office that lawyer Chito Salud has said he will vacate.

“If it is offered to me, indeed, I will politely decline,” said the legendary four-time PBA MVP. “I have done my share for basketball and I feel like there’s more to life than just basketball.”

The all-time great, arguably the greatest PBA player ever who won a Grand Slam with San Miguel Beer, also told the Inquirer on Monday that he had some advice for June Mar Fajardo, the Beermen’s star of the moment who is struggling in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup.

“Get to the gym early, leave late,” said Fernandez, who runs a big man’s camp here, where Fajardo trained for about a week during his amateur days.

“He has to add more go-to moves in the post. Kulang pa,” said Fernandez. “I’m surprised he hasn’t gone to his hook shot yet. I know he can hit that shot with both hands.”

Fernandez’ name cropped up as one of the possible replacements for Salud, who announced his retirement as PBA commissioner recently.

While he may be a logical choice after having served the same post with the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association, Fernandez believes there are other people fit for the job.

“He should be really independent minded and strong willed to impose the right decisions on a board made up of different personalities,” Fernandez said. “Besides, this is a league with two owners having multiple teams so he should be strong enough to make sure no one’s interests go above that of the league.”

Fernandez refused to name names initially, but when pressed, said former national coach and current KIA Motors consultant Joe Lipa would fit the bill.

As for him?

“I enjoy too much strolling around in shorts and shirt to consider uprooting myself from here and handle the day-to-day affairs of the PBA,” Fernandez said.

Wife Karla Kintanar Fernandez agreed: “If he wants the post, I’ll support him. But he lives such a relaxed, stress-free life nowadays that I can’t really see him occupying that office.”

02-17-2015, 08:25 AM
^ That's the life, El Presidente. Gusto ko rin ng ganyang buhay --- relaxed a with a booming business for my passive income.

02-18-2015, 08:13 AM
Alaska sends San Miguel to 0-4 start

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:28 AM | Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—Alaska-San Miguel Beer picked up from where it left off. Only this time, the result was far different.

The Aces again bucked a slow start but finished strong this time, scoring a 107-100 victory that left the Beermen the only winless side in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

“I felt we really needed the win,” Alaska coach Alex Compton said. “I know that it’s early (in the tournament), but this is not 10 teams getting in (the playoffs).”

Dondon Hontiveros scored 12 points and rookie point guard Chris Banchero dropped nine in the fourth quarter as the duo took turns in fending off the Beermen to eventually rise to 2-2 overall and be in the middle of the pack.

The Beermen, who won the Philippine Cup in a dramatic 80-78 Game 7 victory over the Aces less than a month ago, slumped to their fourth straight defeat and were left alone in the cellar after NLEX broke through earlier in the night with a 106-79 ripping of Blackwater.

Import DJ Covington finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds despite playing just 26 minutes because of foul trouble, but four locals drilled in 10 or more with Calvin Abueva returning from a game’s absence to shoot 12 and grab five rebounds and issue the same number of assists.

Ronald Roberts led the Beermen with 22 points and June Mar Fajardo snapped out of his offensive slump with 21, 13 in the fourth.

The scores:

First Game

NLEX 106—Thornton 39, Canaleta 9, Lingganay 9, Villanueva J. 9, Villanueva E. 9, Hermida 8, Taulava 8, Cardona 7, Ramos 4, Arboleda 2, Baloria 2, Camson 0, Borboran 0, Apinan 0, Soyud 0.

BLACKWATER 79—Faundo 17, Douthit 15, Celiz 15, Reyes 8, Heruela 7, Laure 7, Bulawan 6, Acuna 4, Canada 0, Timberlake 0, Nuyles 0, Erram 0, Gamalinda 0, Salvacion 0, Ballesteros 0.

Quarters: 24-11, 55-27, 84-49, 106-79

Second Game

ALASKA 107—Covington 20, Hontiveros 17, Banchero 14, Abueva 12, Baguio 10, Espinas 8, Menk 8, Exciminiano 7, Manuel 6, Jazul 5, Eman 0, Dela Rosa 0, Vanlandingham 0, Dela Cruz 0, Casio 0.

SAN MIGUEL BEER 100—Roberts 24, Fajardo 21, Lassiter 18, Lutz 15, Ross 9, Tubid 6, Santos 4, Fortuna 3, Kramer 0, Reyes 0, Omolon 0.

Quarters: 19-27, 49-50, 76-78, 107-100

02-18-2015, 08:23 AM
0-4 na SMB. Antigas ng ulo ni Pareng Leo ko. His deliberate style of play and pounding the ball in the post is not working in this conference kasi wala ng advantage si Junemar gawa nung mga imports. He needs to unleash his athletes, takbuhan na nila.

Sam Miguel
02-19-2015, 06:13 PM
Kia upsets Purefoods; Pacman scores a point

By Nelson Beltran

(The Philippine Star) |

Updated February 19, 2015 - 12:00am
Games tomorrow (Smart Araneta Coliseum)

4:15 p.m. – Talk n Text vs NLEX

7 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Alaska

MANILA, Philippines - Kia, drawing another dominant game from Peter John Ramos and a first PBA career point from boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, scored a second reversal in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, pulling the rug from under title holder Purefoods, 95-84, last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Ramos powered his way to 32 points and 26 rebounds and led a strong Kia closing romp that carried the Carnival to a second win in the mid-season tourney after their 88-78 upset of Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer last Feb. 4.

“Na-execute namin yung ginagawa namin sa practice at kumunek yung shooting namin (We’re able to execute what we’re doing in practice and we’re able to make our shots),” said Pacquiao, the Kia player-coach who contributed a point and an assist in a little over four minutes of action in the second quarter.

Pacquiao made a first PBA point on a split from the stripe off a foul by Allein Maliksi at the start of the second quarter. After that, Pacquiao twice attempted from the outside, the first one going air ball and the second barely hitting the board.

Backcourt players LA Revilla and Eliud Poligrates provided big help in the final quarter as the Carnival wiped out a seven-point deficit, 68-75, and went on to pull off the key win that pushed the team up to ninth place at 2-4.

“I think we have a chance (to make the playoffs). Kailangan lang patindihin pa ang training,” said Pacquiao.

Struggling at the finish with Daniel Orton out of fouls, the Hotshots suffered a second straight loss and moved down to third place behind the Meralco Bolts (5-0) and the Talk n Text Tropang Texters (4-1).

In the first game, Globalport import replacement Calvin Warner turned an otherwise lackluster performance into a winning one, pouring in 14 points in the fourth period as the Batang Pier drubbed the Barako Bull Energy, 99-81, to get back on track.

The 6-5 Warner, struggling for just nine markers in the first three quarters, used his court savvy to make up for his lack of size and exploded in the last 12 minutes, helping spark their breakaway from a shaky 66-62 lead at the start of the fourth en route to the runaway win, their third against the same number of losses for sixth place.

The loss, its second in row, dropped Barako Bull to joint fourth with Rain or Shine at 3-2.

“Being a veteran import, Warner helps us with his maturity,” said Globalport coach Eric Gonzales.

“That’s our stand (in enlisting him in lieu of CJ Leslie). We’re after his inside presence and maturity that we hope will help our team mature,” Gonzales added.

No way he could match seven-foot Sol Alabi’s 37-point and 28-rebound game, but Warner put in enough effort and energy that inspired his teammates to bounce back from an 84-86 loss to the Meralco Bolts the last time out.

Warner collected 23 points, 20 rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks, Terrence Romeo delivered a team-high 24 points while Stanley Pringle and Mark Isip added 14 markers apiece.

Wingmen Ronjay Buenafe and Keith Jensen had their contributions for the Batang Pier in the game that was actually close but ended as a rout after the Energy went on a fouling spree and thus gave away several charities in the closing minute.

The Energy took control in the early going, 27-17, but the Batang Pier got into the groove and dragged Barako to a battle through the next 24 minutes of play.

At 66-62, Warner made two straight baskets underneath, touching off a decisive attack that had Globalport erecting a 12-point spread at 85-73.

“The loss to Meralco the last time was a big lesson not just to the players but the coaching staff. We have to finish well and not just start strong,” said Gonzales of the match that they lost on a last-second shot by Bolts import Josh Davis.

It was Warner’s debut game in the local pro league where he made 24 points.

Warner went 9 of 15 from the field for 23 points in his second PBA game.

Sam Miguel
02-19-2015, 06:14 PM
Romeo, Warner shine in Globalport victory

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:43 AM | Thursday, February 19th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—Terrence Romeo scored 24 points and import Calvin Warner tossed in 14 of his 23 in the last quarter as Globalport ripped Barako Bull, 99-81, Wednesday night to rise to a level 3-3 in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Stanley Pringle and Mark Isip added 14 apiece for the Batang Pier, who bounced back mightily from a sorry loss to league-leader Meralco over the weekend.

The loss was the second straight for the Energy after opening up with three straight wins.

Solomon Alabi paced the Energy with 37 points, but veteran JC Intal was held down to just four. Barako Bull missed Sol Mercado for the fourth straight game and no one was able to plug the hole.

Warner also had 20 rebounds and four assists, and, more importantly, provided the inside presence and the experience sorely lacking from the Batang Pier in the past.

“His (Warner’s) maturity, being a veteran, helps us [weather] our immaturity,” Globalport coach Eric Gonzales said. “We need an inside presence that is mature and will help the team get better.”

The game was tight until the final seven minutes when the Batang Pier methodically peeled away as Warner and Romeo took turns in hitting the baskets that eventually snuffed the fight out of the Energy.

It was also a great way for the Batang Pier to rebound from a stinging loss at the hands of the Bolts last weekend, when they blew several chances in the stretch against the undefeated pacesetters.

Meanwhile, Alaska, San Miguel Beer and Talk ‘N Text have all signed up new imports, with the Beermen bringing in former Rain or Shine reinforcement Arizona Reid to take the place of Ronald Roberts.

Alaska has tapped Damion James in place of DJ Covington, while the Tropang Texters, who have gone 4-1 with the help of last season’s Best Import Richard Howell, recruited Ivan Wilkerson Johnson.

All three will be measured at the league’s offices tomorrow for the 6-foot-9 height limit which Reid will clear with ease, having played for the Elasto Painters previously in conferences where the limit was four inches shorter.

The latest changes has now left Barako Bull, Barangay Ginebra, KIA Motors, Blackwater, Meralco and NLEX as the teams that have so far stuck with their original reinforcements.

The scores:

First Game

GLOBALPORT 99—Romeo 24, Warner 23, Pringle 14, Isip 14, Buenafe 7, Jensen 7, Miranda 4, Semerad 4, Caperal 2, Taha 0, Ponferada 0, Pinto 0, Nabong 0, Baclao 0, De Ocampo 0.

BARAKO BULL 81—Alabi 37, Lastimosa 12, Lanete 11, Pascual 6, Garcia 5, Intal 4, Chua 2, Matias 2, Hubalde 2, Salvador 0, Mercado 0, Marcelo 0, Salva 0, Paredes 0, Sorongon 0.

Quarters: 17-27, 45-44, 66-62, 99-81

Sam Miguel
02-19-2015, 06:21 PM
Purefoods import calls Pacquiao the professional basketball player a ‘joke’

Mark Giongco



10:01 PM | Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines — Purefoods import Daniel Orton called Kia playing-coach Manny Pacquiao “a joke” shortly after the Hotshots’ 95-84 loss to the Carnival Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Orton played his worst game in the PBA finishing with only six points and three rebounds in 19 minutes as he was saddled by foul trouble. Orton, the former first round pick by the Orlando Magic in the NBA, fouled out with 1:31 left.
“This game is seriously a joke. The way the game was going, the refs took the game that I know and love and they made it into a mockery,” an upset Orton said.

When asked what it was like to see the boxing champion play basketball, Orton answered: “That’s the joke. That’s part of the joke I was talking about. Professional boxer, yeah, okay. Congressman, alright. Professional basketball player, no. It’s a joke. Seriously, it’s a joke.”

Pacquiao played in his third game and scored his first-ever point that went with an assist in four minutes and 39 seconds of action.

Sam Miguel
02-19-2015, 06:22 PM
PBA commissioner Salud summons Purefoods import after Pacquiao ‘joke’

Bong Lozada



4:57 PM | Thursday, February 19th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—This time, it ain’t no joke.

PBA Commissioner Chito Salud has summoned Purefoods import Daniel Orton for his post-match comments dissing Kia playing-coach Manny Pacquiao and game officials on Wednesday night.

Purefoods Star Hotshots lost to Pacquiao’s Kia Carnival 84-95 and adding insult to the loss, Orton fouled out of the game with only six points and three rebounds in 19 minutes of play.

According to a report from Spin.ph, Salud is set to meet Orton on Friday at 1 p.m. at the PBA Office in Eastwood to hear the import’s side before deciding on probable penalties.

After the match, an incensed Orton described Pacquiao’s career in the PBA as “a joke” and that the referees were “making a mockery of the game.”

“This game is seriously a joke. The way the game was going, the refs took the game that I know and love and they made it into a mockery,” Orton said. “(Pacquiao playing in the PBA) That’s the joke. That’s part of the joke I was talking about. Professional boxer, yeah, okay. Congressman, alright. Professional basketball player, no. It’s a joke. Seriously, it’s a joke.”

Purefoods have gone 1-2 during Orton’s stay after their perfect 3-0 start with stand-in import Marqus Blakely.

02-23-2015, 08:40 AM
Gin Kings repel Hotshots’ rally

Jasmine W. Payo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:24 AM | Monday, February 23rd, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra denied Purefoods’ bid for a fresh start with a new import as the Gin Kings hacked out a 96-87 victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at the packed Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Michael Dunigan scattered 22 points, the last eight during the Kings’ fiery 18-9 windup in the last four minutes after the Hotshots rallied to tie the game at 78.

“We did a good job, especially in defense,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin. “We were able to execute our plays.”

The Kings climbed to 3-3, while sending the Hotshots—who tapped a third import in Denzel Bowles—skidding to a third straight loss after an impressive 4-0 start.

Earlier, Terrence Romeo pumped in 25 points and import Calvin Warner also continued to impress as Globalport whipped Blackwater, 101-78, to join the Hotshots at 4-3.

Warner, who won his second game in just three outings with Batang Pier, hauled down a season-high 30 rebounds to go with 17 point and three blocks.

“Until now we’re still getting to know him, to be honest,” Globalport coach Eric Gonzales said of Warner, who replaced reinforcement CJ Leslie. “He plays strictly inside, but he has a sense of maturity that helps the team.”

The Kings spoiled the 31-point explosion of Bowles, the former Hotshots import who was tapped to replace controversial Daniel Orton.

Greg Slaughter added 19 points as guards LA Tenorio (16 points and six assists) and Emman Monfort (nine points, seven boards, five assists and three steals) also came out huge for the Kings.

Bowles recently replaced Orton, who had a falling out with the Hotshots after a recent post-game rant agains t game officials and KIA playing-coach Manny Pacquiao led to a hefty P250,000 fine.

The scores:

First Game

GLOBALPORT 101—Romeo 25, Warner 17, Buenafe 15, Pringle 10, Isip 9, Ponferada 8, Taha 6, Miranda 4, Semerad 3, Pinto 0, Jensen 0.

BLACKWATER 78—Douthit 19, Heruela 17, Gamalinda 9, Reyes 7, Celiz 6, Bulawan 6, Acuña 6, Faundo 4, Cañada 2, Salvacion 2, Erram 0, Ballesteros 0, Laure 0.

Quarters: 21-20, 50-37, 74-56, 101-78

Second Game

GINEBRA 96—Dunigan 22, Slaughter 19, Tenorio 16, Aguilar 10, Baracael 10, Monfort 9 Caguioa 7, Yeo 3, Ababou 0.

PUREFOODS 87—Bowles 31, Simon 14, Barroca 14, Mallari 6, Pingris 6, Taha 2, Melton 0, Reavis 0 Pennisi 0.

Quarters: 20-16, 45-38, 70-56, 96-87

02-23-2015, 08:42 AM
PBA: Emman Monfort making most of starting gig for Ginebra

9:57 PM | Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Video by Mark Giongco/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — The smallest player on the court made the biggest impact on Sunday night.

Barangay Ginebra guard Emman Monfort, who looks shorter than his listed height at 5-foot-6, stood tall for the Kings in a much-needed win over defending champion Purefoods with stat-stuffing numbers that even players bigger than him couldn’t even do.

Monfort had his fingerprints all over Ginebra’s third win in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup with nine points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and zero turnovers in 30 minutes.

“It’s just helping the team to win,” said the former Ateneo guard following his team’s 96-87 win. “I just want to win and giving my all.”

The 25-year-old Monfort was hardly used last conference but is now getting the minutes under returning coach Ato Agustin. He made his third start this conference and logged a season-high 30 minutes.

“I just wanna repay what coach gave me,” he said. “I also want him to see that he can trust me and I just want my teammates to be happy and come out with a win.”

“I want to help them. We’re family. So if we win, we win together. If we lose, we lose together. This is one family, this is Ginebra family,” he added.

Monfort started alongside Ginebra’s long-tme leader Mark Caguioa and finished the game with Kings chief playmaker LA Tenorio, who came off the bench.

Tenorio said he’s comfortable with Monfort joining him on the floor and he hopes Sunday night is something they can build on in the coming games.

“Actually, that’s what we want to play at the same time because we understand each other’s game,” Tenorio said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to build on that.”

Ginebra has one of the most loaded backcourts in the league and Monfort saw majority of last conference sitting on the bench. But he doesn’t see other guards in his team as players who get a chunk of his minutes.

“They are my teammates so we help each other for us to win.”

Monfort went 4-of-7 from the field but he said he didn’t get into the flow of the game by making his shots but rather from his energy plays that rubbed off on his teammates.

“It was my hustle plays, not making the shots. The hustle plays and the energy that I provide. Roles are needed in a team game and my role is to give energy and hustle for the team.”

Despite having his best game this season, Monfort isn’t expecting to have the same amount of minutes in the next several games and instead, offered what the Kings can always expect from him.

“I’m just ready. It’s about being ready and grabbing the opportunity.”

02-25-2015, 11:27 AM
NLEX rallies past San Miguel Beer

June Navarro


Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:23 AM | Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

COACH Boyet Fernandez knew they can keep up even with the toughest team in the league.

The NLEX Road Warriors proved him right after they rose from the depths to turn back the San Miguel Beermen, 100-93, Tuesday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

“I reminded them of the Talk ‘N Text game. We we’re down again but made it back,” said Fernandez.

It was the same scenario they had gone through against the Tropang Texters in a previous outing, only this time they got the job done.

Al Thornton fired 19 of his 30 points during the NLEX surge while Mark Borboran and Jonas Villanueva buried two crucial threes that wiped out the Beermen’s 21-point advantage in the second half.

Solomon Alabi scored on an offensive rebound following his own miss with 2.5 seconds left as Barako Bull nipped Alaska, 93-91, in overtime.

Snapping a two-game skid, the Energy jumped to joint second place (4-2) with the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters.

“The guys showed a sense of urgency after losing back-to-back games,” said Barako Bull coach Koy Banal.

After the single-round eliminations, only eight teams will advance to the playoffs, something the Energy would be glad to be a part of.

“Our goal after the elims is to be in the middle of the pack,” added Banal.

The Aces dropped to 2-4.

Rattled by the charging Road Warriors, the Beermen suddenly lost their touch and bungled eight of their last nine shots from the three-point zone as the Philippine Cup champions dropped another match, their fifth in six games.

Chris Lutz, Marcio Lassiter, Arizona Reid and Arwind Santos launched those successive threes that failed to hit their marks after the Road Warriors finally took control, 86-85, on Borboran’s reverse layup.

Reid misfired all of his shots in the final period after scoring 27 points earlier.

The scores:

First Game

NLEX 100—Thornton 30, Taulava 20, J. Villanueva 15, Cardona 9, Borboran 8, Canaleta 6, Lingganay 6, E. Villanueva 2, Ramos 2, Apinan 2, Raymundo 0, H. Arboleda 0.

SAN MIGUEL BEER 93—Reid 27, Santos 20, Kramer 15, Lutz 10, Fajardo 10, Cabagnot 6, Ross 2, Lassiter 2, Tubid 1.

Quarters: 14-26; 33-46; 58-75; 100-93

Second Game

BARAKO BULL 93—Alabi 23, Marcelo 18, Mercado 15, Lastimosa 12, Intal 12, Pascual 6, Garcia 4, Lanete 3, Chua 0, Hubalde 0.

ALASKA 91—James 39, Manuel 13, Exciminiano 8, Jazul 8, Baguio 6, Menk 6, Hontiveros 3, Dela Rosa 2, Espinas 2, Dela Cruz 2, Casio 2, Banchero 0, Abueva 0.

Quarters: 22-21, 45-43, 66-65, 85-85, 93-91

02-26-2015, 02:56 PM
Carnival topple Tropang Texters

June Navarro


Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:36 AM | Thursday, February 26th, 2015

DOUBT the competence of Manny Pacquiao and his KIA Carnival no more.

After beating big dogs San Miguel and Purefoods, the Carnival toppled another giant in Talk ‘N Text last night with a rousing 106-103 victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Puerto Rican Peter John Ramos finished an assist shy of a triple double—24 points, 25 rebounds and nine assists—for the Carnival, who climbed out of a 17-point hole to pull off the upset.

But it was the late-game heroics of Leo Avenido and Hyram Bagatsing that proved decisive in the end.

Back-to-back threes by Bagatsing and Avenido shoved KIA back on top after the Tropang Texters forged ahead less than three minutes to go with Ivan Johnson and Jayson Castro on the firing end.

But Castro laid up and Larry Fonacier swished a three that cut a 105-98 KIA lead down to three. Ranidel de Ocampo’s desperation triple was too strong and Fonacier failed to launch a shot after LA Revilla swiped the leather at the buzzer.

“It was the result of all the sacrifices that we made in training,” said playing coach Manny Pacquiao in Filipino.

The Carnival claimed their fourth victory, three of them against the league biggies. They have the same number of defeats. KIA snapped the three-game streak of the Tropang Texters, who fell to solo second at 5-2.

LA Tenorio scored 12 of his 17 points in the deciding period as Barangay Ginebra escaped with an 89-82 win over Blackwater in the second game.

The Gin Kings squandered a 16-point lead before Tenorio bailed them out on the way to their fourth victory in seven games.

Tenorio’s three from the corner at the height of Blackwater’s rally sparked a late Ginebra run that dropped the Elite to 1-6.

Overall, the Carnival fired 18 threes, tying the season-high output of the Tropang Texters in the Philippine Cup.

“We’re now more confident after winning over these tough teams,” said Pacquiao, who bungled his two shots after playing for almost seven minutes in the second quarter.

The scores:

First Game

KIA 106—Ramos 24, Bagatsing 21, Avenido 16, Pascual 10, Cervantes 10, Buensuceso 10, Revilla 5, Dehesa 5, Cawaling 3, Alvarez 2, Thiele 0, Poligrates 0, PAcquiao 0.

TALK ‘N TEXT 103—Castro 24, Johnson 21, Fonacier 13, Rosser 12, Aban 12, De Ocampo 11, Reyes 6, Alas 4, Carey 0, Miller 0, Espiritu 0.

Quarters: 22-33; 50-51; 78-76; 106-103

Second Game

BRGY. GINEBRA 89—Dunigan 27, Tenorio 17, Slaughter 17, Caguioa 15, Yeo 7, Baracael 4, Aguilar 2, Pena 0, Monfort 0, Ababou 0, Ellis 0.

BLACKWATER 82—Douthit 16, Erram 11, Gamalinda 11, Celiz 9, Heruela 8, Salvacion 8, Ballesteros 6, Canada 5, Faundo 3, Timberlake 3, Reyes 1, Laure 1, Acuna 0.

Quarters: 20-25, 49-45, 71-60, 89-82

02-26-2015, 02:59 PM
PBA board tackles Salud issue Thursday

June Navarro


Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:29 AM | Thursday, February 26th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—The PBA Board of Governors will convene Thursday to lay down the criteria in selecting the next commissioner of the league.

PBA chair Patrick Gregorio said the board is under pressure to immediately find a replacement following the announcement of commissioner Chito Salud to step down at the end of the current season.

“We have to finalize the criteria. It will guide us in appointing the new commissioner,” said Gregorio of Talk ‘N Text.

Except for vice chair Robert Non of San Miguel Corp., the rest of the governors of the 12 ballclubs are expected to provide inputs in the discussion to be held at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City where possible candidates could also be mentioned. Non is recovering from a successful heart surgery.

“I’m sure some governors will bring up some of the names. I just don’t know up to what point the board will evaluate these candidates,” said Gregorio.

What is certain, Gregorio stressed, is that Salud’s successor will be announced before the Commissioner’s Cup ends.

“It will be good for the new commissioner to be named early while commissioner Salud is still here,” said Gregorio, adding this will give the new commissioner time to learn the ropes.

Among the names being floated as Salud’s replacement are PBA legends Ramon Fernandez, former senator Robert Jaworski and Chito Loyzaga, who became commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission and the UAAP.

Siblings Ogie and Chito Narvasa are also being considered.

Sam Miguel
03-01-2015, 08:56 AM
Rumor’s true, Chism deadly for E-Painters

Cedelf P. Tupas


Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:32 AM | Saturday, February 28th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–Wayne Chism is quickly repaying Rain or Shine’s faith in his competence.

The 6-foot-8 import waxed hot early to power the Elasto Painters to a 103-91 whipping of Barako Bull Friday night for their third straight victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Chism fired 15 of his 32 points in the opening period as the Elasto Painters roared to a swashbuckling first half on their way to improving to 5-2 and a share of second spot with Talk ‘N Text.

“It’s been good with Wayne, that’s what we expected,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao. “(Rick) Jackson is not a bad import but we’re a lot quicker and we have more flexibility on offense in Chism.”

Chism, who is coming off a stint in Israel, showed up 20 pounds lighter than when he suited up for the Elasto Painters last season, when he led them to a semifinal appearance in the Commissioner’s Cup.

The result is a quicker and a more deadly offensive arsenal that gave Rain or Shine added firepower to hold off one of the top teams of the tournament so far.

Chism finished with seven triples and also grabbed seven rebounds for the Elasto Painters, who got 16 points from the returning Paul Lee.

The Energy fell to their third loss in seven games, dropping into a tie for fourth with Purefoods and Ginebra.

Barako Bull import Solomon Alabi had 23 points and 13 boards but the league’s top rim protector failed to block a single shot despite averaging 4.6 in the first six games of the tournament.

Barako Bull led 18-13, before Rain or Shine dropped a 29-9 bomb in the second period to sieze control.

“We knew that Barako is the best defensive team, so we just wanted to draw out Alabi and create some space in the middle,” said Guiao.

Meanwhile, the league announced the staging of a couple of games in Dubai on May 21 and 22 at Al Shabbab Al Arabi Club.

Globalport plays Rain or Shine on May 21 before the Elasto Painters square off with Ginebra the next day.

The scores:

First Game

RAIN OR SHINE 103—Chism 32, Lee 16, Quinahan 12, Chan 11, Norwood 7, Cruz 7, Tang 6, Almazan 4, Uyloan 3, Belga 3, Arana 2, Ibanes 0, Teng 0.

BARAKO 91—Alabi 23, Intal 19, Lanete 14, Marcelo 11, Mercado 9, Lastimosa 6, Garcia 4, Matias 3, Pascual 2, Chua 0, Hubalde 0, Salva 0, Paredes 0, Sorongon 0.

Quarters: 30-27, 53-40, 77-62, 103-91

Sam Miguel
03-01-2015, 08:58 AM
Blackwater snaps KIA win streak

Cedelf P. Tupas


Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:36 AM | Sunday, March 1st, 2015

BLACKWATER got a huge lift from rookie Brian Heruela as it snapped KIA’s first winning streak with a 115-104 win last night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

Heruela dished out career best 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in leading the Elite to only their second franchise victory while avenging the opening-day loss to their fellow expansion team.

“This was a long time coming,” said Elite coach Leo Isaac. “We have waited so long for this win. We felt we played lackluster basketball in the first conference against KIA. We should have won on opening day but this is sweet victory.”

Sunday Salvacion also sparkled with a conference-high 22 points, helping key a second quarter surge that allowed the Elite to gain command.

KIA import PJ Ramos finished with 49 points, but the Elite collectively negated his production even as veteran Eddie Laure also nailed clutch baskets to put the game beyond KIA’s reach.

Marcus Douthit was a rock for Blackwater with his double-double of 24 points and 14 boards, alongside six assists.

The Carnival, who fell to 3-5, came into the game on the heels of confidence-boosting wins over Purefoods and Talk ‘N Text.

KIA playing-coach Manny Pacquiao saw action in both games, but against the Elite, the boxer/congressman arrived late for the game and decided to focus on coaching the squad in his sendoff game before his departure to the United States in preparation for his fight with Floyd Mayweather.

The Carnival though broke out of the gates hard with a 12-3 opening salvo before Heruela keyed a 14-2 turnaround for the Elite.

With Heruela orchestrating the offense, Blackwater led by as large as 18 points in the third period. But Ramos kept the Carnival in the game with a series of baskets inside the paint, allowing the Elite to come within seven points twice, the last at 102-95, with four minutes remaining.

The scores:

BLACKWATER 115—Heruela 27, Douthit 24, Salvacion 22, Gamalinda 10, Laure 7, Reyes 6, Erram 6, Bulawan 6, Ballesteros 4, Faundo 2, Celiz 1.

KIA 104—Ramos 49, Avenido 10, Cervantes 9, Bagatsing 9, Thiele 8, Revilla 8, Buensuceso 3, Cawaling 2, Dehesa 2, Pascual 2, Yee 2, Poligrates 0, Alvarez 0.

Quarters: 29-21, 56-42, 83-69, 115-104

03-02-2015, 07:58 AM
Tropang Texters wrest top spot

Cedelf P. Tupas


Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:06 AM | Monday, March 2nd, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—Talk N’ Text rode the hot shooting of Ranidel de Ocampo to repulse Globalport, 96-88, and seize top spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup before a big Sunday crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

De Ocampo sizzled for 25 points, including 6 of 9 from beyond the arc as he joined forces with import Ivan Johnson in carrying the Texters to their sixth win in eight outings.

The 6-foot-7 Johnson dished out monster numbers, tallying 35 points and 20 boards to win his duel with Globalport counterpart Calvin Warner, who was held to 19 points.

Later, James Yap knocked in eight of his 15 points in overtime as Purefoods Star outlasted San Miguel, 113-105.

Bothered by a sprained knee the past week, Yap regained his fiery form just in time to help the Hotshots finish off the stubborn Beermen who rallied from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

Marcio Lassiter was at the forefront of the San Miguel fightback with 13 of his 21 in the final period. But he faded in overtime and the rest of the Beermen crumbled under pressure, losing for the sixth time in seven games.

Yap, who missed winning the game in regulation with a long triple attempt, nailed a couple of treys and found Marc Pingris for an undergoal stab that extended the lead 100-92 with 44 seconds remaining.

“Luckily the guys started to focus before overtime and James had his big moments just like what he has done in his career,” said Purefoods coach Tim Cone.

Purefoods reinforcement Denzel Bowles carried much of the fight in the first three quarters, pouring 30 of his 35 points and Cone said the import is still adjusting in terms of fitness.

The Tropang Texters pulled away in the third period, using a 10-0 run to establish a 67-55 bubble behind baskets from Johnson and De Ocampo.

“It’s a good comeback despite losing to KIA,” said Texters coach Jong Uichico. “Our good defense translated to our offense and the effort was there for 48 minutes.”

The scores:

First Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 96—Johnson 35, De Ocampo 25, Rosser 13, Fonacier 8, Castro 5, Washington 4, Carey 4, Alas 2, Reyes R.J. 0, Seigle 0, Aban 0.

GLOBALPORT 88—Romeo 20, Warner 19, Pringle 16, Jensen 10, Semerad 8, Miranda 4, Buenafe 4, Isip 4, Ponferrada 3, Caperal 0, Pinto 0, Nabong 0, Taha 0.

Quarters: 24-24, 49-46, 74-69, 96-88

Second Game

PUREFOODS 113—Bowles 35, Mallari 17, Pingris 15, Yap 15, Simon 9, Barroca 9, Devance 6, Maliksi 4, Taha 3, Melton 0, Reavis 0, Pennisi 0.

SAN MIGUEL 105—Reid 23, Lassiter 21, Ross 15, Fajardo 14, Lutz 11, Kramer 8, Cabagnot 7, Santos 3, Reyes 2, Semerad 1, Tubid 0.

Quarters: 15-22, 42-39, 76-66, 98-98, 113-105

03-05-2015, 08:11 AM
A look at why MVP teams are not the most popular in the PBA

by Randolph B. Leongson on March 4, 2015

MANILA — If you’ve happened to watch Talk ‘N Text, NLEX and Meralco go up against each other in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, you might have noticed the low volume of fans watching the games.

The same can be said for expansion teams like Blackwater and Kia, but for a conglomerate that fancies itself at par with the San Miguel Corporation group in a ‘discreet’ rivalry, the MVP group has so far been on the short end of the stick when it comes to building fan bases.

This begs the question: Why is it that any game between TNT, NLEX and Meralco doesn’t garner much attention than those played between Ginebra, Purefoods and San Miguel?

The first thing we have to make clear is that teams under the SMC umbrella have been part of the PBA for a long time. Starting as Royal Tru Orange, San Miguel has been in the league since 1975. Meanwhile, Ginebra (as Gilbey’s Gin) entered in 1979 while Purefoods is the youngest at 27 years old, having joined the PBA in 1988.

On the other hand, the MVP group started controlling the Talk ‘N Text, Meralco and NLEX franchises in 2001, 2010 and 2014, respectively.

The Tropang Texters, however, haven’t lacked in success, establishing a dynasty of their own by winning five championships in the last six years. As a matter of fact, they almost achieved a Grand Slam in the 2010-11 season and won four straight Philippine Cup titles.

Unfortunately, this on-court success hasn’t translated to a bigger fan base.

With curiosity getting the best of me, I tried to look a little deeper and sensed the pulse of the people.

A lot of fans I talked to said that they adored Jimmy Alapag when he was on the national team because he bore the country on his chest. When he played for Talk ‘N Text? Not much.

Maybe, it’s also an issue of the marketing team for these squads. How did the fans support Ginebra, Purefoods or San Miguel? Because they had figures the mass could correlate to.

For Ginebra, it was Jaworski. For Purefoods, it was Alvin Patrimonio. For San Miguel, it was a take-your-pick lottery between Samboy Lim, Allan Caidic, or even Danny Ildefonso, or whoever you can think about.

For Talk ‘N Text, who was it? Alapag? Asi Taulava? There was a bit of a disconnect among the masses who follow the PBA. Willie Miller? He had a better time with Red Bull and Alaska. Mac Cardona? Jayson Castro? Ranidel de Ocampo?

For Meralco, is it Gary David? Jared Dillinger?

For NLEX, is it Taulava? Cardona?

There was no one who got as close to the people as the SMC stars did in their heydays.

Talking about fans, when it comes to Twitter fan accounts, the number of users representing the MVP teams (eight accounts with almost 30,000 followers combined) could not even compare to the fan accounts made by Ginebra fans (close to 20, and maybe expanding as we speak, with the most prominent @barangayginebra having 116,000 followers as of this writing).

The same discussion can be made with Facebook, with the top three fan pages for the MVP teams combining for a total of less than 500, 000 likes. A Ginebra page has more than 1.5 million likes while those dedicated to Purefoods’ Marc Pingris and the Hotshots have more than 1.4 million and almost 800, 000 likes, respectively.

To sum up, it’s just incomparable.

The league continuously conducts a study on fan following among the teams, and though the rest of the list is confidential, none of the MVP teams have ever cracked the top four, which was dominated by guess what… SMC teams!

Another factor was raised by a curious fan: That the players the MVP squads employ are a bit elite for their liking.

We can’t argue that in the recent drafts, the MVP teams have selected players who come from schools MVP supported (see: Ateneo and San Beda) or ballers who have played for them in the D-League (see: Kevin Alas, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser).

Maybe in the long run, things will change.

But for now, as much as Talk ‘N Text, Meralco, and NLEX regard themselves as co-equal sister teams, capable of beating one another in any given day, they will, for the better part of the decade, will remain as older brothers in that order. — Rivals 2015

03-09-2015, 01:36 AM
https://servssports.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/img_1381.jpg?w=300&h=225 (https://servssports.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/schick-is-pbas-official-razor/)

EXPECT THE superstars of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) to not only display superior basketball skills but also look good on the court as the partnership with Schick as the league’s official razor has been formalized recently. Schick has long been a sponsor of basketball and other sporting events both here and abroad and it is only fitting that they have now combined forces with Asia’s first professional basketball league. READ MORE (https://servssports.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/schick-is-pbas-official-razor/)

03-09-2015, 10:07 AM
North survives South; Romeo All-Star MVP

Cedelf P. Tupas


Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:38 AM | Monday, March 9th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—It was an All-Star game that was poignant as it was entertaining. Along the way, a few All-Star records were surpassed.

Jimmy Alapag was given an emotional retirement tribute at halftime and then the North All-Stars buckled down to work, hammering out a 166-161 triumph over the South All-Stars last night at Puerto Princesa Coliseum in Palawan.

READ: Jimmy Alapag gets tearful, plays last PBA game

Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva and Marc Pingris carried the fight in a blistering second half for the North All-Stars, who rallied from 16 points down.

Romeo, the Globalport rookie who won the Three-Point shootout last Friday, was named MVP of the All-Star game after finishing with 30 points, including 15 in the final period.

READ: Globalport’s Romeo claims PBA 3-point shootout crown

Abueva, who flew in later than the other players due to pressing family matters, notched a game-high 37 points.

The Northerners seized control in the fourth quarter, where they dropped an 18-2 bomb to take a 143-137 advantage, with nine minutes left in the game.

And while Alapag, Peter June Simon and Cyrus Baguio combined to trim the gap, 161-165, Romeo finished off the South with a split from the free throw line.

Japeth Aguilar also had 25 points for the North All-Stars, delighting the crowd with an array of dunks.

Records galore

Records were set in the back-and-forth free-wheeling game as both teams combined for the highest scoring quarter (89 points in the first quarter), highest scoring half (169 points), highest combined scores through three quarters (260 points), and highest combined points in an All-Star Game (327 points).

Alapag, who retired last month, also established an All-Star record of 17 assists after having his Talk ’N Text No. 3 jersey retired at halftime.

PBA official dies

The All-Star weekend, however, was marred by tragedy as PBA technical director Ramil Cruz died yesterday due to cardiac arrest at the league’s official hotel in Puerto Princesa.

Cruz, a former coach of UP as well as a member of the Maroons team that won the UAAP title in 1986, is survived by wife Monette and their four children.

READ: PBA technical director Ramil Cruz passes away

The scores:

NORTH ALL-STARS 166—Abueva 37, Romeo 30, Aguilar 25, Santos 24, Pingris 19, Norwood 8, Belga 6, Tenorio 6, Castro 5, Lee 4, De Ocampo 2, Melton 0.

SOUTH ALL-STARS 161—Simon 24, Chan 22, Slaughter 22, Hugnatan 17, Devance 16, Baguio 14, Alapag 12, Pringle 11, Taulava 11, Yap 6, Barroca 6.

Quarters: 41-48, 81-88, 125-135, 166-161

03-16-2015, 08:28 AM
THE VILLAIN | Beau Belga relishes tormenting opposing fans: ‘Mas gusto ko yung marami akong paiiyakin’

Rey Joble, InterAksyon.com · Sunday, March 15, 2015 · 8:50 pm

Beau Belga is at his best when he’s playing the villain role.

On Sunday night, in front of a mainly pro-Ginebra crowd at the Cuneta Astrodome, the burly Rain or Shine frontliner played the role to perfection.

Belga repeatedly tormented the Kings’ legion of fans with his taunts and his rugged play while keeping his head cool enough to help his Elasto Painters team come from behind to carve out a hard-earned win.

For a player like Belga, there’s nothing quite like sending the opposing team’s fans disappointed.

“Tuwang-tuwa ako sa ganyan. Yan yung gusto ko,” Belga told sportswriters after the game. “Sa lahat ng laro ang pinakagusto ko yung kalaban ko buong arena.”

Belga kept the fans involved all game long, putting his hand to his ear to get the fans booing louder on free throws and even doing the crotch chop taunt popularized in professional wrestling.

His antics fired up the crowd and some of those in attendance even took it too far, throwing bottles of water in the direction of the playing court after Belga got entangled with Ginebra veteran Mark Caguioa underneath the Rain or Shine basket.

The game needed to be halted for a moment as PBA officials identified and ejected the erring fans from the arena.

Belga got the last laugh on the Ginebra fans, though, as his team rattled off 11 unanswered points in the endgame to come away with the win.

“Mas challenging sa akin yan. Mas gusto ko yung pagkatapos ng game marami akong paiiyakin. Yun ang gusto ko,” he added. “At the same time kapag natalo kami kailangan naming tanggapin.”

Belga even admitted to not opening his social media accounts intentionally for a couple of days just to so he could focus on the big game against the popular Ginebra side.

“Sabi ko sa sarili ko, I’m not gonna open Facebook and Twitter for two days. Sigurado ako masarap ang makikita ko at mababasa ko,” Belga said.

“OK lang sa akin yung villain. Basta nanalo yung team ko wala kaming problema.”

03-16-2015, 08:29 AM
IT’S KG TIME? | New GlobalPort import likens NLEX’s Cañaleta to ‘Reggie Miller in ’95’

Rey Joble, InterAksyon.com · Sunday, March 15, 2015 · 10:24 pm

In just his first game in the PBA, Derrick Caracter saw his team lit up by an NLEX sniper that shot the ball so well, he might as well have been NBA legend Reggie Miller, for all the new GlobalPort import knew.

“I heard the competition is good, like what I’ve seen today. One guy caught fire on the other team. I thought he was Reggie Miller in ’95,” Caracter said after the game.

“When somebody shoots that well, there’s only so much you can do.”

It wasn’t Miller but NLEX gunner KG Cañaleta that torched Caracter and the Batang Pier for 29 points, including six three-pointers on Sunday.

He scored 22 in the second half as he took advantage of the space left by GlobalPort’s aggressive double-teaming of the Road Warriors’ import, Al Thornton.

NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez, himself a deadshot during his playing days, was also impressed by the marksmanship displayed by Cañaleta.

“Wow, KG Cañaleta. He made those triples at an important time,” Fernandez said.

“That guy really improves not just on offense, but also his defense.”

For Cañaleta, it was a little bit like letting off steam after losing the Three-point Shootout in last weekend’s All-Star festivities.

“Maagang preparation ito for next year,” said Cañaleta in jest.

Turning serious, the NLEX marksman believes that his fine play, as well as the current four-game winning streak that the team is one, is a result of the team getting comfortable not only with the system of Fernandez, who took over the team at the start of the season, but also with playing alongside the talented Thornton.

The team struggled at the start of the conference but they’ve come along in a big way, moving right into the middle of the playoff picture with a 5-4 record, good for fifth place in the standings.

“Siguro nag-re-react na kami sa system namin. Medyo alam na namin yung roles namin. Tapos sa defense, maganda na yung rotation namin,” added Cañaleta.

03-19-2015, 09:11 AM
Road Warriors down Carnival

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

10:00 PM | Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—Al Thornton came up with his usual second-half explosion and the NLEX defense silenced the locals of KIA Motors in the final two quarters to secure a 102-86 victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup yesterday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Thornton tossed in 25 of his 33 points in the last two frames and the Road Warriors wriggled out of a tight game with spurts that came one after the other early in the fourth as NLEX tied the tournament’s longest winning streak of five and rose to 6-4 overall.

NLEX actually entered the fourth period trailing, 69-72, before dropping nine unanswered points that got the Road Warriors on their way to dumping the Carnival to a 4-6 record.

When the Carnival came to within 78-80, Rudy Lingganay drilled a triple that touched off a 9-1 burst and sent NLEX zooming to an 89-79 lead going into the final 3:35.

Coach Boyet Fernandez’ game plan of letting hulking KIA import PJ Ramos score while holding the locals down worked as no local Carnival finished with more than eight points.

Ramos scored 41 and had 23 rebounds, but was held down to just two in the fourth period because of the tough defense put up by Asi Taulava and a consistent double team that came every time Ramos had a touch inside the paint.

“We had a very bad first half, the effort wasn’t there,” Fernandez said. “We did good on our game plan against Ramos in the second half.”

Fernandez and his crew moved half-a-game behind joint second placers Talk ‘N Text, Rain or Shine and Meralco, and a full game out of the lead being held by idle defending champion Purefoods.

The Tropang Texters gains a share of the lead with a 113-93 victory over San Miguel Beer.

The scores:

First Game

NLEX 102—Thornton 33, J. Villanueva 20, Cardona 16, Lingganay 12, Taulava 10, R. Villanueva 4, Borboran 4, Canaleta 3, Raymundo 0, Camson 0, Ramos 0, H. Arboleda 0.

KIA 86—Ramos 41, Cervantes 8, Buensuceso 7, Cawaling 6, Revilla 6, Avenido 6, Dehesa 5, Poligrates 3, Thiele 2, Yee 2, Alvarez 0, Pascual 0.

Quarters: 16-22, 36-45, 69-72, 102-86

Sam Miguel
03-22-2015, 08:18 AM
Gin Kings gain quarterfinals

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

6:42 AM | Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

BARANGAY Ginebra finally barged into the quarterfinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after two failed bids by ripping Globalport, 96-81, in a Petron Saturday Special game at Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.

The Gin Kings just proved too much for the undermanned Batang Pier and rose to a 5-5 record while putting Globalport on the brink of elimination at 4-6.

Michael Dunigan and Greg Slaughter tossed in 22 points each to pace the Kings, who can assure themselves of playing in a best-of-three series in the first round of the playoffs by winning over Alaska at the close of the eliminations on Wednesday.

Globalport dropped into a three-way tie for the eighth and last playoff spot together with KIA Motors and Barako Bull, with the Carnival trying to stay alive against a Rain or Shine crew that will be seeking a twice-to-beat privilege today.

That game is slated at 3 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum with the Elasto Painters shooting to close out their elimination round campaign at 8-3.

Talk ‘N Text will also be gunning for the same record when it battles Alaska in the 5:15 p.m. game. Wins by the Painters and the Tropang Texters would relegate current leader and defending champion Purefoods to third spot.

The Hotshots have the lowest quotient in the tiebreak since they beat Talk ‘N Text by just one and lost to the Painters by seven. Talk ‘N Text will be the No. 2 seed after beating ROS by three.

As things stand, only Blackwater and San Miguel Beer have been eliminated.

Barako Bull is still also in the running with a 4-6 record like KIA and the Batang Pier.

The scores:

GINEBRA 96—Dunigan 22, Slaughter 22, Caguioa 15, Urbiztondo 11, Tenorio 8, Yeo 8, Aguilar 6, Monfort 2, Helterbrand 2, Peña 0, Baracael 0, Ababou 0.

GLOBALPORT 81—Romeo 20, Caracter 16, Miranda 11, Semerad 8, Espinas 8, Jensen 8, Taha 4, Nabong 2, Buenafe 2, Pinto 2, Ponferada 0, Isip 0, Cabrera 0, Capera l0.

Quarters: 22-12, 46-27, 71-52, 96-81

Sam Miguel
03-22-2015, 08:23 AM
Gins from choke king to real kings?

By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) |

Updated March 22, 2015 - 12:00am
Games today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)

3 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Kia

5:15 p.m. – Talk n Text vs Alaska

MANILA, Philippines - Barangay Ginebra has had enough of endgame fold-ups.

The Gin Kings played a rock-solid game through 48 minutes last night, reigning over the injury-hit Globalport side, 96-81, to clinch the sixth slot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs in the Petron Blaze-sponsored road game at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena.

Showing a sense of urgency following disappointing losses to NLEX and Rain or Shine, the Kings crushed the Batang Pier to raise their record to 5-5 (win-loss).

Coach Ato Agustin and his troops chase a spot in the best-of-three quarterfinals as they slug it out with the Alaska Milk Aces at the close of the elims on Wednesday at the Big Dome.

As in their last two games, the Kings got off to a strong start, and played tough to the finish this time, thus redeeming themselves from their losses to the Road Warriors and the Elasto Painters where they bungled big double-digit spreads.

Ginebra sent down on its knees a Globalport squad that badly missed the services of injury-stricken ace playmaker Stanley Pringle.

The Batang Pier reeled with a sixth loss against four wins, needing to beat the San Miguel Beermen Tuesday to salvage a seat in the post-elims play.

Globalport has gone 0-2 with highly touted import Derrick Caracter, a former LA Laker.

Mike Dunigan and Greg Slaughter scored 22 points apiece while Mark Caguioa tossed in 15 to lead the Kings to their most lopsided win in the tourney.

Ginebra dished out a heads-up game, opening with a 9-1 attack, leading 46-27 at the half and preserved a commanding spread all the way to the final buzzer.

Meanwhile, Rain or Shine and Talk n Text try to claim playoffs top seeding and the twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals as they go for crucial wins versus Kia and Alaska Milk, respectively, in their closing games in the elims at the Smart Araneta Coliseum today.

The Elasto Painters tangle with the Carnival at 3 p.m. then the Tropang Texters tackle the Alaska Milk Aces at 5:15 p.m.

The E-Painters and the Texters chase a Top Two finish while the Carnival and Aces look to salvage a spot in the Last Eight.

Victories by RoS and TnT actually create a three-way logjam on top.

Sam Miguel
03-26-2015, 02:52 PM
Blackwater exits with win over Meralco

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:01 AM | Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Blackwater, out of contention since last week, closed out its PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign on a winning note Wednesday night after taking down undermanned Meralco, 84-72, at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Marcus Douthit scored 27 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had two blocks as the Elite, while finishing last for the second straight conference, wound up with a far better 3-8 record after a 0-11 effort in the Philippine Cup.

JP Erram finished with a career-high 21 points and eight rebounds before fouling out, giving great support to Douthit, the naturalized player of the Gilas Pilipinas program whom Blackwater is interested in signing again for the season-ending Governors’ Cup.

“Going into this game, regardless of being eliminated (earlier), it was all about gaining experience and the players giving their 100 percent,” coach Leo Isaac told reporters.

Reil Cervantes, acquired in a trade with fellow newcomer KIA Motors a few days ago, immediately made an impact and scored 13 points to help the Blackwater cause.

Jared Dillinger paced the Bolts with 15 points as Meralco played without bruiser Cliff Hodge for the second straight game while sending import Josh Davis through the paces in a 35-minute stint to get ready for the playoffs.

The Bolts closed out with a 6-5 card and, as the No. 5 seeds, will battle sister squad, No. 4 NLEX, in a best-of-three quarterfinal series starting tomorrow also at the Big Dome.

Top-ranked Rain or Shine and No. 2 Talk ‘N Text are both awaiting quarterfinal foes that they will have to beat just once to advance to the Final Four.

The final playoff qualifier and rankings will be known after the Barangay Ginebra-Alaska game going on at press time.

The scores:

First Game

BLACKWATER 84—Douthit 27, Erram 21, Cervantes 13, Heruela 7, Acuna 6, Bulawan 5, Gamalinda 3, Laure 2, Timberlake 0, Reyes 0, Golla 0.

MERALCO 72—Dillinger 15, Anthony 13, Cortez 13, Davis 11, Wilson 7, Ferriols 5, Caram 3, Reyes 2, David 2, Buenafe 1, Ildefonso 0, Sena 0, Hugnatan 0, Macapagal 0.

Quarters: 26-23, 50-40, 66-46, 84-72

Sam Miguel
03-26-2015, 02:56 PM
Alaska nabs 6th seed in PBA playoffs after gritty win over Ginebra

Mark Giongco



9:46 PM | Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines — Alaska needed to win to avoid elimination and had to win by at least six points over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to keep itself out of a twice-to-win situation in the playoffs.

The Aces did both on Wednesday following a 104-98 victory over the Kings in the final game of the elimination round of the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“I’m just grateful that we made the playoffs, really grateful,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton. “It’s been a tough conference for us. It’s really been a tough conference for us.”

Off a timeout, veteran swingman Dondon Hontiveros and import Damion James perfected the play Compton mapped out with James receiving the sideline inbound pass from Hontiveros for the easy layup with 4.8 seconds left that secured the Aces the six-point winning margin they needed to get the sixth seed.

A win below six points for Alaska meant having to beat No. 2 Talk ‘N Text twice in the quarterfinals.

James finished with 29 points and 14 rebounds while Cyrus Baguio had 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field on top of five assists and three rebounds.

Alaska led by as much as 15 in the third quarter before Ginebra, buoyed by its boisterous fans, stormed back and even took a 90-89 edge with 5:04 left on two free throws by Mac Baracael, who replaced the injured Japeth Aguilar.

Aguilar hurt his right ankle as he was about to go for a shot against Alaska guard JVee Casio.

Calvin Abueva added 16 points including a basket near the rim off an outlet pass by Casio that made it, 100-96, with 45.6 seconds left.

Michael Dunigan fired a game-high 32 points that went with 13 rebounds for the Kings, who finished at No. 8 and will face top-seeded Rain or Shine.

The best-of-three quarterfinals starts on Friday with No. 4 NLEX taking on Meralco at 4:15 p.m. and Alaska clashing with defending champion Purefoods at 7:00 p.m. also at the Big Dome.

Sam Miguel
03-29-2015, 11:44 AM
Painters, Texters book semis slots

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:16 AM | Sunday, March 29th, 2015

SUPPOSEDLY with the “lightest” assignment, Rain or Shine needed to dig really deep last night before marching on to the Final Four of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Gunslinger Jeff Chan came up with the steal of the night then went coast-to-coast for the marginal layup in the final 4.6 seconds as the top-seeded Painters nipped No. 8 Barangay Ginebra, 92-91, for a seat in the semifinals at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
“We are No. 1 but we had a tough road,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said after the first quarterfinal match that was decided only in the final second. “We were supposed to have a light assignment, but Ginebra is not a light assignment.

“It didn’t feel like we had an advantage playing them,” Guiao, whose wards needed to beat the Gin Kings just once, continued. “They were a top team and I am glad that it’s over.”

Second-ranked Talk ‘N Text had a far easier time earlier after blasting Barako Bull, 127-97, behind a 75-point effort at halftime, to make the next round ahead of everyone else.

On Friday, the opening games of the two best-of-three series also went the way of defending champion Purefoods and Meralco in lopsided styles, with the Star Hotshots and the Bolts gunning for the clincher today opposite Alaska and NLEX, respectively.

Should Purefoods win its 3 p.m. clash with the Aces and the Bolts repeat over the Road Warriors at 5:15 p.m., they will complete the Final Four cast with the Hotshots advancing opposite the Tropang Texters and the Bolts facing the Painters in best-of-five affairs.

Ginebra had a six-point lead in the fourth period before Chan hit all two of his triples inside the final 3:56 and Raymond Almazan added one of his two that had the Painters setting up the thrilling finish.

Chan broke the game’s last tie at 87 with a clutch, booming trey from the left quarter court, only for the Gin Kings to come roaring back and take a 91-90 lead after a towering one-handed jumper by Greg Slaughter going into the final 45.8 ticks.

Almazan, who finished with 17 points, then gave the Kings a chance to wrap up the contest by missing a reverse layup, only for Ginebra to bungle the opportunity when Chan stole possession from Michael Dunigan before sprinting downcourt for the wide-open layup.

Ginebra also did not help its cause any by committing a tournament-high 30 turnovers compared to the 13 of the Painters.

Import Wayne Chism, Chan and Almazan led the Painters with 17 points each.

The scores:

First Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 127—Johnson 35, Castro 18, De Ocampo 16, Rosser 12, Fonacier 10, Alas 8, Seigle 8, Washington 5, Williams 4, Espiritu 3, Carey 2, Labagala 2, Reyes 2, Aban 2, Miller 0.

BARAKO BULL 97—Alabi 23, Intal 22, Lanete 13, Pascual 12, Garcia 6, Lastimosa 6, Marcelo 6, Mercado 4, Hubalde 3, salvador 2, Salva 0, Paredes 0.

Quarters: 45-23, 75-44, 101-73, 127-97

Second Game

RAIN OR SHINE 92—Chism 17, Chan 17, Almazan 17, Lee 9, Norwood 9, Uyloan 5, Arana 4, Quinahan 4, Cruz 4, Teng 2, Tiu 2, Belga 2, Teng 0.

BRGY. GINEBRA 91—Slaughter 26, Aguilar 14, Caguioa 14, Dunigan 11, Urbiztondo 7, Tenorio 7, Helterbrand 5, Yeo 4, Baracael 3, Ellis 0.

Quarters: 21-18, 44-42, 63-68, 92-91

Sam Miguel
03-29-2015, 11:52 AM
You can’t win with 30 turnovers, says Ginebra’s Aguilar

Bong Lozada



9:32 PM | Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Less than two minutes remaining in the 48, they held on to an 87-87 tie with the bruising Rain or Shine team.

Ginebra import Michael Dunigan split his free-throws with 1:47 left in the fourth to tie the game that sent their thousands of supporters inside Mall of Asia Arena nearer to Nirvana.

Then, a figure, running down the left side of the floor. A floor which turned to River Styx and Jeff Chan the navigator of the boat.

Chan squared his feet, tucked his elbow in, release. Bang. Rain or Shine had a 90-87 lead with 1:33 remaining.

Mark Caguioa and Greg Slaughter then pulled through for the damaged Ginebra, hitting back-to-back baskets to take a 91-90 lead with 45.8 remaining in the fourth.

Ginebra fans were in uproar. Their team has the chance to go on a rubber match.

Then as luck would have it, the parquet floor once more became the rotten Styx and Chan was once again on the boat.

Ginebra will have to pay. They would pay with their 29th turnover of the game.

Near the end of the shot clock, Chan swiped the ball from Dunigan, blazed through the lane, jumped to the basket, layup, swish, 92-91.

Ginebra still had 4.9 seconds remaining. Several seconds to turn their fortunes around.

Jayjay Helterbrand, a former MVP, inbounded the ball to Slaughter who immediately gave it back to Helterbrand.

He drove right, Elasto Painters’ best perimeter defender Gabe Norwood stuck to him. Helterbrand threw the ball for a shot, hoping for a foul.

There was a whistle, but there wasn’t a foul called. Helterbrand hit the shot clock that signified an out of bounds ball. It also signified their 30th turnover.

All the clocks read 0.6 seconds. It all dwindled down. Game over.

Ginebra was once again out of the title race.

Japeth Aguilar, who played through a finger and ankle injury, obviously dejected, had only a few words for their loss.

“You can’t win with 30 turnovers,” Aguilar said.

His frontcourt buddy, the young Slaughter, could not hide his frustrations.

He was a winner in college but hasn’t found a title in the pros.

“I hate losing,” Slaughter mustered.

As Rain or Shine prepares for the semifinals, Ginebra is once again left to ponder what happened to their conference.

Sam Miguel
03-29-2015, 11:55 AM
Meralco, Purefoods crush quarters foes

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:41 AM | Saturday, March 28th, 2015

There’s one thing that Meralco has done consistently well in the quarterfinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup the last four years: Win Game 1.

With Mark Macapagal coming off the bench to shoot five triples and import Josh Davis controlling action underneath, the Bolts drew first blood against NLEX, 97-82, at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao Friday night to again earn two chances of going all the way.

After making just four points in seven games, Macapagal shot the daylights out of the NLEX defense and scored 22 with Davis winding up with 16 and 21 boards as the Bolts grabbed the momentum heading into tomorrow’s potential series-clinching Game 2.

Defending champion Purefoods used a hot start and destroyed Alaska in their series-opener, 120-86, in the nightcap.

The Star Hotshots scored the first six points of the game, closed out the opening frame with a 31-7 lead and led by 36 with seconds left for the swashbuckling triumph that coach Tim Cone feared would only motivate their foes harder for Game 2.

“We can’t be happy with this one,” Cone said. “We have to keep our focus because the bounce back ability is very high for them. They (Aces) will use this as motivation.”

The potential series-clinching games for the Bolts and the Hotshots are slated tomorrow also at the Big Dome.

“We picked Game 1 to play one of our best games,” coach Norman Black said as he put his Bolts in a position to end a three-year trend that saw Meralco win Games 1 over B-Meg, San Mig Coffee and Rain or Shine and fail to wrap up the series each time.

“It makes life a lot easier if we can make our outside shots,” Black said.

Meanwhile, top seeds Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text try to wrap up their quarterfinal matchups when they clash against separate foes in a Petron Saturday Special doubleheader at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

The top-ranked Elasto Painters battle No. 8 Barangay Ginebra at 5:15 p.m., with Rain or Shine facing off with seventh-seeded Barako Bull in the 3 p.m. contest. Both higher-seeded teams own twice-to-beat edges.

The scores:

First Game

MERALCO 97—Macapagal 22, Davis 16, Anthony 14, David 13, Cortez 10, Hugnatan 10, Hodge 7, Reyes 2, Ildefonso 2, Wilson 1, Caram 0, Dillinger 0, Ferriols 0.

NLEX 82—Thornton 23, Cardona 17, Villanueva J. 13, Canaleta 8, Villanueva E. 6, Taulava 5, Ramos 4, Raymundo 2, Lingganay 2, Baloria 2, Borboran 0, Apinan 0, Arboleda H. 0.

Quarters: 34-19, 47-36, 69-61, 97-82

Second Game

PUREFOODS 120—Bowles 20, Yap 18, Barroca 14, Simon 13, Pingris 11, Devance 10, Pennisi 8, Maliksi 6, Melton 5, Reavis 5, Mallari 4, Gaco 4, Allado 2, Alvarez 0.

ALASKA 86—James 21, Jazul 12, Manuel 10, Banchero 9, Eman 8, Dela Rosa 6, Casio 6, Abueva 4, Baclao 4, Baguio 2, Exciminiano 2, Dela Cruz 2, Thoss 0, Hontiveros 0.

Quarters: 31-7, 54-29, 88-59, 120-86

Sam Miguel
03-29-2015, 05:29 PM
PBA suspends ref for Ginebra-RoS shot clock non-call

By Nelson Beltran (philstar.com) |

Updated March 29, 2015 - 4:36pm

MANILA, Philippines – PBA commissioner Chito Salud suspended for the rest of the conference a referee for missing an infraction leading to a fateful Rain or Shine play that eliminated Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs Saturday night at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

Despite the absence of a formal protest from Ginebra, the Commissioner’s Office reviewed the crucial play and found out that the referees erred on their judgment.

In letting go what should have been a 24-second shot clock violation on the part of the Gin Kings, RoS gunner Jeff Chan was allowed to complete a steal off Mike Dunnigan and make the winning basket in their 92-91 win.

The Elasto Painters thus advanced to the semifinals, easing out the Gin Kings, who became the sixth casualty in the mid-season tourney after Blackwater, Kia, Globalport, San Miguel Beer and Barako Bull.

Officiating the game were Rommel Gruta, Peter Balao and Ray Yante. Suspended for the rest of the conference was the one covering the play whom the Commissioner’s Office didn’t name.

The Gin Kings seized control in the second half, leading by nine early in the fourth quarter only to lose in the end on another endgame meltdown.

At 91-90, Ginebra had a chance to close out the game but failed to run a good play, losing possession with the 24-second shot clock winding down with nine seconds left.

A closer look at the play shows that Jeff Chan tapped the ball from Michael Dunnigan with .2 second left on the shot clock. When the ball was tapped away from the hands of Dunnigan, this in itself did not constitute a loss of possession on the part of the offensive team and therefore did not stop the shot clock from counting down,” said the PBA in a statement.

For the 24-second shot clock to cease from counting down, clear and immediate control of the ball must be had by the defensive team either by containing the ball with the use of one or two hands and/or dribbling the ball twice if the containment was with the use of one hand or dribbling once if the containment was with the use of two hands.

“A closer look at the slow motion replay reveals that Jeff Chan did not have clear and immediate control of the ball after the tap at which time a 24-sec violation should have been called by the referees.

“Jeff Chan only had clear and immediate control of the ball with his second dribble after the 24 second shot clock had already expired.”

Salud said the lapse in judgment did not involve an error in technicality that is a ground for protest.

“Disciplinary measures have been taken on the erring game official for a lapse in judgment which involved a call that was not reviewable and correctible under the rules during the game,” Salud said.

03-30-2015, 08:03 AM
Star Hotshots, Bolts advance


Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:15 AM | Monday, March 30th, 2015

Establishing control early and then executing well in the stretch, Purefoods applied the broom on Alaska with a 96-89 decision Sunday night that put the Star Hotshots back in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Final Four at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Denzel Bowles scored 13 of his 32 points in the third period where the Hotshots erected a 20-point lead before they held sway in the face of a searing Alaska charge late in the game for a 2-0 sweep in their quarterfinal duel.

Mark Barroca hit five straight points, including a three-pointer at the 11th-minute mark of the third to put Purefoods ahead by 20, 75-55.

In the second game, Gary David led a furious Meralco rally from 20 points down as the Bolts completed the semifinal cast with a 91-85 overtime win over NLEX for a similar 2-0 feat in their own series.

The Bolts advanced opposite top-ranked Rain or Shine, which nipped Barangay Ginebra, 92-91, on Saturday. Game 1 of the best-of-five series is set tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Up in the semifinals for the Hotshots is No. 2 Talk ‘N Text, which routed Barako Bull, 127-97, in their quarterfinal game on Saturday.

“It certainly got scary in the end there,” Purefoods coach Tim Cone said. “I cant’ tell you how glad I am finishing this series.”

Meanwhile, the Office of the PBA Commissioner suspended for the rest of the season one of the three referees who called the Rain or Shine-Ginebra game Saturday night, which the Elasto Painters won, 92-91.

In a statement, the league said that one of the referees was at fault in failing to call a 24-second violation on the Gin Kings which led to Jeff Chan’s steal off Mike Dunigan and the game-winning breakaway layup.

The league refused to name the sacked referee. The referees that worked the game were Peter Balao, Rommel Gruta and Ray Yante.

The scores:

First Game

PUREFOODS 96—Bowles 32, Devance 16, Barroca 14, Yap 11, Mallari 7, Pingris 6, Maliksi 6, Simon 3, Melton 1, Reavis 0, Pennisi 0.

ALASKA 89—Jazull 22, James 21, Abueva 14, Casio 10, Thoss 8, Baguio 7, Banchero 3, Manuel 2, Hontiveros 2, Exciminiano 0, Menk 0, Dela Cruz 0, Baclao 0.

Quarters: 30-21, 46-43, 70-55, 96-89

Second Game

MERALCO 91—David 31, Davis 25, Hugnatan 17, Hodge 6, Cortez 4, Ferriols 4, Ildefonso 2, Caram 2, Reyes 0, Wilson 0, Anthony 0, Macapagal 0.

NLEX 85—Thornton 32, Raymundo 12, Villanueva J. 12, Taulava 10, Cardona 6, Villanueva E. 4, Canaleta 3, Borboran 3, Apinan 3, Lingganay 0, Ramos 0.

Quarters: 20-17, 41-32, 66-53, 82-82, 91-85

04-02-2015, 12:01 PM
Hotshots take 1-0 semis lead over Texters in PBA semis

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

9:47 PM | Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Purefoods used a huge, early lead as buffer in holding off Talk ‘N Text Wednesday night, 100-94, to draw first blood in their best-of-five Final Four series in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Denzel Bowles was the reason for the hot start by the defending champion Star Hotshots, shooting 29 of his 49 in the first two periods as Purefoods erected leads of as large as 21, which the Tropang Texters never got to overhaul.

Talk ‘N Text bravely crawled back, creeping to within 83-84 heading into the final 8:40 before the Hotshots rode some clutch baskets from Bowles and James Yap while getting some good breaks in officiating.

“You can’t hold a good team (Talk ‘N Text) down,” Purefoods coach Tim Cone said. “We certainly couldn’t hold them back. They (Texters) just got themselves into too much of a hole.”

Game 2 of this series is scheduled on Monday because of the Holy Week break, and Cone needs all the time he can get to have Bowles regain his legs and for Marc Pingris to recover from a nasty left ankle sprain.

“A big part of this series is Ping’s health,” Cone said. “If he’s not healthy, it will be very difficult for us.”

Ivan Johnson paced the Texters with 33 points and Jason Castro had 19 with Ranidel de Ocampo chipping in 15.

Johnson, though, never got going offensively until the third period, shooting 28 of his total in the final two quarters as the Texters almost erased a 62-41 deficit early in the third period.

The scores:

PUREFOODS 100—Bowles 49, Yap 18, Mallari 8, Pingris 6, Simon 5, Barroca 4, Melton 3, Devance 3, Reavis 2, Maliksi 2, Pennisi 0.

TALK ‘N TEXT 94—Johnson 33, Castro 19, De Ocampo 15, Alas 9, Fonacier 9, Rosser 7, Washington 2, Williams 0, Seigle 0, Aban 0.

Quarters: 33-17, 51-36, 81-70, 100-94

04-02-2015, 12:31 PM
Best Player duel down to Castro, Lee

By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) |

Updated April 2, 2015 - 12:00am

Game Sunday (Smart Araneta Coliseum)

5 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Meralco

MANILA, Philippines - The fight for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Best Player of the Conference has come down to a virtual one-on-one between crack guards Jason Castro of Talk n Text and Paul Lee of Rain or Shine.

San Miguel Beer’s Junemar Fajardo, Barangay Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter and Globalport’s Terrence Romeo may join Castro and Lee as the five official candidates for the coveted award at the end of the semifinals.

But Fajardo, Slaughter and Romeo aren’t likely to figure well in the balloting among the players, the media and the PBA Commissioner’s Office for failing to make the Final Four.

Fajardo and Romeo even failed to land the playoffs while Slaughter and his team were crushed by Lee and the RoS Elasto Painters in the quarterfinals.

Through the quarters, Fajardo was still on top of the stats race with 34.0 a game, followed by Castro (32.83), Slaughter (31.75), Lee (31.00) and Romeo (30.81).

With a chance of bumping off Romeo at No. 5 is Ranidel de Ocampo with 29.75.

But barring any trouble, it now really looks like a mano-a-mano between Castro and Lee.

Castro, already a two-time BPC winner, has been Talk n Text’s top gun in the tourney, averaging 17.17 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

He had 18 points, seven assists, three rebounds and three steals in the Texters’ 127-97 conquest of the Barako Bull Energy in the quarters.

Lee, the 2011-12 Rookie of the Year awardee and twice member of the Mythical Second Team, has been RoS’s lead force, norming 15.75 points, 6.17 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

He delivered 14 points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal as the E-Painters topped the Meralco Bolts, 99-86, in the opener of their best-of-five semis showdown Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Ato Agustin is reportedly heading back to San Miguel Beer after being replaced by Frankie Lim as head coach at Barangay Ginebra.

At San Miguel, Agustin will be a member of coach Leo Austria’s staff.

Also moving over to SMB from Barangay Ginebra is assistant coach Jorge Gallent.

In assuming the post as head coach of the Gin Kings, Lim said: “My duty is to bring the team to the next level of excellence, ensuring that we set higher goals for ourselves to bring back the fire, tenacity and win championships as we owe it to our dear fans.”

“I thank everyone for the support and rest assured I am committed to this role. Surely it is not an easy task, there will be changes, but change is good and I am up for the challenge,” Lim also said.

04-06-2015, 02:28 PM
E-Painters crush Bolts from arc, lead series 2-0

By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) |

Updated April 6, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Rain or Shine practically held a three-point shooting clinic in an Easter Sunday showdown with Meralco, pouring in a league season-best 19 treys in pulling off a 92-82 victory and a pivotal two-game-to-nil lead in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five semifinal playoff at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

The Elasto Painters started flat but there’s no stopping them as their gunners found their touch, shooting the lights out of the Big Dome with an amazing 19-of-38 clip from beyond the arc.

Wayne Chism concentrated on just getting the rebounds and playing defense as no less than 10 RoS players connected from the three-point land in surpassing the previous season best of 18 by Kia and Talk n Text.

Paul Lee sizzled hottest with 5-of-7 triples and a total of 23 points with Jericho Cruz and Jonathan Uyloan and Chris Tiu adding at least two apiece, Chism, Gabe Norwood, TY Tang, Jireh Ibañes, Beau Belga and JR Quiñahan knocking one each in a torrid shooting that sent the team to the threshold of the best-of-seven finale.

“It’s always a hard game – that’s what our expectation was. We knew Meralco would come out with better energy. It just so happened that we made our outside shots,” said RoS coach Yeng Guiao.

“They were double-teaming Wayne. They took that risk,” said Guiao as the key factor on their three-point party.

The Bolts now face a tough task of winning three in a row to salvage a first finals stint.

“We hope to close it out on Tuesday. We’re hoping to put all our energy on Tuesday,” said Guiao, on the verge of a fifth final in nine conferences.

Meanwhile, Purefoods Star also guns for a two-zero lead as it tangles with Talk n Text in Game Two of their best-of-five semis faceoff at 7 tonight at the same venue.

“Denzel played such a wonderful game in Game One. We expect Talk n Text to really focus on him, so everyone is going to have to carry their own load in Game Two,” said Purefoods coach Tim Cone.

Bowles came through with a personal PBA best of 49 points while James Yap and Mark Barroca got away with crucial hits at the finish as the Hotshots drubbed the Tropang Texters, 100-94, in Game One.

Paul Lee scored 10 points off the bench in the second quarter as the E-Painters battled back from an early 14-point deficit and trailed by just three, 44-47, at the half.

With their aggressive plays, the Bolts pummeled the E-Painters, 22-8, on points inside the paint and, 8-3, off turnovers in the first 24 minutes of play.

Davis was the most aggressive of them all, churning out 13 points and 12 rebounds in the first two quarters. In the series opener, Davis was held down to 15 markers and 11 boards the whole game.

But the Bolts just didn’t have an answer as the E-Painters stepped on the gas in their return from the halftime huddle.

Lee, Tiu, Cruz and Uyloan combined for an amazing 8-of-11 three-point shooting as Rain or Shine stormed ahead, 76-59, in the third period.

04-10-2015, 08:31 AM
Texters outshoot Hotshots anew

By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) |

Updated April 10, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Jayson Castro churned out a kind of performance worthy of his enshrinement in the elite roster of the league’s greatest just the previous night as Talk n Text made it two in a row versus Purefoods Star, 111-107, and moved to the threshold of a second straight PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

Castro accounted for a career-best eight triples in Talk n Text’s season-best-tying 19 three-point total as the Tropang Texters beat out the Hotshots in a fierce shootout to take the pivotal 2-1 lead in the best-of-five semifinal series.

The Texters go for a berth in the best-of-seven finals versus the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Game Four tomorrow or in Game Five, if necessary, on Monday.

“It was a tough game – a scoring game in the first half then becoming a defensive battle in the second half. Both teams wanted to play and try their best to win. We’re fortunate we came out the winner,” said Talk n Text coach Jong Uichico.

“But it’s just another game, a game that we should win, same with the other side. Purefoods has been here for a long time. They’re very capable,” said Uichico, not counting out the defending champions.

Castro rifled in seven straight three-pointers – a league third best – to highlight a hot 27-point game while Ivan Johnson delivered 26 markers and 14 rebounds as the Texters repeated their 93-77 win in Game Two and pushed the Hotshots on the brink of losing another jewel of their grandslam feat last year.

Ranidel de Ocampo, Aaron Aban, Kelly Williams and Jay Washington had key contributions as the Texters took command in the second half after a tight first half marked by 16 lead changes and 10 deadlocks.

Castro scored 18 points in the first half and nailed a buzzer-beating trey off Marc Pingris as Talk n Text carried an 89-80 spread into the payoff period.

The Hotshots actually closed to within three, 90-93, at the start of the fourth quarter then the Texters poured in four treys in a crucial 14-6 tear that opened a 107-96 lead for TnT entering the last four minutes of the game.

And Castro and Johnson just never wavered to the finish, completing stellar games that negated another productive performance by Purefoods import Denzel Bowles.

Bowles came through with 39 points but committed a crucial error in the closing seconds that hastened their downfall.

The Texters led just by three, 63-60, at the turn.

Talk n Text banked on a hot 63-percent field shooting, including 10-of-15 three-pointers, while Purefoods leaned largely on Bowles’ 20 points in the first two quarters.

PJ Simon fired away nine points off the bench, including a three-pointer just before the buzzer as the Hotshots took the opening quarter at 33-32.

No team led by more than five in the first half.

The scores:

TALK N’ TEXT 111 – Castro 27, Johnson 26, Aban 17, De Ocampo 14, Washington 10, Alas 9, Williams 6, Rosser 2, Fonacier 0.

PUREFOODS 107 – Bowles 39, Simon 18, Yap 11, Pingris 10, Devance 9, Barroca 8, Reavis 4, Mallari 4, Maliksi 4.

Quarterscores: 32-33, 63-60, 89-80, 111-107

04-10-2015, 08:32 AM
PBA great at 40 with 40 ‘Greatest’ But questions asked on missing big guns

By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) |

Updated April 10, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Amid glitz, glamour and fashion, the Philippine Basketball Association celebrated its 40th year behind a solid foundation and enshrined 15 more cagers who made the list of the 40 Greatest Players which touched off sharp behind-the-scene reactions.

Some members of the original cast of 25 questioned the non-inclusion of some outstanding players in the past during the rites at Resorts World Manila Wednesday.

Still, the night belonged to the league as PBA commissioner Chito Salud said that “being with the players and our friends in media who made PBA what it is today is such a privilege.”

“On a night when you see them all in one place in an atmosphere of true friendship and appreciation, it can be overwhelming. I’m just happy to be part of it,” Salud also said.

“(It’s) truly memorable especially when the greatest players were being rotated on stage as part of the grand production, waving to their loved ones and the fans,” said PBA board chairman Patrick Gregorio.

“(It’s) inspiring, dramatic because the night was a celebration of dream. I’m sure these players, when they were still kids, dreamt of playing in the PBA someday. Their dreams come true culminating with a reward for their passion,”

For 15 PBA stars, it was a night of recognition.

James Yap, Danny Ildefonso, Willie Miller, Kelly Williams, Asi Taulava, Eric Menk, Arwind Santos, Jayjay Helterbrand, Jimmy Alapag, Mark Caguioa, Kerby Raymundo, Marlou Aquino, Chito Loyzaga, Marc Pingris and Jayson Castro were recognized as the latest additions to the league’s Greatest Players roster.

Meanwhile, The Philippine STAR sports editor Lito Tacujan, Manila Bulletin’s Ding Marcelo, Inquirer’s Jun Engracia and Ernie Gonzales, the Journal Group’s Gus Villanueva and former PNA sports editor Eddie Alinea were given recognition as the very first sportswriters who covered the PBA in its early years.

All honorees, except Aquino, were on hand, welcomed to the elite roster by some PBA greats earlier feted by the league.

PBA pioneer stars Robert Jaworski, Bogs Adornado and Lim Eng Beng led the old-timers lending their presence in a grand production of lights, sounds and modeling.

Also present were other all-time greats in Alvin Patrimonio, Allan Caidic, Hector Calma, Jerry Codiñera, Ato Agustin, Jojo Lastimosa, Vergel Meneses, Johnny Abarrientos, Ronnie Magsanoc and Hector Calma. Absent were Mon Fernandez, Atoy Co, Philip Cezar, Freddie Hubalde, Kenneth Duremdes, Samboy Lim, Manny Paner, Benjie Paras and US-based legends Ricky Brown, Bernie Fabiosa, Abet Guidaben and Danny Florencio.

Fernandez and Co. were vocal in their protest on the non-inclusion of the likes of Nelson Asaytono, Bong Hawkins, Abe King, Arnie Tuadles and Danny Seigle.

“They should’ve considered first the old-timers. For me, Nelson Asaytono, Abe King and Yoyoy Villamin should be there. Even Estoy Estrada should have been considered,” said Adornado.

“But even then, I won’t miss this event,” Adornado also said.

“Nelson Asaytono is really deserving. He had great accomplishments,” said Agustin, winner over Asaytono in a close fight for the MVP award in 1992.

For Calma, notable player not making the list is Olsen Racela.

“All the names being mentioned are all deserving. I believe those didn’t make it here will eventually make it in the future,” Codiñera said.

Jaworski, a part of the special committee that chose the honorees, said it’s “not too late” for the others to be included in the greatest list.

He admitted a review of the procedure and criteria for the selection of honorees in the future is in order.

“I personally think we (selection panel) have to sit down and improve certain rules that must be institutionalized in certain aspects so we could minimize whatever these questions are,” said Jaworski.

The others in the selection committee were former player and Sen. Freddie Webb, the league board chairman, vice chairman Robert Non, PBA Press Corps president Barry Pascua, columnist/TV panelist Joaquin Henson and House of Representatives Games and Amusement Committee chairman Elpidio Barzaga.

04-10-2015, 08:37 AM
^ Nelson Asaytono for me was the greatest snub in the 40 Greatest. Tama si Bogs na dapat inuna muna mga old-timers. Tancha ko may at least 2-4 years pa naman mga careers nina JYap, Blur at Ping, for instance. Inuna na dapat mga retirado, gaya na nga ni Bull.

04-15-2015, 09:19 PM
https://servssports.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/img_20130723_112133ja.jpg?w=225&h=300 (https://servssports.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/doctor-commish/)

ONE OF the leading contenders for the soon to be vacated position of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner is Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem of Saint Clare College of Caloocan. His qualifications and resume are very apt for the very prestigious albeit demanding job. READ MORE (https://servssports.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/doctor-commish/)

04-16-2015, 07:58 AM
Texters survive Painters for 1-0 series lead

Musong Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

10:58 PM | Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

For someone who just took Game 1 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title series, Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico looked like he was the one who got waylaid Wednesday night.

“I am happy that we won, but I am not satisfied with the way we played,” Uichico said in a somber tone after his Tropang Texters scored a 99-92 decision of Rain or Shine for first blood in their best-of-seven championship series at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

“I am not satisfied at all,” he said, pointing out to the low level of intensity his wards displayed compared to the one Talk ‘N Text brandished against Purefoods in a Final Four series to remember.

“For sure,” Uichico answered when asked if he thought that their level of play dipped compared to the last week or so.

Ranidel de Ocampo scored 24 points and Ivan Johnson contributed 23, 12 rebounds and five assists and a cheap shot on Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, who happens to also be a congressman, in the third period where he was lucky to get away with just a technical foul.

Wayne Chism paced the Elasto Painters with 34 but got very little local help, with only Paul Lee finishing in twin digits with 13 as the Texters played with command practically 99% of the way.

Talk ‘N Text opened up a 42-29 lead in the second period and kept the Painters within arm’s length the rest of the way, with the closest that Rain or Shine could come to was within five several times in the fourth.

But the Texters had an answer each time.

“We just have to come out ready to play on Friday (in Game 2),” Uichico said.

Rain or Shine continued to be winless in the last seven games against Talk ‘N Text in a series, having been swept in the Philippine Cup Finals in 2013 and blanked in the Final Four of this conference last season.

The scores:

TALK N’ TEXT 99 – De Ocampo 24, Johnson 23, Castro 14, Rosser 10, Fonacier 8, Williams 8, Washington 5, Alas 5, Carey 2, Aban 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 92 – Chism 34, Lee 13, Almazan 9, Chan 8, Tang 6, Norwood 5, Tiu 5, Ibanes 4, Arana 3, Belga 2, Quinahan 2, Cruz Jervy 1, Uyloan 0, Cruz Jericho 0.

Quarters:28-23, 49-41, 76-70, 99-92

04-16-2015, 08:02 AM
From Inquirer online ___

Uichico not satisfied with Texters’ performance in PBA finals opener

1:31 AM | Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Talk ‘N Text head coach Jong Uichico appeared as if his team just lost as he met the media for a post-game interview shortly after the Tropang Texters won Game 1 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals over Rain or Shine Wednesday night.

Slouching on his chair, Uichico said he wasn’t pleased with his team’s 99-92 victory.

“We’re happy we won but we’re not satisfied with the way we played,” Uichico told reporters.

According to Uichico, the Texters performed far from the same team that disposed of defending champion Purefoods in four games in the semifinals.

“For sure. Though we won, we didn’t show the level of emotion that we had in the Purefoods game and we can’t just let Rain or Shine, they know they have the capability of scoring really well,” Uichico added.

Veteran forward Ranidel de Ocampo led Talk ‘N Text with 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field on top of two blocks.

The Painters missed a ton at the free throw line going just 18-of-33 and turned the ball over 17 times as compared to the Texters’ eight errors. But despite their awful shooting and sloppy play, they were still in the game until Texters’ star Jayson Castro nailed a dagger of a triple that gave his team a 96-86 advantage with only 1:26 left.

“We just have to go to practice tomorrow and try to improve our free throws and try to find a solution to the turnovers we committed,” Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao said. “The game would’ve been a lot closer had we made our free throws and committed lesser turnovers.”

Guiao also fired back at Talk ‘N Text import Ivan Johnson, who appeared to purposely bumped him late in the third quarter. The ill-tempered Johnson was given a technical foul for running into Guiao.

“He (Johnson) did it on purpose,” Guiao, who is also a Congressman, said of the play.

Castro, who came in scoring 53 points combined in his last two games while shooting 14-of-19 from the 3-point area, had a subpar outing by his standards with 14 points on only 5-of-15 shooting to go along with five rebounds and five assists.

The Texters will shoot for a 2-0 edge on Friday in Game 2 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

04-16-2015, 08:04 AM
Johnson bump ‘probably a lack of breeding, respect’

Bong Lozada



12:23 AM | Thursday, April 16th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines-Things were getting a little testy, there was a mad scramble on defense and neither the people in white nor the people in dark blue had a possession.

There was one thing that was sure, there was a foul.

When Ivan Johnson ran back to his team’s side of the court, he had Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood standing nonchalantly on his left, seemed to take a little break in the waning minutes of the third quarter inside the chilly Mall of Asia Arena, he had Yeng Guiao on his right.

Johnson is Talk N’ Text’s fiery and temperamental import.

Only a few feet separated Johnson from Guiao and he started to jog back to their own basket, then boom. He bumped Guiao sending the coach to somewhere new, a place that only sprung up in the 3:36 mark of the third quarter in Game 1 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.

Guiao’s assistants and players immediately came to his aid while Johnson was on the other bench, a blank expression on his face.

“He did it on purpose, the video showed that he can easily avoid me,” Guiao said after the game.

His Elasto Painters lost 99-92 to Johnson’s Tropang Texters.

“It was on my blind side.

“It’s up to the league to evaluate and asses what needs to be done with that.”

Guiao, nevertheless, was not surprised with Johnson’s action.

Johnson was part of the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA in 2013 then went to China then back to the United States in 2014 to play in the NBA D-League.

He then landed in the Philippines as Talk N’ Text’s fiery import.

Immediately he gained the reputation of being temperamental, albeit not too talkative, in a league where physical play is common.

“I’m not surprised because that’s been his reputation. Probably a lack of breeding, it’s a lack of respect,” Guiao said. “One reason he’s out of the NBA, one reason he’s playing overseas and not getting a good reputation is because of exactly what he does.”

Guiao may not be surprised with the bump, but he was sure surprised that Johnson got away with only a technical foul.

“I’m surprised that it was only a technical foul, he deserved more than that. He should be out of the game,” Guiao said.

Even an apology, which TNT assistant Tab Baldwin relayed, to Guiao would change the fact, as the Elasto Painters coach said, “that he did it on purpose.”

“I can spit in his face and apologize later on, but I still did it on purpose.”

What’s left for Guiao is to focus on Game 2, a game that can give them a tie in the seven-game series or put them in a 0-2 hole.

“We’ll just go back and practice and try to improve our free throws and find a solution to our turnovers.”

04-16-2015, 08:05 AM
^ Didn't Yeng also give a cheap shot to Arizona Reid this conference?

So Yeng also showed lack of breeding and respect?

04-20-2015, 08:00 AM
Painters grab 2-1 lead

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:36 AM | Monday, April 20th, 2015

Anyone doubting if Rain or Shine just enjoyed some good fortune the last time out got an answer in the most convincing way Sunday night.

The Elasto Painters started out hot and led by as large as 22 points to highlight a wire-to-wire triumph over Talk ‘N Text, 109-97, for a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven title playoffs for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Rain or Shine broke away from the game’s only tie at 3 by dropping a 12-0 bomb and the Painters, from having gone winless in eight previous series games against the mighty Tropang Texters, have now won the last two and are looking super impressive.

The Painters also pounded out the win even after being forced to sit out Paul Lee for more than a 12-minute stretch in the second half after Talk ‘N Text import Ivan Johnson nailed him with a right elbow that bloodied his kisser and rearranged the Rain or Shine point guard’s dental structure.

Wayne Chism tossed in 13 of his 32 in the first period and several others stepped up on both ends for the Painters from there as they took the biggest lead in the series of 22 twice, the last at 94-72 after two Chism free throws going into the final 7:36.

Johnson was offensive-minded and finished with 30, but it was clear that he lost his focus on several instances, especially at the height of the Rain or Shine breakaway in the third period.

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao attributed the victory to team defense, and to a fresher lineup that is the result of the limited minutes he has been giving his players since the start of the season.

“We played fantastic defense tonight,” Guiao said. “It is just the determination of the players to play good defense, that’s all.”

Lee, the former Rookie of the Year who is the Painters’ leader, left the game with 5:07 left in the third period after getting a wayward elbow from Johnson.

The 6-foot dynamo will be seeing a dentist after the game after he lost a tooth aside from his two upper front teeth being pushed slightly inward and upwards.

He returned with 4:23 left and helped preserve the win by hitting a layup and issuing two assists.

Twenty-four of the 39 teams that have taken a 2-1 lead after a 1-1 tie went on to win the title.

The scores:

RAIN OR SHINE 109—Chism 32, Lee 17, Cruz Jericho 14, Chan 12, Quinahan 9, Norwood 6, Tiu 6, Belga 6, Almazan 4, Cruz Jervy 2, Tang 1, Ibanes 0, Arana 0.

TALK ‘N TEXT 97—Johnson 30, Castro 20, Fonacier 16, De Ocampo 16, Alas 8, Rosser 5, Washington 2, Carey 0, Williams 0, Aban 0.

Quarters: 32-26, 52-45, 84-65, 109-97

04-23-2015, 08:06 AM
Castro clinches third BPC award over Lee

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

2:01 AM | Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Winning in every department, Talk ‘N Text point guard Jayson Castro was rewarded with the Best Player of the Conference award Wednesday night for his superlative effort in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

The 6-foot Castro, after topping the statistical points race narrowly over San Miguel Beer cornerstone June Mar Fajardo, dominated the voting among players, the PBA and the media for a total of 1,164 points.

Paul Lee of Rain or Shine finished a far second with 782 points, followed by Fajardo, the reigning MVP who got booted out in the eliminations, with 542.

Wayne Chism of Rain or Shine shared the winner’s stage with Castro by bagging the Best Import trophy in his second tour of duty with the Elasto Painters.

Chism tallied 1,160 points, with the temperamental Ivan Johnson of Talk ‘N Text winding up second with 873. Denzel Bowles of Purefoods, a two-time winner of the award, was third at 666.

Castro, who had a super Final Four series that helped the Tropang Texters dethrone the Purefoods Star Hotshots in four games, won all 34 available first place votes from the media in annexing his third such award counting the 2013 Philippine Cup and the Commissioner’s Cup last season.

Named as a member of the 40 Greatest Players list earlier this month, Castro also became just the sixth player in the PBA to win at least three BPC awards after Alvin Patrimonio, Eric Menk, Mark Caguioa, Vergel Meneses and Danny Ildefonso—all former MVPs.

Castro is averaging close to 19 points and a shade over five assists in the tournament, but his overpowering performance in the Final Four sealed his victory in the voting.

A mainstay of the Gilas Pilipinas National five, Castro was the only Filipino to make it to the Mythical Five of the Fiba Asia Basketball Championship won by Iran over the Philippines last year at Mall of Asia Arena.

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra has tapped the services of NBA veteran Orien Greene for the Governors’ Cup, the season-ending tournament set to open on May 5.

Sanchir Tungala of Mongolia will be the Gin Kings’ Asian import as Ginebra tries to go deep in the playoffs for the first time this season with new coach Frankie Lim.

Greene played for a total of four teams in the NBA.

04-23-2015, 08:30 AM
Talk 'N Text levels finals with Rain or Shine after winning fight-marred Game Four

From: Richard Dy

April 22, 2015, 09:46 pm

RANIDEL de Ocampo and Jayson Castro proved a pain in the side of Rain or Shine as Talk ‘N Text subdued Rain or Shine, 99-92 in a fight-marred Game Four to level the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals at 2-2 on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

De Ocampo scored a PBA career high-tying 33 points behind a mix of three-pointers, scoop shots and dunks while Castro hit three three-pointers in the final period to keep Talk 'N Text's head above water in a game that nearly turned into a melee in the fourth quarter.

League officials and administration from the Big Dome detailed policemen in uniform at the tunnel leading to the dugout of both teams to keep the two teams apart at the end of a tension-filled game.

“We tied the series lang naman. We lived to fight another day but we just have to go back to work again tomorrow (Thursday) then play again Friday,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico, ruing that the series has degenerated into 'rough basketball.'

“It’s a rough game. Wala na yung physical, it’s rough basketball."

Tension rose early in the fourth quarter when Talk ‘N Text rookie wingman Matt Ganuelas-Rosser engaged Rain or Shine defensive ace Jireh Ibanes in a shoving incident. Ganuelas-Rosser later shoved Ibanes hard over the metal railing just under Rain or Shine’s basket.

Rain or Shine center JR Quinahan responded threw the ball at the athletic Talk ‘N Text wingman, prompting players from both sides to charge into the scene.

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao quickly stood beside Quinahan, who had a heated exchange of words with Talk ‘N Text import Ivan Johnson.

Game officials later on ejected Ganuelas-Rosser and Ibanes for fighting stance. Quinahan was also tossed out of the court after being slapped with a flagrant foul penalty 2 for throwing the ball.

All three face sanctions from the Commissioner's Office.

Castro, who earlier earned his third Best Player of the Conference award, finished with 25 points. Johnson flirted with a triple double with his 19 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Wayne Chism picked up four quick fouls in the second period, prompting coach Yeng Guiao to play all-Filipino for much of Game Four.

While the Best Import awardee of the conference was held to 13 points and eight rebounds, Chris Tiu stepped up for Rain or Shine with a career-high 21 points. Paul Lee added 17 points.

The scores:

Talk 'N Text 99 - De Ocampo 33, Castro 25, Johnson 19, Fonacier 10, Washington 4, Alas 4, Williams 2, Rosser 2, Carey 0, Aban 0.

Rain or Shine 92 - Tiu 21, Lee 17, Chism 13, Almazan 13, Arana 8, Ibanes 6, Cruz Jervy 4, Uyloan 3, Norwood 3, Belga 2, Quinahan 2, Cruz Jericho 0.

Quarterscores: 17-16, 42-41, 74-66, 99-92

04-23-2015, 08:31 AM
Ganuelas-Rosser on Quinahan throwing ball at him: 'That's not part of basketball'

From: Richard Dy

April 22, 2015, 11:11 pm

TALK ’N Text rookie wingman Matt Ganuelas-Rosser said the shoving incident he had with Rain or Shine defensive ace Jireh Ibanes in the fourth quarter of Game Four only meant both teams won’t back down in the PBA Finals.

Ganuelas-Rosser got dragged by Ibanes into the endline as both players were trying to box each other out, triggering a bench-clearing incident that later led to the ejection of the two players.

Ibanes held on to Ganuelas-Rosser’s jersey but the Fil-Am rookie was seen on TV replays shoving the pesky Rain or Shine guard over the metal railing. The ball was later thrown in his face by JR Quinahan.

“Me and Jireh, we’re just two competitors playing hard. But ultimately, it’s up to the refs, we leave it to their hands,” Ganuelas-Rosser said, moments after Talk ‘N Text gutted out a 99-92 win to level the Commissioner's Cup title series at two wins apiece.

“Getting the ball thrown, that’s not part of basketball. But what Jireh did was part of basketball,” he said.

Spin.ph tried to get the side of Ibanes, but the reed-thin Rain or Shine veteran left the Big Dome in haste.

04-27-2015, 07:53 AM
Rain or Shine hangs on, forces a Game 7


Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

1:38 AM | Monday, April 27th, 2015

AFTER all the great action, the cheap shots on the floor, a missing tooth and the wives of the players ultimately getting it on themselves, it all boiled down to the one game where winning a championship is sweetest.

Fighting hardest in the first of two knockout matches it needs to win, Rain or Shine scored a 101-93 victory over Talk ‘N Text Sunday night to take their PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals duel to a Game 7 at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

Wayne Chism scored 18 points and had 24 rebounds, Raymond Almazan also tossed in 18 that went with 10 boards and Rain or Shine spread out its offense as best it could to control action from the second quarter on to take the psychological edge going into Wednesday’s decider of this best-of-seven series.

Play returned to what it was in the first four games with Ivan Johnson again becoming temperamental to help doom the Tropang Texters, who trailed by 16 at one point and spent the last three periods trying to catch up.

Johnson was again out of focus, finishing with just six points and six rebounds while seemingly trying to pick a fight with everyone from Rain or Shine, prompting Elasto Painters’ coach Yeng Guiao to issue a verbal blast.

‘Mentally unstable’

“I think he is mentally unstable,” Guiao said of the Talk ‘N Text import, who had one crucial stretch of bad plays early in the fourth quarter that didn’t help the Texters any in their rally. “But I think that (instability) is helping us.”

Game 5, which the Texters won handily, 103-94 on Friday, was relatively calm compared to the other five games of the series.

But last night, Johnson was at it again, clipping Paul Lee in the face when the Rain or Shine point guard was driving to the hoop. Johnson even chased Chris Tiu when Tiu broke up a pass intended for the Talk ‘N Text import late in the fourth.

“What do you need to do to get a flagrant foul [called on Johnson]?” Guiao asked after officials slapped just a regular foul on Johnson on the Lee incident. “He wasn’t even after the ball. He knew he would get Paul’s face.”

Lee finished with 16 points and Jeff Chan battled through pain to shoot 11 that included two triples. Rookie Jericho Cruz was the fifth player in twin digits for the Painters with 10.

Ranidel de Ocampo sustained his offensive form and paced the Texters with 21, with Jason Castro adding 17 and Jay Washington 14. The missing link proved to be Johnson whose lackluster game coach Jong Uichico dismissed as something out of the ordinary.

The scores:

RAIN OR SHINE 101—Almazan 18, Chism 18, Lee 16, Chan 11, Cruz Jericho 10, Quinahan 9, Tiu 7, Norwood 6, Ibanes 3, Arana 3, Uyloan 0, Belga 0.

TALK ‘N TEXT 93—De Ocampo 21 Castro 17, Washington 14, Carey 13, Fonacier 11, Johnson 6, Alas 4, Williams 4, Rosser 3, Aban 0.

Quarters: 23-18, 54-42, 76-71, 101-93

04-28-2015, 08:37 AM
Castro, Texters keep faith with ‘Angry Ivan’

Musong R. Castillo


Philippine Daily Inquirer

3:07 AM | Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

TALK ‘N TEXT’S superstar point guard Jason Castro is not blaming import Ivan Johnson one bit for the things he did—or failed to do—in Game 6 Sunday night of the Tropang Texters’ title series with Rain or Shine for the PBA Philippine Cup.

Big, strong and agile, there was nothing wrong physically with Johnson in what was supposed to be the series-clinching game for the Texters.

It’s what’s between the import’s ears that didn’t function right in the crucial game—well, that’s according to Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

“I think he is mentally unstable,” Guiao fumed, reacting to a series of rough plays that Johnson was involved in, including one against Rain or Shine’s own super point guard Paul Lee whom Johnson smacked in the face with an open hand with 3:37 left.

The highly physical Johnson tried to pick fights with several Rain or Shine players and, in so doing, neglected to do what was needed of him. He finished with just six points and six rebounds in 32 minutes.

But Castro was quick to say that no one among the Texters blamed the loss on Johnson, and that they remain 100 percent behind their import.

“We all know that he can be volatile at times, it’s in his (playing) history,” Castro told the Inquirer in Filipino on the way to his car Sunday night. “He told us (in the dugout) that he will make up for it (in Game 7).

“For us, that’s more than enough,” Castro added. “No (team veteran) spoke against him (Johnson) in the dugout. We are a team and we back each other up.”

Ranidel de Ocampo, the other Talk ‘N Text superstar who worked his tail off in Game 6 to get the series over and done with, also took Johnson’s word in the dugout.

“Babawi daw siya sa (He said he will make up for it in) Game 7,” De Ocampo said.

Without saying it directly, Guiao said that Johnson is being “babied” by the referees, which explains why he wasn’t even given a warning after that hit on Lee and in another instance when he seemingly struck a fighting stance against Chris Tiu.

“What else do you call that?” Guiao asked with a wry smile. “Pero kayo nagsabi nyan. Kayo (media) mapa-fine (But you the media said that. You will be fined for it).”

But Guiao can tolerate another game with Johnson “playing angry” and out of focus.

“I think that is helping us,” he said

04-28-2015, 05:50 PM
Buti hindi nagiging angry si Almazan monicker na binigay sa kanya "rakenrol"