GlobalPort Batang Pier (94) - (92) Petron Blaze Boosters
Barako Bull Energy (79) - (75) San Mig Coffee Mixers
Best: Sol Mercado gets a double-double, Justin Williams actually has some offense, Gary David erupts for 28, and Japeth Aguilar justifies the playing time. What’s not to like if you’re a Batang Pier?
Worst: Chris Lutz getting injured. It’s confirmed – he has a broken rib. Get well soon, Mr. Lutz. Oh, but if you’re looking for something awful ON THE HARDWOOD, then how about Arwind Santos’s 1-of-9 three-point shooting?
Maybe Japeth was right after all: Aguilar, in his first game after getting traded by Talk N Text, and after his ill-fated stab at an NBA D-League career, scores 16 points, pulls down 9 boards, and blocks 4 shots, including a big one on Jay Washington in the endgame. He was solid down low after Williams was sent off in the third period. Looks like Aladdin got his wish.
Best: The Josh Urbiztondo-Evan Brock connection. That alley-oop early on was mighty nasty, and their combined production wasn’t too shabby as well – 35 points, 21 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals.
Worst: Both Alex Mallari and Mark Barroca tried their hand at playing point guard tonight. Both failed miserably. Their combined stats – 9 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 turnovers, and 5 fouls in 57 minutes. Oh, and 3-of-14 from the field. No wonder Urbiztondo and Jonas Villanueva were smirking all night.
So the guy who advised SMC to let go of Urbiztondo and Villanueva should be looking over his shoulder now: Both those guys used to alternate at the floor general position for SMC/B-Meg, but they got let go – Urbiztondo before this season and Villanueva in-between conferences. If they felt some bitterness, who could blame them, right? Thing is, I don’t think they’re feeling that bitter right now. Uribiztondo continues his rise with a near-double-double, while Villanueva relished in the extended freedom of movement.
TNT LOCKER ROOM CELEBRATION with Erika Padilla - PBA Philippine Cup Finals G4 - Rain or Shine vs Talk n Text - 01/16/13
Baguio cools down Meralco as Alaska takes Game One of quarterfinals series
Rey Joble, InterAKTV · Thursday, December 13, 2012 · 12:15 am
New faces have joined Alaska to change the fortunes of the Aces, but it was an old reliable who carried the cudgels come playoff time.
Cyrus Baguio scored 26 points to lead Alaska to a 90-84 triumph over the Meralco Bolts to start their best-of-three Philippine Cup quarterfinals series Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
"There are six, seven new guys who have come in to this team, but Cyrus has been steady for us," said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo. "He made good plays out there tonight."
Baguio hit four three-pointers, including one at the four-minute mark of the third quarter that kicked off a 7-0 run that gave the Aces their biggest lead of the game, 69-47.
Alaska was still up by 16 points, 74-58, heading into the fourth quarter. The Aces kept the Bolts at bay for most of the period, before Sol Mercado and Jay-R Reyes teamed up to cut the lead to just six points late in the game.
But Meralco could not come any closer, allowing the Aces to come away with the victory.
"Let's give credit to Meralco. Their energy was there. There are guys who are thoroughbreds out there, including Chris Ross and Mercado," said Trillo.
Veteran Tony dela Cruz also gave Alaska a boost, posting 13 points and seven rebounds to make up for a subpar game from star rookie Calvin Abueva, who scored just six points before fouling out of the game in the fourth quarter.
Mercado, playing with an ankle injury, led the Bolts with 22 points.
Alaska can close out the series with a win in Game Two set on Friday, also at the Big Dome.
ALASKA 90 -- Baguio 26, Espinas 19, Dela Cruz 13, Thoss 10, Baracael 9, Abueva 6, Casio 5, Jazul 1, Hontiveros 1, Eman 0, Belasco 0.
MERALCO 84 -- Mercado 22,Cardona 14, Reyes 13, Ross 9, Hodge 8, Buenafe 7, Hugnatan 5, Nabong 2, Bulawan 2, Sharma 2, Borboran 0, Salvacion 0.
Quarters: 18-20, 44-33, 74-58, 90-84
Talk 'N Text rallies past Ginebra to ride into playoffs with win
InterAKTV · Sunday, December 9, 2012 · 8:47 pm
The Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters rallied to beat Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 87-80, Sunday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena to ride into the Philippine Cup quarterfinals with a victory under their belt.
Ali Peek had 16 points, 18 rebounds, and three blocks to lead Talk 'N Text, which came back from a 17-point third quarter deficit to book the victory.
The game held little meaning for either team, as both were locked into their respective quarterfinal matchups. But the two squads didn't play like it was a no-bearing game, with the action getting heated at several junctures.
"There's no such thing as a non-bearing game. The objective is to always give the paying customers their money's worth. I've been long enough in the league and I know our priority is the customers and win basketball games for them. We all owe it to the fans," said Talk 'N Text coach Norman Black.
"The win was more about pride. We're the No. 1 team no matter what, but we may see this team down the road."
The Tropang Texters worked double time on defense in the fourth period, when they held their rivals to just two field goals.
Barangay Ginebra's seven-point output in the final period is the team's lowest scored this conference. The Gin Kings' last field goal came at the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter courtesy of Rico Maierhofer.
Talk 'N Text finished with just two defeats in 14 elimination round games, while Ginebra's win-loss record fell to 7-7 to wrap up its campaign.
The Tropang Texters will play Air 21 in the quarterfinals, with the Tropang Texter enjoying twice-to-beat advantage. The series starts on Thursday.
"You can't take any team for granted. I believe they're better than their record," said Peek.
Ginebra will take on Rain or Shine in a best-of-three series that kicks off Wednesday. It marks the second straight year the two teams face each other in the Philippine Cup quarterfinals. The Elasto Painters swept the Gin Kings in two games last season in the final eight of the same tournament.
Sizzling Simon shoots down GlobalPort as San Mig Coffee seals second spot
Rey Joble, InterAKTV · Friday, December 7, 2012 · 9:58 pm
Needing to win one win to secure the twice-to-beat prize for the Philippine Cup quarterfinals, San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone knew his team would to struggle for it.
The Coffee Mixers did it the hard way, hacking out a 107-96 win against a GlobalPort squad that fought hard despite playing merely for pride Friday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Peter June Simon came up big, picking up the slack for the hurting James Yap with 27 points to lead the way for the Mixers, who formalized their hold of the No. 2 spot in the quarterfinal round.
"I know it wasn't pretty, but it's a lot harder than what people see from the outside," said Cone.
"There's the other team which has gotten loose and another team looked stressed. Looking at each other, you know there's going to be a real battle. Certainly, there's no easy games in the PBA."
San Mig Coffee did not get its rhythm going until the early part of the fourth quarter, when the Mixers outscored the Batang Pier, 34-18, to secure their 10th win in 13 games.
"We just took care of business tonight. I told my players that all we have to do is walk out there and win. Let's not misunderstand our expectations. We don't have to win by 25 points, but we only need to win by one and win," said Cone.
The Mixers still have one game left on their elimination round schedule against the Meralco Bolts, but are locked into a playoff duel against the underachieving but dangerous Petron Blaze Boosters.
"Anybody could pick a harder opponent, but Petron. There's a saying that you don't choose who to play in the playoffs because you need to go through everyone of them," said Cone.
GlobalPort ended its campaign with just a lone win to show in 14 games.
San Mig Coffee 107 -- Simon 27, De Ocampo 18, Pingris 14, Barroca 12, Ramos 8, Yap 8, Reavis 7, Devance 5, Intal 4, Villanueva 4, Gonzales 0.
Globalport 96 -- David 22, Al-Hussaini 20, Deutchman 13, Miller 13, Mandani 10, Salvador 6, Guevarra 4, Raymundo 2, Manuel 2, Lingganay 2, Yee 2, Vanlandingham 0.
Quarters: 20-27; 47-49; 73-78; 107-96