Monday, December 26, 2011

Jayjay Helterbrand Retirement Plan in the PBA

Jayjay Helterbrand is going to stay with Barangay Ginebra.

This was confirmed by the 2009 PBA Most Valuable Player in an exclusive interview with AKTV.
“Yes, I’m coming back. I can’t wait to get back next conference,” said Helterbrand, squelching speculations that he’s retiring to be with his daughters in the United States for good.

The veteran guard, who won four championships with Ginebra, signed a one-conference contract this season while contemplating retirement.  After the Gin Kings got swept by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters last Wednesday in the Philippine Cup quarterfinals, fans began to wonder whether they’ve seen the last of Helterbrand, the other half of Ginebra’s dreaded Fast and Furious tandem along with Mark Caguioa.

“I’ve thought about it, especially during the time when I was consistently injured,” said Helterbrand. “But the biggest reason why I thought about retiring was because of my daughters, who are in the United States. I’ve sacrificed so many things, missing their birthdays, graduation and other important events while they’re growing up. So I thought that at my age now, maybe it’s time for me to make a sacrifice for them.”

“But my daughter told me that she’s willing to study here so that she can be with me and I can continue playing in the PBA.”

Helterbrand added that he’s feeling much better now and is in tip-top condition after an injury-plagued campaign the past two seasons.

“I opted for a one-conference contract to see if my body can respond to the schedule in the PBA.  Right now, I feel good.”
The return of Rudy Hatfield, according to Helterbrand, will be a big morale booster for the Gin Kings next conference. The power forward left the team midway through last season, but expressed his intention to come back to the team in time for the Commissioner’s Cup.
Helterbrand believes staying healthy is more crucial for Ginebra, instead of pursuing more roster changes.
“That’s the most important thing. If we can get free of injury, we can compete because we have a solid team.”
Right now, Helterbrand is banking on young forwards Rico Maierhofer and Allein Maliksi to become key contributors for the team. The pair was acquired by the Gin Kings in the middle of the Philippine Cup, but saw little action because of injuries.

“They’re the type of players we need, but they got injured as well.”

After getting swept by Rain or Shine, Helterbrand admits that there is still some bitterness with the way his team ended the tournament.

“I can’t wait to get back next conference because that’s not the way we want to end our campaign, but my hats off to Rain or Shine, they did a good job in the series.”

Because his one-conference pact has expired, Helterbrand is looking at a contract renewal after the holidays.
“Most probably by January 11 of next year during our first practice session. I cannot imagine myself wearing another jersey aside from Ginebra. I want to retire as a Gin King.”

Thursday, December 22, 2011

PBA Donates 1 Million Pesos to Cagayan De oro and Iligan Sendong Victims

PBA commissioner Chito Salud. InterAKTV/Niko Bolante

The Philippine Basketball Association on Wednesday announced the donation of P1 million to the Philippine Red Cross to help in the relief efforts for victims of tropical storm “Sendong” in the cities of Cagayan De Oro and Iligan.
The PBA Board of Governors ordered the release of the donation exclusively for the relief operations with the authorization from the team owners.
“The entire PBA family – the players and the team owners — is deeply saddened by the tragedy that hit our brothers in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. The PBA will always be responsive to the needs of our less fortunate countrymen,” said PBA Commissioner Chito Salud in a statement.
The PBA has also allotted P100,000 to Gawad Kalinga to help repair the homes in the Gawad Kalinga Community that was affected by the tropical storm.
In a television interview, Salud noted that the ten member companies of the PBA already have their own efforts for helping victims, but still decided to make the donation as part of the PBA to show unity as an association.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) confirmed that, as of Wednesday, the death toll from flash floods triggered by the tropical storm stood at 1,010, while the missing stood at 46.
The number of affected population has also exceeded 500,000 or 65,608 families in Visayas and Mindanao, according to the NDRRMC.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ginebra vs Rain or Shine Result December 16 2011 PBA

Lee leads stunning Rain or Shine comeback over Ginebra

Rain or Shine showed the “never-say-die” spirit that Barangay Ginebra is known for.

The Elasto Painters clawed back from a 17-point deficit and banked on the heroics of rookie Paul Lee, Jeff Chan and Beau Belga to shock the Gin Kings, 112-105, in overtime and steal Game One of their best-of-three quarterfinal series Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

After trailing by 13 points entering the fourth quarter, Rain or Shine exploded for 43 points in the final 12 minutes and made the shots that mattered in the extra period to grab a 1-0 lead in the series.

JR Quinahan had an explosive game for the Painters with 21 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth quarter, while Lee added 19 points, six rebounds and six assists.

“We came back from the jaws of defeat. We thought it was a lost game. For a young team, we played with a lot of maturity in this game,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

“We hope this momentum will fuel us to the semis. We know Ginebra will come back. Pahirapan pa rin ito.”

Jeff Chan added 14 points, including a huge three-pointer that gave the Elasto Painters a 98-97 lead with 9.5 seconds left in regulation.

After a Mark Caguioa miss in the next play for the Gin Kings, Gabe Norwood split his free throws for a 99-97 lead. Willy Wilson sent the game to overtime with a under-the-basket shot that beat the buzzer.

Mike Cortez drew first blood in overtime with a jumper, but Belga hit a three-pointer and Lee completed a three-point play to give Rain or Shine a 105-101 lead with 2:17 remaining in overtime.

KG Canaleta responded with a jumper, but Norwood, Belga and Chan hit their free throws to stun Ginebra in their series opener.

Caguioa led the Gin Kings with 25 points while JC Intal, Canaleta and Enrico Villanueva added 16 points each.

Cortez had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Ginebra, which will try to send the series into a knockout affair on Wednesday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The scores:

RAIN OR SHINE 112 – Quinahan 21, Lee 19, Chan 14, Arana 12, Rodriguez 11, Belga 9, Norwood 7, Tang 7, Cruz 5, Matias 4, Ibanes 3, Buenafe 0.

GINEBRA 105 – Caguioa 25, Intal 16, Canaleta 16, Villanueva 16, Cortez 15, Wilson W. 9, Labagala 4, Mamaril4, Maliksi 0, Wilson J. 0.

Quarters: 20-20, 33-44, 56-69, 99-99, 112-105


Petron vs Meralco Result in the PBA ( December 16, 2011)

Petron a win away from semis berth

MANILA, Philippines — For the first 36 minutes, Petron Blaze point guard Alex Cabagnot struggled with his shooting and he wasn’t as aggressive like in their previous games.

Cabagnot knows, however, how to take over.

The veteran guard collected 10 points in the final frame punctuated by back-to-back four-point plays to help the Boosters win over the Meralco Bolts, 91-84, in Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinal series in the PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Held to only four points in the first three quarters on 1-of-7 shooting from the perimeter, Cabagnot came to life in the fourth period when he completed two four-point plays, first when he was fouled by Chico Lanete on top of the key and the other was on Mark Isip on the right corner.

That allowed the Boosters to shatter a tight 68-all to 76-68 lead with 6:26 to play. Cabagnot’s assist on Rob Reyes put Petron up by 10 points, 78-68, with 5:58 left in the game.

The closest Meralco got was when Gabby Espinas made two free throws, 80-86, but Cabagnot again saved the day for Petron when he drove inside the shaded lane and scored a lay-up on counterpart Sol Mercado for 88-80 advantage, 1:30 remaining.

“I just got to keep my composure and be patient,” said Cabagnot, who also collected seven rebounds and eight assists.

Petron is now a win away from clinching a semifinal slot and arrange a best-of-seven semifinal showdown against defending champion Talk ’N Text, which clinched the first Final Four berth by winning over Barako Bull (81-79) last Wednesday.

The Boosters will face the Bolts in Game 2 on Wednesday at the Big Dome.

Petron forward Arwind Santos finished with double-double 19 points and 12 rebounds, while rookie forward Chris Lutz, who missed the team’s previous five games due to a hamstring injury, had 18 points. Rob Reyes and Dennis Miranda finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

“We’re able to execute our game plan especially on defense. We started a little flat, but we’re able to adjust in the second half,” said Petron mentor Ato Agustin. “It’s good that we took the opener, so we’re hoping that we can carry this win, the confidence we got, in Game 2.”

“As for Alex, well, he’s always a take-charge guy. He’s able to carry the team. He can defend, he can score and he can pass,” he added.

Mercado led Meralco with 18 points, while Espinas had 13 markers.

Meantime, the PBA, on behalf of its Board of Governors, will be donating P100,000 to Gawad Kalinga as its Christmas gift to its Alagang PBA partner.

The Scores:

PETRON 91 – Santos 19, Lutz 18, Cabagnot 14, Reyes 12, Miranda 11, Yeo 9, Sharma 4, Ildefonso 4, Doruelo 0, Baclao 0, Tugade 0.

MERALCO 84 – Mercado 18, Espinas 13, Cardona 12, Isip 10, Taulava 9, Yee 7, Borboran 6, Timberlake 2, Macapagal 2, Omolon 2, Hugnatan 2, Lanete 1.

Quarters: 17-22, 40-40, 63-60, 91-84.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

LLamados and Texters Eyeing for Semis in the PBA

Defending champion Talk 'N Text and B-MEG know they can't take Barako Bull and Powerade, respectively, for granted. Especially that their respective opponents' lives are on the line.

"There's very little margin of error," said Llamados coach Tim Cone.

And so the top two teams at the end of the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations go into Wednesday night's playoffs carrying with them the luxury of finishing their opponents right away in order to clinch the first two semifinals berths.

The Tropang Texters, the second seeded team, try to become the first one to advance in the Final Four as they clash with dangerous Barako Bull Energy, ranked seventh, in the curtain raiser of a scheduled twinbill at the Araneta Coliseum.

The top-ranked Llamados won't get their chance until the 7:30 p.m. main game, when they collide with No. 8 Powerade Tigers.

B-MEG enters its match against Powerade carrying an eight-game winning run, a stretch of brilliancy that enabled them to turn around a lackluster campaign in the season-opening tournament.

Cone however, is not taking the Tigers for granted.

"It's a short series so we will have to be sharp right at the get-go," Cone said. "Outside of Ginebra, Powerade has been the hot team down the stretch of the conference, so our assignment is especially tough. Their players are coming on strong and we've got some tough match-ups to deal with. Needless to say, we don’t want to go to a second game."

That Powerade will be coming out determined to pull off an upset is understandable.

The Tigers are playing in the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2007-08 season, an opportunity coach Bo Perasol said his team will definitely try to savor.

"We realize how well B-MEG had been playing both individually and as a team," Perasol said. "That knockout game will be a testament of how far we've grown as a team. What I’m sure of is that we won't back down to whatever challenge they will pose."

A 96-82 loss to Barangay Ginebra Sunday cost the Tropang Texters the top spot in the playoffs. Although the reigning champions finished with a similar 10-4 (win-loss) record with B-MEG, the Llamados claimed the top slot owing to a better quotient.

The setback and the fact that his team remains undermanned with some of his key players still nursing injuries, are what concerns coach Chot Reyes going into the 5:15 p.m. encounter.

"They beat us the last time plus we’re coming off a tough game Sunday night while they’re well-rested. This game wouldn't have been a problem if we're complete but now it's an issue because we’re decimated," said last year's Coach of the Year.

"We must find a way to match up with their bigs without Ali (Peek) and Ranidel while containing (Willie) Miller and (Dylan) Ababou in the perimeter," Reyes said.

The two teams met in the eliminations just once and Barako Bull owned the bragging rights against the defending champions, 100-86. — JVP, GMA News

source :

Sunday, December 11, 2011

PBA Philippine Cup Quarter Final Match Up

Here are the match ups in the upcoming quarter finals  starting on Wednesday on the PBA Philippine Cup

#1 B-MEG vs #8 Powerade

- Llamados with twice-to-beat advantage
- Series tips off on Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

#2 Talk ‘N Text vs #7 Barako Bull

- Tropang Texters with twice-to-beat advantage
- Series tips off on Wednesday, 5:15 p.m.

#3 Petron Blaze vs #6 Meralco

- Best-of-three series
- Series tips off on Friday, 5:15 p.m.

#4 Ginebra vs #5 Rain or Shine

- Best-of-three series
- Series tips off on Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Final Placing in the PBA Determined in Talk and Text - Ginebra Tiff

Coaches Chot Reyes and Siot Tanquingcen insist they’re not yet done with their job in the elimination phase of the PBA Philippine Cup.

They say their teams need to get going and crank up for the playoffs.

The Tropang Texters and the Kings have this similar mindset as they square off Sunday night in the final game of the eliminations at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We’ll go all out to try get the win and gain momentum for the playoffs,” said Reyes whose TnT team is assured of a quarterfinals twice-to-beat advantage whatever happens in the 7:30 p.m. game.

“We need to keep playing. You don’t come into the game na nasaisip mo non-bearing na ito. Hindi pwede iyon. Somehow, it will carry over or create bad habits,” said coach Tanquingcen whose Ginebra Kings, on the other hand, are already guaranteed of a spot in the best-of-three quarters.

For final placing, Talk n Text is chasing top spot while Ginebra has a shot at third behind TnT and B-Meg. “We’re hoping Jared Dillinger and Ryan Reyes can play but that will be a game-time decision. Jimmy Alapag is the one that is surely out. Still, we’ll fight to win,” said Reyes. “We’ve achieved the first step of avoiding the top seed or the second seed. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to play hard and see where we fall,” said Tanquingcen.

Final placing will be determined after Sunday’s twinbill which features Rain or Shine against Alaska in the other game.

If Talk n Text beats Ginebra, the Texters emerge the elims topnotchers and they play the eighth-seeded Powerade Tigers in the quarters.
If they lose, the Texters settle for second place and face the seventh-seeded Barako Bull Energy.

Whichever they play, the Texters need to win just once to advance to the semis.

A win by Barangay Ginebra over Talk n Text hands B-Meg the top seeding. Otherwise, the Llamados stay at second.
Ginebra, meanwhile, finishes either third, fourth or fifth.

But whatever happens, Petron, Ginebra, Rain or Shine and Meralco are the teams figuring in the two best-of-three quarters matchups.

Most possibly, it’s Ginebra versus Rain or Shine except in case the Kings win over the Texters and the Elasto Painters lose to the Aces.

In such scenario, Ginebra faces Meralco while Petron tangles with Rain or Shine in the quarters. (SB)

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Possibility for Rudy Hatfield to Play this PBA Season

Rudy Hatfield won’t be available to play for Barangay Ginebra until next month. If the Kings make it to the semifinals of the Philippine Cup, the H-Bomb might still be able to catch up and play this conference. And if Ginebra advances to the finals, Hatfield could find himself in coach Siot Tanquingcen’s rotation.

But is the Ginebra coaching staff willing to gamble and fix what ain’t broke by bringing in Hatfield with the Philippine Cup playoffs just around the corner? Chemistry is something that doesn’t come easy. It takes time to develop familiarity and trust among players. Tanquingcen recently engineered a trade that brought in Allein Maliksi from Barako Bull and Rico Maierhofer from B-Meg. Maliksi still hasn’t played a game for the Kings while Maierhofer played briefly in one. They’ll be broken in slowly so as not to upset the rhythm of Ginebra’s usual rotation. What’s going for Hatfield is he isn’t a stranger to the Ginebra system, having worked before with Tanquingcen and assistant coach Jong Uichico.

Lineup changes may be made only until Dec. 12, the day after the end of the eliminations. So if Tanquingcen has plans of enlisting Hatfield for the playoffs, he’s got to line him up by Dec. 12 even if the H-Bomb won’t be ready to play until early next year. It’s possible that Ginebra will have been eliminated by the time Hatfield is available but it’s also possible that the Kings may still be in contention.

At the moment, Ginebra is 7-5 with two games left in its schedule – Barako Bull on Thursday and Talk ‘N’ Text on Sunday. If the Kings win both assignments, they’ll move up to 9-5. The goal is to finish the eliminations in the top six because winding up No. 7 or No. 8 will mean playing either of the top two placers with a twice-to-win disadvantage.

Either Talk ‘N’ Text or Petron will notch win No. 10 after their encounter at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight. The winner will automatically gain at least a playoff for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, the first stage of the playoffs. If B-Meg beats Shopinas on Thursday as it is expected to, then the Derby Ace Llamados also earn at least a playoff for the other twice-to-beat advantage with win No. 10. A three-way tie for first will result if Petron beats Talk ‘N’ Text, B-Meg beats Shopinas and Talk ‘N’ Text beats Ginebra on Sunday.

* * *

Under tournament rules, there will be no playoff to break ties unless it is for the second and eighth slots. With Alaska and Shopinas out of the running, the only possible playoff will be for second place if Petron, B-Meg and Talk ‘N’ Text finish with identical 10-4 records

Rain Or Shine will end up at 9-5 with a win over Alaska in the first game of today’s twinbill. That will assure the Elasto Painters of a top six rung

Barako Bull now totes a 6-6 record with two games to go – against Ginebra on Thursday and Powerade on Sunday. The Energy Boosters could go up to 8-6 to tie Meralco in the standings. It’s possible that Barako, Meralco and Ginebra will finish with identical 8-6 marks. Rain Or Shine will also finish at 8-6 if it loses to Alaska today. In this case, the logjam will be broken via the quotient system. That means the Ginebra-Barako and Barako-Powerade games will be bloody battles where the goal is to win by as many points as possible

Ginebra PBA Governor Robert Non said yesterday he’s leaving it up to the Kings coaching staff to decide if Hatfield will be in the lineup for the Dec. 12 cut-off. Uichico confirmed that Hatfield won’t be ready until January and his contract remains under negotiation. Uichico said he expects the contract to be finalized this week.

* * * *

Last Sunday, Ginebra played without Maliksi, Maierhofer and Jay-Jay Helterbrand but managed to upend Meralco, 81-71. In the Kings’ six wins before the game, they held their opponents to an average of 79.8 points. Ginebra was also No. 2 in field goal percentage allowed at an even 40 percent. The indicators showed that for Ginebra to beat Meralco, the Kings had to limit the Bolts to 80 or less and less than 40 percent shooting. No question, defense was the key to victory and so it was. Meralco scored only 15 in the first period and 12 in the second then sputtered with just seven in the last 8:21. The Bolts hit only 32.5 percent from the field and delivered 71 points. Mike Cortez led the way with 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists, three steals and no turnover in 36 minutes. Rico Villanueva chipped in 11 points and nine rebounds in 33 minutes.

Ginebra has now won three in a row, four of its last five, but the Kings will be hard pressed to extend the streak unless Tanquingcen harnesses Maliksi, Maierhofer and Helterbrand for the tough games ahead. Somehow, Tanquingcen has been able to collect wins with hard-nosed team defense, a style that Ginebra isn’t traditionally known for. The Kings built a reputation as a run-and-gun machine through the years but times have changed. Now, the accent is on defense and if that’s what it takes to win, neither Tanquingcen nor the Barangay multitude will have it any other way.


Barangay Ginebra held Meralco, Leading 800th win in Franchise History

Barangay Ginebra held Meralco down to 27 points in the first half and to seven points in the last 8:21 of play in a fine defensive job leading to its 800th win in franchise history.

The Kings drubbed the Bolts, 81-71, as they sustained their climb in the PBA Philippine Cup, notching a third straight win to the delight of their throngs that braved this rainy Sunday. 

“We had a good weekend but the mission is not yet over. We still have to keep on fighting and keep on climbing,” said coach Siot Tanquingcen as they jacked up their stock at sixth place with a 7-5 win-loss card.

“Yes, things are falling into place but we’re still not there. The goal is not just to make the quarterfinals. Kailangan maiwasan namin lumaban against a team with a twice-to-beat advantage. Mabigat yon,” Tanquingcen also said.

Barako, at 6-6, is a team that can still dislodge Ginebra in the Top Six.
Meralco wound up at 8-6, out of the race for the Top Two that reward twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.

Sol Mercado and Mark Cadona, Meralco’s two-man scoring machine, combined for 38 points but the rest of Meralco team was limited to 33. “The guys did work hard defensively in this game,” said Tanquingcen of their defensive effort, limiting the Bolts to their worst output in a game in the conference.

Mike Cortez, Ronald Tubid, Mark Caguioa and Rico Villanueva led the job on the other end, each one finishing in double figures.

Cortez, Villanueva, Caguioa, Tubid and Willy Wilson teamed up in their most decisive attack, a 13-2 run that gave the Kings a 79-66 lead with 1:46 left to play. The Bolts were still very much in the thick of things at 64-66 before disintegrating. Despite being held down to 27 in the first half, the Bolts stuck together, keeping the Kings from pulling away with a stand led by Mercado and Cardona.

Mercado led all scorers with 22 points that went with nine assists and six steals. Cardona added 16 points and seven rebounds. (SB)

The scores:

GINEBRA 81- Cortez 14, Tubid 13, Caguioa 13, Villanueva 11, Canaleta 9, Wilson W. 6, Mamaril 6, Intal 5, Lbagala 4, Wilson J. 0, Menk 0.

MERALCO 71 - Mercado 22, Cardona 16, Espinas 7, Macapagal 7, Isip 6, Yee 5, Hugnatan 4, Lanete 2, Omolon 2, Ballesteros 0, Borboran 0, Taulava 0.
Quarters: 22-15, 36-27, 59-50, 81-71


IF Rain or Shine's effort was as big as its heart, would have been easily shrugged off Sunday.

But the Elasto Painters were seemingly just going through the motions for the most part, giving head coach Yeng Guiao few reasons to be pleased following his team's 88-81 victory in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Jeffrei Chan scored a team-high 14 points, but it was the help from the likes of Ryan Arana and Ronnie Matias in the decisive fourth period which enabled Rain or Shine to quash the challenge of Shopinas and snap out of an alarming skid.

"It's just nice to break out of the losing streak," said Guiao after the rugged, often bruising game. "I think the guys just put out an effort enough to break out of that losing streak, although I'm not happy with the effort. We could have played a lot better."

The win was the eighth in 13 games for Rain or Shine and snapped its losing streak at four games. Shopinas was wishing for the same thing yet ultimately dropped its 13th straight game, matching the 29-year-old league's worst start. Great Taste also had a 0-13 start in the 1982 Reinforced Filipino Conference.

The Clickers could take sole hold of the dubious distinction if they drop their last elimination game against B-Meg on Thursday.

Jojo Duncil scattered a career-high 23 points to pace Shopinas, which had a splendid start but failed to take advantage of Rain or Shine’s losing prized rookie Paul Lee early in the game due to injury and center JR Quinahan to a major infraction in the third quarter. Lee, usually good for 14.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.0 steal per game, saw action for only two minutes in the first quarter. He left the game after getting kneed in the left shin by a driving Ogie Menor.

He was taken to a nearby hospital where tests conducted on his leg proved negative.

Another bright note Guiao could take solace from is the fact his players seldom wavered during their slide, which saw them lose by two points to B-Meg, Talk ‘N Text and Barako Bull.

"Those games were close," he pointed out. "I thought we should have won at least two of those. But it's not really like our world turned upside down. We were still playing good and the others were simply playing better.

"Baka merong cycle. It happens to all the teams. We hope with this (win) paakyat ulit cycle namin. Pero hindi kami nasiraan ng loob. We were losing on breaks, okay pa rin iyon."

Guiao now wants his team's game to pick up when they wind up the eliminations against Alaska on Sunday.

There would be no lightning striking Rain or Shine down Sunday and Matias and Arana made sure of that.

The two were at the forefront of the massive assault from a 62-58 count, with Arana repeatedly shredding Ren-Ren Ritualo's defense and Matias working double-time underneath in making it an unassailable 83-72 difference, only 2:30 left.

Quinahan also left the game due to an elbow on Menor's face, equivalent to a flagrant foul-penalty 2, with still 3:45 left in the third period. That gave Shopinas the opening to trim a 50-59 deficit to just six entering the final canto.

The Elasto Painters set themselves up for the win by limiting the Clickers to just five points in the second period to take a 41-32 lead at the half.

Those points, products of a 2-for-16 field shooting, tied Shopinas for ninth among all-time lows in league history and put to waste a fine start in which it raced to a 9-0 spread before stretching the lead by as much as 22-9.

The incidents involving Menor actually started in the first half in which Arana was assessed a flagrant foul-penalty 1 for elbowing Menor in the nape and Shopinas' Homer Se got thrown out due to two technical fouls in just three minutes of action. While the E-Painters seemingly drew inspiration from such infractions, the Clickers unraveled. (NC)

The scores:

RAIN OR SHINE 88 - Chan 14, Arana 12, Quinahan 12, Matias 9, Norwood 9, Cruz 7, Tang 7, Belga 7, Rodriguez 7, Buenafe 4, Lee 0, Ibanes 0.

SHOPINAS.COM 81 - Duncil 23, Jazul 17, Sena 11, Hubalde 9, Espiritu 7, Ritualo 6, Menor 4, Sison 2, Daa 2, Escobal 0, Aquino 0, Se 0.

Quarterscores: 19-27, 41-32, 61-55, 88-81

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Which Team is Better? Petron Blaze or Barangay Ginebra

Petron Blaze takes a shot at outright playoff crack at a twice-to-beat incentive while Barangay Ginebra seeks to formalize entry into the quarterfinals in a crucial tiff Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

It could well be a battle with both teams determined to press their bids especially now that the elimination phase is already in the closing stage.

They play at 7:30 p.m. with the Boosters out to firm up their hold of first place and the Kings out to put a lock on a spot in the Final Eight.

“The goal is to clinch twice-to-beat whether at first place or at second,” said Petron coach Ato Agustin.
Agustin and his chargers assure themselves of at least a tie for second place if they’re able to stretch their searing streak to seven games.

A sweep of their last two games guarantees the Boosters of the coveted twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. Petron dislodged Talk n Text atop the heap Tuesday when the Boosters topped the Alaska Milk Aces, 90-85, while the Texters bowed to the B-Meg Llamados, 104-114.

Trying to stop the Boosters’ run is the Ginebra side aching to start get going and salvage a good seeding in the playoffs.

“It’s important we start playing consistently and make a good run on our last four games,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.

The Kings’ goal is not just to make the quarterfinals but land at least the top six to avoid the top team or the second ranked team in the quarterfinals.

The top two after the elims will enjoy twice-to-beat edge versus the No. 8 and the No. 7 squads in the quarters. (SB)

Meralco bolts battles Powerade Tigers

MERALCO has some lofty targets in mind and coach Ryan Gregorio minces no words in baring them.

“We are battling for a good position heading to the playoffs,” said Gregorio. “With two games left in our schedule, we are determined to have a good placing in the middle of the pack (Nos. 3 to 6) and if it is enough to push us up to No. 1 or 2, perfect.”

First, the Bolts have to hurdle Powerade, which has its own coveted goal of officially claiming at least the eighth and last slot in the quarterfinals as early as Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Tigers look poised to make a surge of their own after winning back-to-back games, the last a 131-96 drubbing of Talk N Text last Sunday.

Starting with a similarly lopsided 102-84 victory over, coach Bo Perasol now believes his team has the confidence and will to exact revenge over Meralco while not waiting for a game against Barako Bull on Tuesday to close the door on the quarterfinals aspirations of Alaska. “Although we are happy with the way we played in our last two games, we know that our game against Meralco is another playing field,” said Perasol.

“We understand the challenge,” he added. “However, we likewise comprehend now our strength as a team.”

Meralco can have a shot at a top two spot with wins against Powerade and Ginebra on Sunday, but Gregorio would rather have his players focusing on the game at hand and based his strategy accordingly. “We are very cautious with our game plan. One thing is certain,” said Gregorio. “We cannot play them with just offense in our mind. We want to dictate the tempo by counting stops and limiting their fast break attack.”

Meralco beat Powerade the first time they met, 98-96, when the Bolts shut out the Tigers in the last three minutes while leaning on some clutch scoring by Mark Cardona and Gabby Espinas in the stretch, last Nov. 16.

Gregorio admitted Powerade has a deeply-stocked arsenal but pinpointed the Tigers main men as the focus of the Bolts’ defense.
“Gary David is again leading the league in scoring. He must be guarded and made to bleed for his points. (Marcio) Lassiter is also playing consistent ball. He is also a marked man. Jayvee Casio is coming along very well,” enumerated Gregorio.

“Almost everyone in their lineup is capable of scoring, so our defense must really be in sync, solid and no let-up.” (NC)

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