Barangay Ginebra stretched its hot streak while halting TNT KaTropa’s own run as the Gin Kings topped the Texters, 107-89, behind an amazing second-half charge to move up to third place in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night.
Beaten in a fierce gun duel in the first half, Justin Brownlee and his teammates turned things around after the halftime break and went on to notch a fourth straight win after a losing conference debut against the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
The Texters, meanwhile, dropped to 5-2 after suffering a first loss in their last five games.
From 55-61 down at the half, the Gin Kings swayed the tide in their favor, 75-67, in the third before waxing extra hot in the fourth, torching the Texters with seven three-pointers.
“We finished well. As they say in golf it’s not how you drive but how you arrive,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“The first half was something special. We played as well as we could but they played better. They hit shots that were unbelievable against our defense. They were something, they were fantastic,” Cone also said.
“In the second half, our defense warmed a bit. Japeth Aguilar was incredibly active. He’s being an intimidating rim protector was a key,” Cone added.
Aguilar’s defensive effort was really a big key in Ginebra’s third-quarter turnaround. Doing the killing in the offensive end were Brownlee and LA Tenorio.
Brownlee scored nine points in the third and eight in the fourth while Tenorio poured in 14 of his 21 in the payoff period.
An amazing highlight of Ginebra’s fourth win in a row was an avalanche of seven three-pointers by Brownlee, Tenorio and Sol Mercado in the fourth.
The Texters were razor-sharp early on, hitting at a 54-percent clip and limiting themselves to only five turnovers on the way to a 61-55 lead at the turn.
Donte Greene went on a scoring mode early, firing three treys to spike his 21-point explosion in the first half.
The Kings were also sharp, converting 50-percent of their shots but committed 10 errors, resulting to a crucial 14-2 advantage by TNT on points off turnovers in the first 24 minutes of play.
Brownlee accounted for five of those lapses, denting his 17-point first-half production.
But Brownlee himself stood tallest in their second-half charge.
GLOBALPORT hardly felt the absence of Terrence Romeo Sunday.
Stanley Pringle and a bunch of other Batang Pier made sure the need to field the ailing star guard never entered coach Franz’s mind.
Pringle scored a gamehigh 24 points, leading GlobalPort to a cruising 105-86 victory over hapless Mahindra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Malcolm White added 16 points and 17 rebounds while four other Batang Pier chipped in at least 10 points each in a show of balanced offensive might that netted them as much as a 31-point spread before eventually notching their second win in seven games.
GlobalPort remained one full game behind Phoenix for the eighth and last quarterfinals slot, but Pumaren maintains the big win should help his team achieve its immediate goal of making it past the 11-game eliminations.
“Right now we cannot afford any mistakes,” said Pumaren after the match, held on the final playdate before the league takes a break for the All-Star Week starting Wednesday in Cagayan de Oro.
“We cannot depend on other teams beating other teams. We just have to continue playing good basketball. Hopefully we can get some wins,” added Pumaren. “The best outlook right now is to really concentrate on each game.”
Romeo was reportedly suffering from a bum stomach and Pumaren said it was too risky to use him when he’s not 100 percent. “He could play, but we don’t want to risk the career of Romeo,” explained the coach.
Mahindra clearly failed to capitalize on the absence of the flashy guard who averages 18.8 points and 5.6 assists an outing, and absorbed its fifth straight loss that dropped it to a 1-7 record overall.
Keith Wright put up 23 points and nine boards, Reden Celda heated up late for 18 points and Philip Paniamogan chipped in 14 points for Mahindra. But usual team stalwarts Alex Mallari and LA Revilla came up with performances way below expectations, combining for only two points on a total 1-for-13 clip.
In contrast, Romeo’s absence was hardly felt when Von Pessumal scored 14 points, Mike Cortez 12, JR Quinahan 11 and Aaron Aban 10.
As a result, GlobalPort managed muster one surge after another from early in the second quarter on, leaving Mahindra completely wallowing in its wake, proof of which is a difference that stood as high as 92-61.
The Floodbuster were only in the game up to the 7:50 mark of the second quarter, when Jackson Corpuz’s basket brought the team within 30-34.
Then the Batang Pier went on a 15-6 roll, with Pringle and Papot Paredes leading the way with four points each, to go into the break with a 49-36 spread.
In that span Mahindra went 2-for-14 from the field and committed two turnovers to fall behind by as much as 31-47, through James Forrester’s alley-oop dunk off a feed by Cortez.
Poor field shooting continued to hound the Floodbuster in the third period, enabling the Batang Pier to stretch their lead to 78-53 going to the final 12 minutes.
TNT KaTropa and Barangay Ginebra face-off Sunday in a topnotch matchup between two teams in top form and in a hot romp, both determined to notch another win before the PBA All-Star Week break.
Both unbeaten in a long while, the Texters and the Gin Kings clash at 6:30 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, with each side seeking to close in on an automatic playoff passage in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
TNT is riding the momentum of a five-game streak versus Phoenix Petroleum, Blackwater, NLEX, Mahindra and GlobalPort while Ginebra is sizzling on a three-game run against GlobalPort, Star and NLEX.
For both, the goal is to continue to get going to figure in the chase for the Top Two spots that reward a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
“That’s our hope. We’ll do our part against Ginebra and hopefully we get a favorable outcome,” said TNT coach Nash Racela.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone, meanwhile, sees a tough matchup between two teams that play entirely different brands of basketball.
“TNT is always a tough matchup because they are polar opposites to us in terms of style of play,” said Cone.
“So it really comes down to who can play their game and that’s tough because it is very hard to disrupt what TNT does. But we’ll try to stay disciplined in what we do and see how it goes,” Cone also said.
The TNT-Ginebra faceoff features lots of interesting matchups including that of Justin Brownlee and Donte Greene.
Greene erupted for 33 points and 10 rebounds with four local teammates contributing double-digit outputs as TNT KaTropa smothered GlobalPort, 109-88, for a fifth win Friday night.
The TNT import now averages 26.25 points, 13.25 rebounds, 2.25 assists, 1.25 steals and 1.5 blocks while Brownlee norms 22.25 markers, 10.0 boards, 5.5 dish-offs, 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks.
Among the TNT key locals are Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy, Ranidel de Ocampo, Troy Rosario and Kelly Williams who are likely to be tested by LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Joe Devance, Sol Mercado and Scottie Thompson.
TIME is slowly running out on Globalport and coach Franz Pumaren knows the Batang Pier need to start turning their campaign around in the PBA Commissioner’s if the team is to remain in the hunt for a quarterfinals berth.
Their Sunday showdown with the Mahindra Floodbuster at the Smart Araneta Coliseum could just be the perfect opportunity for them to get their acts together.
“At this point, we just have to do our own destiny. We can’t rely on others, that this team has to beat this particular team, no. We just have to do our own job, we just have to right our own destiny this conference. “
The Batang Pier carry a 1-5 record going into the 4:30 p.m. game, just a notch above the Floodbuster who are at 1-6.
For them to get past Mahindra – and their remaining five matches – Pumaren stressed consistency should be a must for Globalport.
“In order for us to turn things around this conference is for us to start playing consistently,” he said. “Basketball is not 24 minutes, 32 minutes. It’s the whole 48 minutes.”
The health of star player Terrence Romeo has also been a concern for the Batang Pier as the league’s two-time scoring champion has been blowing hot and cold this conference after being down by typhoid earlier.
Pumaren understands Romeo’s predicament, but expects his top gunner to get back in shape for a few more games.
“He’s a professional. For him to be back in shape is of course, through playing games and also by practicing,” said the Batang Pier mentor. “Slowly he’s gonna get there. It’s not gonna be an overnight thing, but he’s going to get there.”
San Miguel’s formidable local crew held the fort with import Charles Rhodes saddled by fouls as the Beermen repulsed the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 111-98, to close in on the playoffs in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Saturday night.
The core SMB local group more than made up for the limited minutes played by Rhodes in their Petron Blaze Saturday Special matchup with the Elasto Painters and in the process preserved their perfect (5-0) slate heading to the PBA All-Star Week break.
The E-Painters drew Rhodes’ fourth foul just 17 minutes into the contest and his fifth midway through the third period, but failed to capitalize and went down to a third loss in their last four games.
Rain or Shine is in the middle of the chart at 4-3 in playing its last four games against Star, Barangay Ginebra, GlobalPort and TNT KaTropa.
June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, Gabby Espinas and Arwind Santos delivered the goods while Rhodes was rotting on the bench. These six players all finished in double figures.
Espinas top scored among the SMB locals with 15 points that went with eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in a superb relief job.
Santos also had solid numbers off the bench, making 13 markers, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block while Fajardo, Cabagnot, Ross and Lassiter were prolific as usual in their roles as starters.
Despite early fouls, Rhodes finished the game and he still ended up with decent production with 26 markers, six boards and two dish-offs against two turnovers.
But it was the SMB local group who did the killing when their import was confined on the bench.
Lassiter nailed one of his two three-pointers as the Beermen hit their first double-digit spread at 51-40.
They closed the half at 57-44 and later led by as many as 22 before claiming another dominant win in the mid-season tourney.
Santos and Rhodes had 13 and 12, respectively, as they led by 13 at the turn.