More fireworks in PBA

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More fireworks in PBA

Post by Ginebra Tambayan on Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:01 am

More fireworks in PBA
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin Henson The Philippine Star Updated December 16, 2011 12:00 AM

It’s still two weeks before the turn of the year and fireworks are already blazing in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals. Last Wednesday, No. 2 seed Talk ‘N’ Text disposed of No. 7 Barako Bull by the skin of its teeth, 81-79, and advanced to the semifinals against the winner of the Petron-Meralco best-of-three series. Top seed B-Meg wasn’t as lucky. The Llamados got it in the neck from Powerade as the Tigers growled to a 97-86 upset with Gary David and Marcio Lassiter combining for 56 points. Because of its twice-to-beat advantage, B-Meg has a second crack to qualify for the semifinals against the survivor of the Barangay Ginebra-Rain Or Shine best-of-three series but on Sunday, coach Tim Cone’s charges must beat Powerade in a do-or-die showdown.

Only the B-Meg-Powerade faceoff is scheduled for Sunday at the Big Dome. That means if the two best-of-three series go the distance, Talk ‘N’ Text will enjoy a long rest until the start of the semifinals on Jan. 4. Tropa coach Chot Reyes said that was exactly what he prayed for in looking to beat Barako last Wednesday. Now, the Texters can use the extra days to heal and rest up for the grind ahead. Ranidel de Ocampo and Ali Peek didn’t play in the Barako game.

Two best-of-three series begin today – No. 3 Petron vs No. 6 Meralco and No. 4 Ginebra vs No. 5 Rain Or Shine. The Blaze Boosters are coming off back-to-back losses to Ginebra and Talk ‘N’ Text. They could use Jay Washington, Rabeh Al Hussaini and Dondon Hontiveros against the Bolts but they’re not available. Rookie Chris Lutz has played only once in the last eight games and will play a key role if he’s healthy. Lutz and teammate Arwind Santos are the only players to score in twin digits every game so far this conference. Petron coach Ato Agustin said there’s a good chance Lutz, recovering from a hamstring injury, will play tonight.

Petron and Meralco split their conference series at a win apiece. Meralco drew first blood, 80-70, then Petron barely equalized, 76-75. For both games, Alex Cabagnot averaged 9.5 points. The rest of his games, the Crunchman averaged 16.9. The Bolts upended Petron without MacMac Cardona and Reynel Hugnatan, displaying depth in coach Ryan Gregorio’s defensive rotation. Limiting Petron to 70 was a big feat. In the rematch, Petron returned the favor by winning with defense, too. Petron lacks a post presence but makes up for it with superior wing play from Santos and a deep backcourt with Cabagnot, Denok Miranda, Joseph Yeo and Lutz, if he’s ready. Cardona and Sol Mercado are Meralco’s 1-2 punch but if the Bolts are to survive, they’ve got to draw major numbers from Gabby Espinas, Hugnatan and Asi Taulava.

* * *

“We want to dictate the pace,” said Agustin. “Depending on the situation, we could slow it down or play up-tempo. Our priority is defense. We’ll focus on containing MacMac and Sol.”

Gregorio said, “The odds point to us as the overwhelming underdogs in the series because of their championship experience … the nice thing about odds is if you’re the underdog is that it is not enough to make them win. We want to outwork them endlessly and hopefully, it is enough to reach unchartered territory for our young franchise.”

Ginebra and Rain Or Shine met only once in the eliminations with the Elasto Painters prevailing, 94-93. Kings coach Siot Tanquingcen has received clearance from orthopedic surgeon Dr. George Canlas for Allein Maliksi, Rico Maierhofer and Jay-Jay Helterbrand to play. How they’ll blend with the holdover nucleus is still a question mark. Ginebra has won its last five with Helterbrand sitting out four, Maliksi three and Maierhofer all.

Rain Or Shine relies on coach Yeng Guiao’s random subs to keep opponents guessing and it only reinforces his philosophy of equal opportunity. No player averages 30 or more minutes a game as Guiao spreads the wealth across the board. The Painters like to play physical and the Kings must be ready to take it strong on the chin. Rain Or Shine is a bust-out team that scores a bundle in transition, off turnovers and from second chances. The Kings won’t engage the Painters in a shooting match – they’ll try to throw off Rain Or Shine’s rhythm and impose their own pace. The emergence of Mike Cortez as the Kings’ chief playmaker wasn’t by accident. Now that Ginebra is playing a controlled tempo, Cortez is perfect as the quarterback. He’s poised, smart and methodical in breaking down the defense.

* * *

Ginebra’s three-guard formation of Mark Caguioa, Helterbrand and Ronald Tubid isn’t as quick as it was before but it’s still a potent combination. With Cortez fitting in comfortably in Tanquingcen’s system, nobody’s complaining – not even Rob Labagala and John Wilson who are supposed to be Ginebra’s backcourt links to the future.

Guiao said the key is keeping fresh legs on the court. “Our rotation keeps our players fresh and are therefore able to sustain our running game and also keep our defensive energy,” said Guiao. “We’re able to minimize injuries and avoid burn-outs in the long term. There are teams that are a lot more physical than we are and are able to get away with it. We have adjusted our defense to a lot more switching and zoning to avoid getting called for fouls. We don’t worry about their three-guard lineup because we feel confident in the abilities of our guards and wings. We will thoroughly enjoy and relish this series because it is always a treat to play Ginebra in the playoffs. We like the attention and we like being underdogs.”

Tanquingcen said defense will decide the outcome of the series. “We mainly have to focus on what we are doing good which is playing defense,” he said. “And sharing the ball on off, not get distracted by anything else. It’s going to be a tough series against Rain Or Shine but that’s the way playoffs are so we just have to be mentally and physically ready.”

Source: The Philippine Star

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Re: More fireworks in PBA

Post by neithanfombuena on Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:17 am

4 the win :))

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Re: More fireworks in PBA

Post by NSD Loyalist on Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:33 am

neithanfombuena wrote:4 the win :))

Welcome to NSD Tambayan, Sir neithanfombuena :welcomes:

Palista ka na dito, Sir: Kabarangay Listahan

BTW, enjoy our site & keep on posting. :welcome:

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Re: More fireworks in PBA

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