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CAREER-HIGH 30 FROM H-BOMB LIFTS GINEBRA PAST TALK ‘N TEXT IN OT
Published on March 18, 2012
Up against the No.1 team in the league and the conference’s defending champion, Barangay Ginebra’s energy is often the key to pulling off an upset win.
And the Kings got just that from the team’s epitome when it comes to energy – Rudy Hatfield.
The 34-year-old Hatfield provided the energy and came up with a career game in powering Barangay Ginebra to a hard-earned 94-91 overtime triumph in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.
Playing in front of a huge crowd of 13,515, Hatfield dished out his best performance ever, taking centerstage just when his team needed it most and finishing with a career-high 30 points which came on top of 14 rebounds.
Hatfield’s biggest game came 12 years since establishing his previous career best of 29 points which he produced while still a rookie with Tanduay in the 2000 Commissioner’s Cup in a game against the Sta. Lucia Realtors.
The Kings rode on their aging veteran’s broad shoulders and the H-Bomb responded with 13 points in the fourth quarter, including his team’s last five points in regulation.
Ranidel de Ocampo scored on a putback off his own miss to put the game into overtime, but Hatfield along with Willie Wilson conspired in the Kings’ seven points in the extra period to shove their team to their fourth win in seven games.
Barangay Ginebra, which bounced back after back-to-back losses to Meralco and B-Meg, is now tied with the Powerade Tigers for third to fourth places in the team standings.
“It’s good that we won. Anybody could beat anybody in this league,” said Barangay Ginebra head coach Siot Tanquingcen, his right hand heavily bandaged after injuring it recently. “That’s what we’re looking for, energy, not only from Rudy, but the entire team. We were able to get that energy from the entire team.”
Hatfield’s energy rubbed off on the entire team. He had two offensive rebounds in the closing seconds of the extra period that all but sealed the win for the Gin Kings.
The loss was only the second in five games for Talk ‘N Text, which dropped to a share of the lead with idle B-Meg with two games to go in the single round-robin eliminations.
The Kings won the game despite having an atrocious shooting from the foul line. They shot 13-of-29 from the free throw area (44.8%), with 12 of the 16 missed free throws coming from import Jackson Vroman, who had a miserable 1-of-12 performance.
“That’s also a big concern of mine,” said Tanquingcen, referring to Vroman’s poor free throw shooting. “When he came in, he wasn’t shooting that bad. In China, he was a 65% shooter and he’s shooting not as bad right now. I think it’s more mental. It’s hard to survive a game with him missing those free throws. He’s working on it naman sa ensayo, kasama si (assistant) coach Allan (Caidic) and he was making those shots consistently. It’s hard to explain, why he shoots that bad now, it’s a mystery for us.
The Tropang Texters, who were outrebounded 61-49 and shot just 36% from the field compared to Barangay Ginebra’s 46%, lost despite having six players scoring in double figures led by the 23 of Ranidel de Ocampo. (RJ)
Barangay Ginebra 94 – Hatfield 30, Vroman 24, Cortez 11, Caguioa 10, Wilson 6, Helterbrand 5, Wilson, J. 2, Ababou 2, Villanueva 2, Raymundo 2, Labagala 0.
Talk N Text 91 – De Ocampo 23, Harvey 15, Castro 12, Fonacier 11, Dillinger 10, Alapag 10, Williams 6, Carey 3, Aguilar 1, Reyes 0.
Quarterscores: 19-23; 43-45; 69-71; 87-87; 94-91.
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