Why Home and Away Game won’t work for the PBA

What will happen if PBA implements home and away game?

Every Ginebra game whether home or away will be Ginebra’s home at least most of the time. 

There are 12 teams in the PBA and while some of them have good followings, most of the teams won’t be able to fill a stadium or at least attract enough crowd to watch at the venue not unless the audiences are employees or families of the brand the team is representing.
Exhibit A. Championship game. Ginebra vs Meralco.  Did you see the crowd? Maybe a strong 80% of the fans watching were wearing red and whether the game was at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City or even at the 50,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bulacan, there is just no way Meralco fans can outnumber the Ginebra fans in any location in the Philippines or in the world.
PBA fans shares among teams an imbalance.
Ginebra probably has more than 60% of the total PBA fans share. Without this franchise, the PBA may already have been out of business or struggling to make ends meet. While teams like Star Hotshots, TNT, San Miguel Beermen and Alaska may also have decent followings teams like Kia, Blackwater, Phoenix are too small and brand new to compile enough fans most especially if they are not winning games. 
Specific or team fans are not concentrated in one area. 
Unlike the defunct MBA or the NBA, where the team represents an area or a city and the fans come to watch to support their local team. The PBA represents a brand and users or promoters of that brand are not in one place. 
Can you tell where most Kia owners are? Are you sure that they are even a fan of basketball or support Kia’s basketball team? Even NLEX Road Warriors could not summon enough fans to come and watch them at the Philippine Arena which is located at NLEX.  
A fan needs a reason to support a team and representing your city or even a country promotes that nationality or local pride unlike supporting a team that mainly represent a product. 
How about if we put the home court arena close to the company headquarters? 
That is an idea but we can’t always force its employees to watch the games or maybe pay overtime so they can extend already long hours of work to watch a basketball game. This won’t help especially if the league is trying to generate enough revenue.
The Verdict 
While PBA is the most popular league in the Philippines, it has failed to spread out its fans among other teams due to monopoly, imbalance exposures, and domination by a few teams. This prevented the league from growing hence they are unable to put good numbers of gate tickets on a none Ginebra game.  
As we speak teams may already be spending a lot of money and may not actually be getting enough returns on their investments. Building additional facilities or locating a good facility maybe is a task harder than anyone could imagine, not to mention the logistics and security that has to be implemented every time.  
Can you name 12 good basketball arenas in Manila or anywhere in the Philippines?
Anyway, the short answer to why home and away game will not work is: The PBA is not built for it. 

Ginebra’s Final Roster is Complete with the Return of John Wilson

John Wilson is back to where it all started for him in the PBA.

With the 2010 7th overall pick in the PBA, the Barangay Ginebra chose John Wilson of the Jose Rizal University.
This was the signal of the beginning of the career of the once highly touted John Wilson. He spent two years wearing the Ginebra uniform but did not actually lived up to the billing as he only averaged just about 3 points per game in his first two years and tallied his worst shooting career percentage with the Kings. Expectedly, he was shipped out to Air21 in his second year who also did not quite got what they were looking for.
Wilson was traded again to Meralco. His stint with the Bolts was his best year averaging as high as 8.5 points and playing almost 20 minutes per game.
Throughout his career, he was able to play with 5 teams including Ginebra, Air21, Meralco, NLEX and Phoenix. At the age of 30, he found himself looking for another team and fortunately he was given another chance.

Tim Cone picks John Wilson to fill the final roster spot for Ginebra. 

Wilson is getting his second chance at donning the jersey of the most popular basketball team in the Philippines and it is all because of hard work and dedication.
There are a number of players who tried out for the spot and above anyone else, showed better performance and a better fit for the current Ginebra team who is looking for a shooter who can help them improve their outside presence.
Wilson will sign to play for the current All Filipino Conference only, but we won’t be surprised to see him get an extension if he plays well with the team.

Do you think John Wilson is a good pick up or should Ginebra pick someone else instead?

Balls-Eye: What if Romeo Becomes Ginebra’s Primary Guard?

Not just being on the team, we’ll also talk about the foreseen possibilities of Terrence being the ‘main’ guard of the Gin Kings or in other words, replacing Tenyente L.A Tenorio. Quite interesting? Let us go check it out.

To start, let us have a quick comparison with these two great guards we have in the league. They are both point guards of course but in terms of scoring l, Romeo has the obvious advantage. Romeo seldom scores single digit every game while L.A, on the other hand, is much more focused on team play direction. Hence, he tends to pass more for his teammates.
So, what might happen if a more offensive point guard will take over Barangay Ginebra?
The totality of their offensive force will be affected of course especially ball rotation. Ginebra focuses on team play to generate baskets but not that much anymore if Terrence will be part of their team. Yet their production will not be solely affected.
Or is that really?
We all know how Terrence scores. Most of the time all by himself but is it really him? Or its just because of the team he is in?
It may be both. Because of him being in a ‘less productive’ team, he tends to be with the leather more than anyone else. Thus, the team carved him that way, a point guard who’ll try to score individually to suffice his team’s inefficiency.

Will this change if he’s in Ginebra?

Somehow. It’s not as though Ginebra is a less productive team. Ginebra is a team that can and had win championships. Hence, they have key players that can let the team win even before Romeo became part of the roster. As a result, Romeo being in the team, maybe a veteran but still he is a newbie as a kabarangay so maybe he won’t bring his individualistic offense on the go. 
If this happens, he’ll be a perfect addition to the team, he may not score that much all the time but still, he has the intensity to double up his performance whenever the team needs. 
Romeo can cut through defense, make extra passes and score outside or basically a perfect package of a great guard for any team.

Exclusive Video: Japeth Aguilar and Girlfriend Dives at Puerto Galera, What An Amazing View

Japeth Aguilar can fly but now he can also dive!

Japeth Aguilar getting ready to dive in the Puerto Galera water. 

Congratulations Japeth Aguilar! Now a Certified Open Water Diver

Photo from left Powcaster Eugene Tabuccol, Japeth Aguilar, Cassy Naidas, Rudolf Maeirhofer and Dive Master Mark Ilagan of Dive You Go
Just a few weeks before the PBA opening night, Japeth Aguilar is taking advantage of the days left of his hard-earned vacation, together with girlfriend Cassy Naidas and friend Rudolf Maeirhofer. They went to Puerto Galera in Mindoro for diving lessons.

Japeth Dives with Powcast

Japeth Aguilar Dives with Powcast.net photographer and member Eugene Tabucol who happens to also be a licensed diver tasked to document the diving session. From Sunday to Wednesday, Aguilar, who is known for his high flying acts in the PBA has added another feather in his cap by becoming a Certified Open Water Diver.
An open water diver course consists of three main phases: Knowledge Development to understand basic principles of scuba diving, Confined Water Dives to learn basic scuba skills and Open Water Dives to use your skills and explore!
Scuba diving is like driving a car, you can’t do it without a license or being certified.
Powcaster Eugene with Japeth Aguilar
Watch the video of Japeth Aguilar Diving!

If you want to learn how to dive please visit our friends from:

Balls-Eye: Will the Bolts Find Their Way to the Championship this Season?

1st Finals Appearance: Beaten by Ginebra on Game 6
2nd Final Appearance: Loss to Ginebra on Game 7

Meralco Bolts on Defense
The Bolts moved one game closer to the championship, being able to survive game number 6 that brought them to despair two seasons ago against the People’s Champ and Defending Champ Barangay Ginebra. With this seemingly sprouting improvement, will they be able to bag the ever delighted title?
Who knows? No one has the knowledge that would bring us to certainty but here are some good points that will help us predict Meralco’s possible fate this year.

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1 – Ginebra’s a lot weaker without Brownlee

The Gin Kings were able to bag their recent championships with a huge help of their ever trusted import Justin Brownlee. It is safe to say that they couldn’t have made it happen without this guy who shot a miraculous trey on game 6 for their 1st title and played huge all throughout the finals series up to the thrilling do or die game 7. But without Justin, which is Ginebra’s edge against other teams in the league. 
The defending Champs is a whole lot different team. The big line up makes them a lot slower and besides, the team winning championships in an importless cup with the present line up can barely be remembered.
But does this mean the Bolts can finally dethrone their Rival?

2 – So as the Bolts

If Ginebra is weaker with an all Filipino lineup, so as the Bolts with the same fact as Ginebra, not reaching the finals without the two tine best import Allen Durham. Durham is relentless offensively, much better than Brownlee’s scoring especially on the inside. Ginebra’s big men could match his size but not his quickness and skills so Durham is the conqueror of the shaded area.
Without Durham, the dominance of the Twin Towers Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar will prevail plus a backup support of the rebounding point guard Scottie Thompson.
But what if Bolts are a lot stronger than Brgy. Ginebra is in an all Filipino match up?

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3 – Ginebra isn’t Bolts’ only opponent

In fact, the biggest and most powerful team in the all Filipino league can be the San Miguel Beermen led by the 4 time MVP ‘The Kraken’ June Mar Fajardo and their ferocious outside gunners, Lassiter, Ross, and Cabagnot. Not to mention but the addition of Christian Standhardinger is but huge. It will be like facing a bit smaller version of the Kraken.

Conclusion

Bolts’ lineup is getting old and reinforcement of new legs is their necessity to win championships. Chris Newsome shall step up huge and play the point guard position effectively. Hodge must dominate the boards. Taking down the weaker Brgy Ginebra won’t be enough to win them championships.

Prediction

If Meralco Bolts can show that they have kept up against the San Miguel Beermen, they will make it to the finals once again, the rest is up to be predicted once they are on the final stage.

It’s Official: Jett Manuel is Now Part of the Ginebra San Miguel Roster, Contract Signed

The Jet is ready to take off with Ginebra after signing a one-year rookie contract

Jett Manuel shook hands with Alfrancis Chua 

The 12th pick of 2017 PBA draft by the Ginebra San Miguel has been signed to a one year contract.

The former UP Maroons is ready to prove that he belongs to the most popular ball club in the PBA Barangay Ginebra. Jett Manuel posted on his Twitter account earlier today a photo of him with SMC sports director and Barangay Ginebra board of governor Alfrancis Chua with the caption. 

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The twitter post officially confirmed that he is now a part of the Barangay Ginebra. 

Remembering Robert Jaworski Sr: Living Legend (The Legendary Highlights)

There is no denying that Robert Jaworski is the most popular Ginebra player ever and while he has been out of the game for a while now, he has continued to be a symbol to Barangay Ginebra players and fans.
As a tribute to the Living Legend, we are giving you this one of a kind highlight video that we found. Enjoy!
Former Senator, 1-time MVP, One of the best players to have ever played in the PBA Playing Coach Sonny Jaworski’s PBA highlights. 

Video Credits to: PBA, Vintage Sports, Music: Para Sa Masa by Eraserheads

The Curious Case of Chris Ellis: Have We Seen The Last of Him?

Will Airforce Ellis take flight again in the PBA?

Where is Chris Ellis? 

Chris Ellis was drafted in the PBA by Ginebra as the 6th overall pick in 2012. The 6’4 shooting guard from Oceanside, California immediately made an impact in the league as he charmed fans with good looks and his ability to take flight. 
In 2013, Chris Ellis further added a feather to his cap at an early stage in his career and became a PBA All-Star and a slam dunk champion. 
He was on his way. 

Chris Ellis’ career, however, didn’t quite take flight like his dunking ability. Averaging as high as only 8 points in his first year, his point average has dwindled down every year but his loyal following stuck with him. Unfortunately though, the team which drafted him has suddenly changed direction and traded him for Art Dela Cruz.

Crash Landing for Ellis

Chris Ellis spent a good five years with the most popular club in the PBA, Ginebra, and after all the experiences and the bonding moments the shooting guard has definitely developed a relationship with his teammates beyond basketball. The news about him being traded probably came as a surprised and unfortunately, most people think that he was not able to take it well enough.  His tweets, his none attendance at practice and being hospitalized only added to what seemed to be a fading career for Chris Ellis.


Will Airforce be back?

The Chris Ellis Saga is still ongoing but Blackwater Dioceldo Sy thinks it may be over. Blackwater has patiently waited for Chris Ellis but unfortunately, he is a hard man to come by these days and the management may have lost its patience and was looking to trade him again after showing no interest to play with Blackwater.

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Blackwater tried to trade Chris but there were no takers. As capable as he is, it looks like teams are looking beyond just the physical capability and the current state of Chris maybe questionable to other teams.
Ellis’ last cryptic message.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Did Chris Ellis already say goodbye? What is he up to these days? The above is the last official tweet of Ellis and while his PBA career might potentially be on hold, and according to his last tweet, Chris Ellis is still excited about his future. We do not know exactly if this future still includes basketball but what we do know that thousands of fans are hoping that he would come back and play again.
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Will Chris Ellis be back in the PBA?

Yes
I really hope so
Maybe
No
He has lost it
Not Sure
I don’t care

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Mark Caguioa’s 38th Birthday and his 38 Important Achievements

Mark Caguiao still got Spark

November 19, 2017 – At 38 years old, most professional basketball players would have called it quits but not Mark Caguioa. 
This will be the first time that Mark Caguioa will be without his buddy Jay-Jay Helterbrand. The two have formed one of the best duos in the PBA and this year, it has come to an end after Jay-Jay officially announced his retirement. 
Mark Caguioa was drafted in 2001 and is looking to play his 18th season in the PBA. Today, he celebrates his 38th birthday and to honor his achievements, we put together 38 Important Awards and Achievements for the Spark.

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Here they are: 


1 to 66× PBA champion (2004 Fiesta, 2005 Philippine, 2007 Philippine, 2008 Fiesta, 2016 Governors’, 2017 Governors’). Of course, Championship will always be on the top of the list after all, basketball players play to win them.

7: PBA Most Valuable Player (2012) – He received an MVP award in 2012, this is his best personal performance although he failed to win any championship this year.
8- 20: 12× PBA All-Star (2001, 2004–2008, 2011–2013, 2015–2017) – You would not call yourself a star if if you haven’t been a part of the All-Star, right? Mark has total of 12 appearances.
21. PBA Rookie of the Year (2001) – The start of a great thing for Mark as he made immediate impact in the league.
22-24: 3× Best Player of the Conference (2007 Philippine, 2012 Commissioner’s, 2012 Governors’) – Two of his best conference awards were the same year in which he won the MVP.
25- 27: 3× PBA scoring champion (2005, 2007, 2011) – Three years, Mark has led the PBA in scoring. While what he has accomplished back then is going to be difficult to redo at this stage of his career, Mark has never failed to give some scoring spark when his number is called. 

28-31:  3× Mythical First Team (2008, 2011, 2012) – Three times, he had been included as part of the best players in the PBA. 
32- 33: 2× Mythical Second Team (2005, 2007)
34: PBA Press Corp Comeback Player of the Year (2012)- The same year were he was crowned the MVP, he was also given the comeback player of the year award. 

35- 36: 2× PSA Professional Cager of the Year (2007, 2012)
37: Member of 9,000 PBA Career Points Club
38: PBA 40 Greatest Players

Balls-Eye: If Tenyente Retires, Who Can Lead Gin Kings?

LA Tenorio

First of all, there aren’t any rumors that L.A. Tenorio will retire. This is just a view of Barangay Ginebra with a different point guard making their plays. So here we go.
If there would be anyone to become Ginebra’s point guard replacing Tenorio on my view we have two potentials – Sol Mercado and Scottie Thompson. It is quite interesting for us to have some predictions on what the picture may look like with this entirely new offensive form so let us begin.

The Sol Train

Sol Mercado is known for his quick penetration through the defense – like a train, that’s why he has that nickname. 
He could shot outside but his specialty is really going hard to the basket and finish with a layup after passing the guards with his speed and agility. 
How about a point guard with that skill? Let us use some known reference like Russell Westbrook. Yes you are right, Westbrook can penetrate also using speed and agility to make great assists for his teammates. So as Sol Mercado, with his quick drives, he’ll draw much of the defense unto him and when attraction is fully established then there’ll be a quick kick out pass to an outside shooter or an extra inside pass to a big man like Greg Slaughter or Japeth Aguilar for an easy finish. 
Point guards who can penetrate can extremely shake up any defense to confusion if they’re the one to shoot or they’ll just pass. The fact is it cannot be predicted for the actions of Sol Mercado as this situation will be based on the reaction of the defense. If the defender becomes static long enough, then he’ll finish the play by himself, but, if the defense suddenly focused onto him then he’ll just find the best open man to finish the shot.

Quick Restart

If Sol Mercado has the agility, then Scottie Thompson is a very much different type of point guard. 
We all know what makes him special – rebounds. 
Imagine a point guard rebounding for his team’s misses. To even imagine the advantage of the scenario, let us use another general reference. Normally, if the first attempt miss, the center or forward is on duty to get an offensive rebound and then kick the ball out to the point guard to revert the offense and try to score again. 
But now, it is the point guard himself who can get his own rebounds for the team, thus there is a lesser time required for the offense to restart, after a play is made regardless of the shot being made or not, the defense will loosen up due to being focused if the ball will go down the rim or not, if this happens, let’s say the shot missed, then there’s Scottie for the board, the play maker already has the ball in his hand and is ready for restart whilst the defense will be rebuilt again, Ginebra will be one step ahead during second chance points.
L.A., Scottie and Sol are very different players providing a very diverse set of attacking schemes for the team. 
The point guard directs the flow but it is still up to the man who touches the ball last if the play will count and make the difference.

Balls-Eye: Tim Cone on Ginebra for another Grand Slam?

Predictions had come out almost everywhere after Barangay Ginebra won another title against rival Meralco Bolts. Questions like: Is this the Ginebra Dynasty? Who can shut down the Gin kings?
All of these questions may or will fall under one big umbrella question: Will the Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel arise for a grand slam?
Let us talk about the possibilities. And if still impossible, how can they thrive to make this wild dream a reality?
In my own view, winning a Grand Slam would be possible for Barangay Ginebra if and only if they will win a title in the Philippine Cup. 
Currently, they’d won championships with the help of Justin Brownlee. I am not saying that Ginebra solely relies on Brownlee to win matches and leagues but it just seems that they could win this far when they are with their core import who led them to 2 championships against the Bolts.
Adding up even just one strong player on a roster will always spell a huge difference on how the team’s general perspective of play will flow and so as removing one.  Ginebra with Brownlee and Ginebra without Brownlee are two different teams. It changes their plays and changes their primary lineups.
If Brownlee affects the lineups, then the player that will take Brownlee’s place shall suffice the offense needed by the team. It’s Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter who is affected whenever Brownlee is on the court. Now, without Brownlee, one or both of these guys must step up given that they’ll have more time to play. The twin towers shall be the main gun inside without their import.

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Will it be enough for a Grand Slam?

Winning a grand slam is a totally different story as compared to winning a championship. If a game requires consistency every minute, a championship requires consistency every game, a grand slam requires consistency the whole season. Now if you would ask for that stepping up of the twin towers being enough? Well, who knows?
It’s not as though it is their first time playing together for the Barangay. They have played many games and cups together and they seem quite effective for the team. Yet, their effectiveness still did not bring them the grand slam. It’s their rival San Mig Coffee Mixers who managed to bag one under Coach Tim Cone.
While Gregzilla was off the league for a long time, this became a great opportunity for Japeth Aguilar for improvement. He became the primary man of Ginebra’s interior. Now that Slaughter is back, it will seem like Ginebra has two Slaughters and a Japeth Aguilar.
Possibilities are getting high for Ginebra to win a Grand Slam. With an improved Aguilar, a recovered Slaughter and a 2 time Grand Slam Coach Tim Cone, all that’s left to do is to win a title without an import and they are all set to their voyage to the ultimate championship.

Balls-Eye: Did Barangay Ginebra Prove Themselves Already After Winning the Championship?

The champions will be the one who’ll stay alive in the bloody battlefield, but some extraordinary warriors survived.

Justin Brownlee passes to Greg Slaughter
It is Barangay Ginebra once again who remained standing after a very ferocious finals rematch against the Meralco Bolts squad, but did they manage to shut down everyone completely?
Despite winning two consecutive finals series against the hungry Allen Durham and the Meralco Bolts, why does it seem that Brgy Ginebra still is not the most immovable object in the league?
Those were lingering questions right after June Mar Fajardo bagged another MVP award. The Kraken’s just relentless and not leveled to any other player in the league as he managed to snatch the award out of reach of those guys who reached the finals.

So did Barangay Ginebra finally shut down the Kraken? Obviously, no.

They may have defeated the Beermen in the series but they failed to achieve absolute dominance in the league, because if they have overpowered everyone, then more or less one of the players in the team will bag the MVP award.

If there’ll be a guy who can equal the unimaginable firepower inside the gigantic body of Fajardo, well it would be another titanic athlete – Greg Slaughter. Gregzilla’s JuneMar’s biggest and closest matchup in the league – size, style of play and perhaps almost every aspect. Greg Slaughter’s comeback after recovery spelled the difference between their extraordinary to ultimate form. Another main gun that may completely cease the Kraken’s conquering quest is in the hands of Japeth Aguilar.

Why? He’s got the size and athleticism and of these three big men, he perhaps is the best shooter, which is his advantage. Not all guys that big be able to deliver from the perimeter.

Japeth may bring June Mar into a battlefield that’s very uncomfortable for the Kraken.
Ginebra won amazing championships. They already have proven themselves but we are all waiting for them to achieve complete dominance in the league and in this era.

The Kings has the trigger waiting to be clicked to unleash the beasts even more perilous than the Kraken we know.

Outrageous Ginebra Tattoo by Fans: Out of Control According to Jayjay Helterbrand

Jay-jay has retired in basketball so fans did this to remember him

Jayjay Helterbrand at 41 has finally said his goodbye as a basketball player. 

The Former MVP, All-Star, and 6-time PBA Champion have accomplished a lot in his basketball career and he has done all of these feat wearing just one jersey. 
A long time Ginebra player, he has embedded himself into the life of the much loyal Ginebra fans including some of the crazy ones who couldn’t get enough of Jayjay that they had to mark themselves with a Helterbrand tattoo.
Jayjay will always be remembered as the other half of the fast and the furious tandem and in the upcoming season of the PBA, that tandem will never be seen on the basketball court again. Perhaps when Mark Caguiao retires, the same people who had a Jayjay Helterbrand tattoo might also consider having Mark Caguiao tattoed beside it.  
That would be crazier and much cooler!
Jayjay Helterbrand (@officialJJ13) tweeted at 9:58 PM on Sun, Nov 05, 2017:
Yo this is getting out of control! Hahaha

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Ginebra’s Scottie and Aljon’s Risky Move Outside the Court for an Instagram Worthy Photo

Scottie Thompson and Aljon Mariano Get the Right Shot!

Ginebra Scottie Thompson and Aljon Mariano
Scottie Thompson and Aljon Mariano of the Barangay Ginebra gets a well-deserved vacation after a worthy performance in the recent championship series against Meralco Bolts that earned them their first back to back championship.
During those times, Scottie Thompson hit some critical shots and it looks like he is not done taking some of them and this time their weapon of choice is a handy mobile phone.
Recently getting a hefty bonus from SMB principals looks like the two decided to spend some of their hard earned money on a relaxing vacation.

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How Much are the Actual Ginebra Championship Bonuses?

Barangay Ginebra celebrated a back to back Governors Cup Title and the principals were in the mood for giving

Just what you can do or buy with the bonuses given to the players?

Last week, Ginebra captured their first back to back Governors Cup Championship. A few days ago,  they celebrated with the fans and today, Ginebra players are either buying a new car, a vacation house or enjoying their hard earned bonus money. 

But just how much money did the players actually get?

According to a good friend and a Ginebra insider, each players were given different amounts of bonuses depending on their salaries and performances during the finals. So, you can safely say that Justin Brownlee and LA Tenorio are the most fortunate. The rest of the players, however, seems very happy as well with what they got. The big boss of SMC is looking to make an impression to the players to keep them motivated or in Ginebra term “Ganado”.

We were told that the equivalent amount could be 10x more their salaries so if you are the kind of player who is getting about 400,000 every month then this would mean that you got about 4 million bonus. You can either buy an SUV, make a down payment for a house, or take a long vacation somewhere in the Caribbean.

***Disclaimer: all figures and approximations are not verified***
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What would you do if you got a million peso bonus?

Buy a jewelry
Go on a vacation
Downpayment for a house
Downpayment for a car
Give to my parents
Save it

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Why Barangay Ginebra Will Be the Champion Tonight!

Kudos to Meralco But this Trophy Belongs to Ginebra

The headline after game 6, if  Meralco Bolts Starters fail to contribute as Norman Black hoped for.

Barangay Ginebra 2017 Governors Cup Finals

Before we get started, take your cellphone flashlights up and let’s walk down the memory lane to last year’s Ginebra championship run against the same team they are facing today.

If history repeats itself then we better charge our cell phone batteries as we get ready for darkness because Meralco will be shut down tonight. 

As Ginebra faithfuls reminisce the memory of last year’s fateful night, it does, on the other hand, haunt the Bolts fans. Tonight, the game 6 of the 2017 PBA Governors Cup is a chance for Ginebra to defend the title and accomplish a feat that has never been done by the franchise. A back to back championship. On the flipside, Meralco is looking to extend the series and prevent history from repeating itself.
October 25, 2017, 7 pm, at the Philippine Arena, get ready for a stream of heavy traffic and basketball fun as this basketball-crazy country unite at one of the biggest arenas in the world for a possible last game of the 2017 PBA season. With the best of seven series at 3-2 in favor of Ginebra, the 55,000 capacity arena may be put to test as they try to conclude the series today.
We talked about a lot of stats in our previous articles but today we will give you our analysis mostly based on gut feeling and observation. We know we are taking a risk on this but we equally love to get those hate messages.

Why Ginebra will win today?

I personally think Ginebra will secure the win today! I know that Tim Cone and his crew are treating game 6 as a do or die game much like how Meralco will be playing tonight, the only difference is Ginebra has been really the better team in the series even during their losses. Even at the time Meralco last won in the series, Ginebra was shooting better. 
While Meralco’s got a number of talents on their roster, it isn’t exactly working as Norman Black hoped for especially in the last game when none of the starters of the team were able to produce double-digit scoring contribution. Ginebra, on the other hand, has been enjoying the benefits of having a deep and tall line up that steps up when it’s number is called. Take for example Greg Slaughter stepping up for Japeth Aguilar, Mark Caguiao providing a spark, so on and so forth.
Tim Cone also looked like he is ready to die for a championship as he emphatically shows appreciation and frustrations to players on the sideline. In the last game, Tim Cone was seen throwing a chair during the huddle as if to show his dismay and at the same time his desire to not let go of the situation.
Lastly, we know Ginebra will be banking on the crowd support that’s evidently always there for them. A win tonight will be a win for the majority of basketball fans in the Philippines.

How can  Meralco extend the series?

While I think Ginebra will get it done tonight, Meralco could still come up with a jolt of power which can extend the series but it would be much tougher than their first two wins. Meralco needs to be perfect and their starters need to be consistent especially from the outside. The Bolts cannot afford any short circuits. Durham needs to continue his exemplary basketball play and the locals need to complement him. 
If their outside shooting clicks for Meralco tonight, then they may have a chance of extending the series to a game 7, otherwise, it may already be lights out for them.

By the Numbers: Meralco’s Mess Cost them in Game 5

And Allen Durham was all alone. Again

Allen Durham had another Best Import awardee performance but wasn’t enough. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

Poor, Allen Durham. He scored 27 points and grabbed 19 rebounds- 8 on the offensive end, all while playing for more than 44 minutes in last night’s Game 5 of the best-of-seven Finals series and yet, the Meralco Bolts are just one loss away from another disappointing Finals exit. We cannot blame Allen Durham alone, folks because he is the lone light that was shining for Meralco all series long. Take that lone light and the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings would have won the championship in 4 games.
Now, let’s not play the blame game and focus on the numbers alone. Why? If you were able to watch Game 5 last night, then you know how messy the rest of the Meralco Bolts, both offensively and defensively. To explain the mess  that hurt the Bolts’ chances of entering Game 6 with a chance to clinch their first-ever championship in franchise history, this basketball pundit on wheels listed down three important statistics that the Bolts clearly messed up, big time:

50 Points in the Paint for Ginebra

If you allow a team filled with big men standing at 7 foot to score 50 points in the shaded area, you cannot expect your team to win. Yes, folks, the Bolts’ ever soft defense against the big men of the Gin Kings enabled the latter to bully their way into the paint and score 50 points in the process. Justin Brownlee and company were able to penetrate through the embarrassing defense of Meralco as they were able to score on all sorts of shots whether it’s a high-flying dunk or an acrobatic lay-up from LA Tenorio. Bad defense + bad offense= bad game overall.

33 Attempts from Rainbow Country

One of the main weapons that the Meralco could have fully utilized to their advantage is their ability to make it rain from deep. In Game 5, yes, they were able to make 9 three-pointers, 6 more than what Gineba. The problem was, Meralco heavily relied on their sharpshooters who missed 24 of the 33 attempts that the Bolts took from rainbow country. Let this basketball pundit on wheels emphasize that: Meralco attempted 33 attempts. From the three-point line. No wonder why they lost.

20 Turnovers

During the first four games of the series, it was Ginebra who was more careless with the ball every time they had the ball possession. In Game 5, it was the Meralco Bolts who were either showing their carelessness or were defended well by the Gin Kings as the former committed 20 turnovers. 5 of those 20 turnovers came from Allen Durham and we cannot blame him either for that. He was the only one consistently and diligently carrying the load for the Bolts so it’s only natural and human for him to commit mistakes especially when the Gin Kings threw two defenders at Durham. As a result of those Meralco turnovers, Ginebra was able to score 23 points off those turnovers and that was huge for the Gin Kings. 

Conclusion

Meralco will have two choices to make come Game 6 on Wednesday: clean up their mess and play like the league’s top-seeded team entering this conference’s playoffs to force a Game 7 or, create more mess and watch platoons of red-shirted fans celebrate as the balloons fall from the ceiling of the Philippine Arena, all while Ginebra hoists up the Governors’ Cup championship trophy. 

By the Numbers: 3 Electrifying Reasons Why Sweep is No More for Ginebra

And they can only blame themselves for it

LA Tenorio had 5 of Ginebra’s 19 turnovers in Game 3. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau) 
After winning the first two games of the best-of-7 finals series, a sweep was inevitable for the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings. In fact, even after the defending champions dominated the series opener, there were already predictions being made by fans that the Gin Kings would sweep the series and take their second successive Governors’ Cup championship in a snap. Nope. No sweep. No celebration for the Gin Kings just yet as the Meralco Bolts found their shooting touch in time for Game 3 and beat the champs, 94-81 to extend this series to a Game 5, to say the least.
There were many things that went terribly wrong for Ginebra but let us focus on the three main reasons that doomed them in Game 3 and their chances for a sweep:

41 Heavy Minutes for Justin Brownlee

Time and again, Game 3 saw the Gin Kings tendency to rely on their import, Justin Brownlee who had to play for 41 minutes last night. 
That- despite the fact that Brownlee wasn’t shooting efficiently the entire game as he only made 7 of 20 field goals en route to finishing 15 points, his lowest in the series, so far. He also missed 3 of his 4 attempts from deep and also turned the ball over, 3 times.  
This failed Ginebra in many ways primarily because it took away the height advantage that the Gin Kings hold against the Bolts as the Twin Towers of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar played for 29 and 28 minutes respectively Although both giants combined for 26 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks, they could have produced more had Tim Cone employed to give them more minutes. But that was Tim Cone’s call to make. 

19 Turnovers

In any game of basketball at any given league, you turn the ball over, you lose an opportunity to score and you give your opponents that opportunity to score at the other end. That was what exactly happened last night. 
The Bolts forced Ginebra to uncharacteristically commit 19 turnovers which the former converted into 14 points. LA Tenorio had 5 of those miscues. Those 19 turnovers can be looked at two different ways: either Meralco was defending well or, the Gin Kings were occasionally careless every time they had the possession of the orange. Either way, turnovers hurt them in Game 3 and will hurt them tomorrow if they control their turnover number.

10 Offensive Rebounds

One evidence that the Gin Kings failed to take advantage of their height advantage in Game 3: they weren’t aggressive in getting those offensive rebounds as they only managed to grab 10 rebounds on the offensive end. The Bolts, smaller team, grabbed 17 offensive boards. The only plus point in this was that Ginebra was the more aggressive team in terms of scoring more on those second chances as evident by their 13-7 advantage in second-chance points. 

Conclusion

Make no mistake, folks. The Gin Kings are expected to go all-out come tomorrow’s Game 4 and when that happens, the Bolts can only pray that their threes will hit their target because if not, then the balloon and the confetti will fall upon the fans come Game 5 at the Philippine Arena- assuming that Ginebra goes on to win Game 5, too. 

By the Numbers: Ginebra’s Tinyente Producing Useful Numbers Despite Being Injured

His sacrifices are paying off as the Gin Kings moved closer to title after Game 2

LA Tenorio has been playing through pain during the entire Governors’ Cup. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

Like him or hate him, Lewis Alfred Tenorio deserves a drop of your praise, regardless of which team you are rooting for. Why? In case you are not familiar, if Tenorio looks healthy to you because he has been vital to the success that the defending champions who are 2 wins away from another Governors’ Cup championship, think again. The truth is, Tenorio has been playing all conference long with a problematic elbow which has occasionally hurt his performance but not his desire to play, never his heart to win. In fact, Tinyente had the choice to undergo a surgery but decided to wait until the end of the current conference- a decision he made during the 3-week break back in August.
There’s no doubt in every Ginebra fan that it was LA Tenorio’s 3-point basket with 67 seconds left in Game 2 that took the life out of the Meralco Bolts as part of the Gin Kings’ 17-1 fourth-quarter run. 5 of those 17 points in the dying minutes of the game came from the hurting Tenorio who even joked he prayed for a divine intervention when he took that long-distance shot with barely 2 seconds left on the shot clock. Swish! Fortunately for Tenorio, fortunately for Ginebra, the basketball gods answered their prayers and lett the shot hit its target.
Now, in case you need a reminder of how Tenorio performed during the first two games of the best-of-7 series, below are the numbers:

12 Points per Game   

Despite his elbow problem, Tenorio has been able to score in double-digits in both games, averaging 12 points per game while making 35% of his attempts including 40% from deep. From a personal perspective, this basketball pundit on wheels thinks that 35% shooting of Tenorio is acceptable than the 3-point shooting percentage of the entire Meralco Bolts because, at the very least, Tenorio is making the most out of his attempts while the Bolts are engaged in a brick shooting spree. 

3 Assists per Game

LA Tenorio is first and foremost, one of the best floor generals and playmakers that the league has ever seen in its entire existence. Playing in the Finals is no longer new to him and despite his injury, he dished out 5 dimes in the series opener en route to a dominant win by the Gin Kings. 
That number diminished to a single assist in Game 2 and part of that was the fact that the rest of the team were either well-defended or having an off-night. But that 1 assist that he had last Sunday doesn’t take anything from Tenorio at all because we all know that he can create scoring opportunities for his teammates. It’s now up to his teammates to finish the plays off those nice passes from Tinyente.

Conclusion:

Playing through pain, leading his team to victory, these are the things that Ginebra should appreciate of LA Tenorio. If anything, he continues to personify the “Never Say Die” mantra that the Gin Kings have been loved and hated for. Tenorio even joked that he might have missed the last 3-pointer in Game 2 had he was healthy. 
At the end of the day, Tenorio will be a vital piece to Ginebra’s offense because he is Tim Cone’s extension on the court that’s why the Gin Kings should be thankful that the former decided to wait until the end of the season before dealing with his injury.  
Regardless if healthy or not, Lewis Alfred Tenorio is one guy you should take seriously. In a game of basketball, size doesn’t matter. Heart does. 

A Wheeler’s Opinion: Can Meralco Power Themselves Back?

Or will the Bolts lose their charge against the champs

Jared Dillinger  Meralco Bolts vs Ginebra

Allen Durham can’t do it all alone. There’s no way he can possibly do it. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

Two games. Gone. Two games. Lost. 
If you’re a fan of the Meralco Bolts, then you are definitely praying that the Bolts will win tomorrow’s Game 3 because first and foremost, Meralco is playing against the defending champions, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, the same team who beat the Bolts in last year’s championship series of the PBA Governors’ Cup, and secondly, only one PBA team has forced a Game 7 after burying themselves in a 0-3 hole and yet, went on to win the championship. 
That team was the San Miguel Beermen who accomplished the feat against the Alaska Aces during the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup. Unless Norman Black and his wards can somewhat find a way to borrow the auras of the Beermen who did it, it’s not recommended that the Bolts put themselves in a silly position because they are currently in a disadvantageous position, to begin with- owing to the gigantic height advantage that the Gin Kings hold. Also, the Bolts are playing a complete Ginebra team this time around with the Best Player of the Conference Greg Slaughter back, healthy and playing.
After faltering, yet again in Game 2 which saw the Gin Kings win, 86-76 to move the Ginebra two wins away from the title, Meralco on the other hand, is still searching for answers, and more importantly, for more made baskets. Why? The Bolts went 13 of 57 from long distance in the first two games of the best-of-7 series, a horrible 24% shooting. The way the Bolts were playing, they appeared to be engaged in a brick-building contest instead of an actual basketball game because they were shooting bricks in both games, literally and figuratively. When they couldn’t find a way to attack the paint, they would settle to shoot threes. And they missed. A lot.
Coming into Game 3, the question in the title can be looked in two, different ways:

Yes. The Bolts will regain the charge that enabled them to get back to the Finals

For this to happen, Jared Dillinger must score, not just consistently but, score more baskets. It doesn’t matter how many shots you’d miss in a game as long as you make some, too and, help the team get the win. In case of Dillinger, he took 11 shots, 9 from the outside, in Game 1 while only making 2. In Game 2, he had 7 attempts including 5 from the 3-point line, and only made 1 of those 7 field goal attempts. Many basketball analysts are claiming that Dillinger will be the x-factor for Meralco in this series owing to the fact that he wasn’t around the last time when Ginebra beat Meralco in 6 games to win the former’s first championship in 8 years. 
X-factor, they say? Jared Dillinger has become more like a liability to the offense of the Bolts.
Given the fact that Jared Dillinger is struggling, the Bolts must now lean on outside of Best Import awardee, Allen Durham, to get the offense going because Allen Durham can only do so much and he can’t carry the entire Meralco team on his back. Chris Newsome must regain his awesome self.  Baser Amer must find a way not to be trapped by the defense of Ginebra when running pick-and-roll plays. Ranidel De Ocampo must now prove that he can provide the leadership, especially in the 4th quarter and score when needed.  And more importantly, the bench must provide the needed spark especially when the starters are resting. 
The Bolts must find a way to regain that spark which enabled them to finish the elimination round on top, eliminate the Blackwater Elite who forced a do-or-die match in the quarterfinals and, sweep the Star Hotshots in the semifinals. They need the spark tomorrow and they need that spark to be as powerful as possible.
or

No. The Bolts don’t have the enough to power to dethrone Ginebra

Height. Heart. Hustle. These are the three H that the Bolts don’t have against the defending champions. 

Height

Sure, the Bolts shut down Greg Slaughter to 3 points just a few hours after officially winning the Best Player of the Conference award. But Greg Slaughter wasn’t the lone giant in the Ginebra roster that the Bolts need to worry about. Justin Brownlee had 19 points, Japeth Aguilar and Joe Devance scored 16 and 10 respectively. The Gin Kings know how to use their height advantage against the Bolts. It’s like a 3-headed dragon. You take one head. There are two more. Perfect monster, isn’t it?

Heart

Ginebra proved in Game 2 that “Never Say Die” is more than just a mantra. At one point, the Gin Kings were down 9 points but they clamped down on defense and came back to win the game- with a little prayer as LA Tenorio admitted it when he drained that long-distance bomb that was proven to be the game-winner. 

Hustle

In Game 2, Brownlee had 13 rebounds. Scottie Thompson had 9, 4 on the offensive end. Aguilar added 8 rebounds. The entire Ginebra team had 13 offensive rebounds which they converted into 13 second-chance points. They also had 9 steals and blocked 7 shots while forcing 21 Meralco turnovers. If this performance is not hustling for you, then what else can you call it?

Conclusion:

Let’s make this one real simple, folks. Ginebra’s height advantage won’t disappear in a snap. Allen Durham can carry 40+ points if needed but there’s a limit to everything. The Bolts can only hope, and pray to the basketball gods that Jared Dillinger will tear a page from Ray Allen’s playbook and become the shooter the Bolts need him to be. Otherwise, it will be a sweep. 

By the Numbers: 3 Flaws Ginebra Can’t Show in Game 3

Because they were lucky that Meralco was shooting bricks in Game 2

Greg Slaughter’s limited production is one of the reasons why Ginebra didn’t dominate Game 2. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

Whether Ginebra fans around the world will admit it or not, the defending champions’ Game 2 86-76 victory over the Meralco Bolts which gave them a 2-0 series lead, showed some flaws which could hurt Ginebra’s chances of winning back-to-back titles if they continue to play the same way come Game 3 on Wednesday. 
Given the mere fact that Ginebra’sa biggest lead was at 10 points, many were saying, including this basketball pundit on wheels that the Gin Kings have either gone softer in Gane 2 or, the Bolts were simply defending better than they did in Game 1. Regardless of which was what, the Gin Kings can’t afford to show the same flaws in Game 3 and beyond because yes, a 2-0 lead means they are halfway done but it can be erased in a snap.
What are those flaws that this basketball pundit is saying? Let’s run the numbers then:

1 Assist for LA Tenorio

Okay. Let’s begin this one by saying that it was actually the late-game heroics of Lewis Alfred Tenorio lifted the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings in last night’s win particularly in the dying minutes of the 4th quarter when the crowd darlings were holding a slim margin. It was Tinyente’s three-pointer which gave Ginebra, a 6-point cushion approaching the final minute of the contest. That bomb proved to be the game-winner as Meralco faltered the rest of the way, fading away exactly like they did in the opener.
In the end, Tenorio had 14 points while 3 of his 9 attempts from deep. That was relatively a good shooting percentage especially if you got the big W. The flaw: Tenorio only had 1 ASSIST in almost 35 minutes of action. In Game 1, Tenorio had fewer points but got 5 assists. This basketball pundit isn’t saying that Tenorio shouldn’t shoot the ball because Tenorio is first and foremost, a good shooter to begin with. But Ginebra also needs his playmaking abilities which made him one of the best floor generals in the first play.
Now that 1 assist that Tenorio had last night can be looked at two scenarios: Either he wasn’t passing enough or, he was passing but his teammates weren’t taking advantage of those passes. Either way, the Gin Kings will need more from Tinyente if they want to finish this series and celebrate, as soon as Friday.

3 Points for Greg Slaughter

As this basketball pundit on wheels has been mentioning in most of his articles, Greg Slaughter’s performance will play an important role in this championship run. He may have won the Best Player of the Conference award before tip-off, beating fellow Cebuano, June Mar Fajardo, but if anything, his 3 points and the Best Player of the Conference award didn’t add up. Gregzilla only made 1 of his 6 field goals, went 1 of 3 from the free throw line and, turned the ball over 4 times in 33 minutes of play. Now you tell this basketball pundit, is this how you perform after winning the Best Player of the Conference award? 
Fortunately for the Gin Kings, Japeth Aguilar was playing more efficiently than the other half of Ginebra’s Twin Towers. In just 28 minutes of action, Aguilar accumulated 16 points to go along with 8 rebounds, a steal and a block. However, if you want to win a championship against a smaller Meralco team, one thing you can do is to take advantage of your height, right? In Game 2, the Gregzilla wasn’t dominating in any other way which explains why Ginebra wasn’t able to dominate in the entire game. 

10 Missed Free Throws for Ginebra

Let’s remember the one fact that Nash Racela hates the most: Ginebra is good at drawing fouls. Now, if you can consistently draw fouls from defenders, free throws will be awarded to you especially if the other team has already reached the limit for the number of fouls in a quarter. 
Last night’s Game 2 saw the Gin Kings attempt 21 charities. The flaw was: the Gin Kings missed 10 of those freebies. While that stat won’t matter to fans as long as their team gets the big W, it will matter to Tim Cone. 
It will also matter to Norman Black because he can employ a “Hack-a-Scottie” strategy because Scottie Thompson shot 2 of 9 from the line last night- making the 2 charities in the closing minutes to widen the cushion of the Gin Kings. Despite the win, there’s no way you can miss 7 straight free throws and make 2 at the endgame because given how close the final score was, Ginebra was already lucky that Meralco was clanking all night long from the three-point line. 
If Ginebra is good at drawing multiple fouls from multiple defenders, then they should be able to make more free throws, right?

Conclusion:

If Ginebra wants to celebrate by Friday night, a good outing in Game 3 is a must. Fortunately, they have the winningest coach in the history of the PBA in Tim Cone at the helm. 
One way or another, he will find ways to make Ginebra get back its dominating ways come Wednesday and when that happens, the Meralco Bolts will be in a terrible situation and mind you, folks, not everyone can win a championship by erasing a 0-3 series deficit. 

Check out last game highlights: Meralco vs. Ginebra | PBA Governor’s Cup 2017 

(video courtesy of YouTube/Sports5)

Best Import Goes to Durham but Ginebra Takes Game 2

Tenorio’s heroics moved the Gin Kings two wins away from another title

Japeth Aguilar picked up the slack left by a struggling Greg Slaughter. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

One squad is aiming to take another step closer to the championship. On the other side, another team is aiming to regain their shooting touch after shooting bricks especially from the outside in the series opener. 
After a dominant win the last time around, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings walk into Game 2 with one goal: bury the Meralco Bolts into a 0-2 hole.The only question: Will the defending champions dominate the Bolts like they did after a 102-87 victory in the previous encounter? Or will Jared Dillinger hit his targets this time around after going 1 of 9 from the rainbow country last Friday?
Prior to tip-off, Allen Durham officially received his second consecutive Best Import award while Greg Slaughter won the Best Player of the Conference after missing a big chunk of last season after being advised by doctors to undergo a season-ending surgery for an injury.
With the Meralco Bolts yet again, settling to take more outside shots which yet again, mostly missed, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, through the late game heroics of one of the smallest guys on the court, LA “Tinyente” Tenorio, were able to come through with an 86-76 victory over the Bolts to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-7 championship series.
The offense of both squads started out flat as the score was tied at 4 apiece 4 minutes into the opening quarter. Later, a double-alley-loop play that was finished by an Allen Durham dunk gave the Bolts, a 4-point edge which was followed by a Ginebra timeout. 
Ginebra tied the game at 8 apiece but then Meralco went on a 9-0 run which was highlighted by a three-pointer by Jared Dillinger and a lay-up by Cliff Hodge to give the Bolts, a 17-8 advantage with under 5 minutes to go as Tim Cone called for another timeout. The Gin Kings responded with 6 unanswered points which narrowed the gap to 17-14. Both teams were able to pick up the pace the rest of the quarter as Meralco held a 24-18 lead after 1. Ginebra had yet to click from outside while Meralco already 2 of their 3 attempts from deep in the first quarter alone: one from Dillinger and the other one from Mike Tolomia.
Garvo Lanete began the second quarter by making a three-pointer, increasing the Bolts’ lead to 9 anew but Ginebra refused to be buried early on as the Gin Kings clamped down on D and scored the next 6 points to come within 3, at 27-24 on Mark Caguioa’s basket and Norman Black called a timeout.Then, Kevin Ferrer, the masked man of the Gin Kings, buried a trey to give the lead back to Ginebra, 31-27 with 6:07 to go as Ginebra was in a middle of a 13-0 scoring blast which held Meralco scoreless for almost 3 minutes. 
Finally, the Bolts broke their silence after Allen Durham scored on the inside but turnovers and taking contested shots mired their offense which hampered them too back in Game 1. Fortunately, Baser Amer followed 2 consecutive baskets by Durham with a lay-up of his own to tie the game at 33 all with under 5 minutes before the halftime break. Ginebra then took advantage of their heights as they scored on the 3 different possessions which gave them a 5 point lead with under 2 minutes to play in the first half. Both squads walked into their respective locker rooms for the halftime break with Ginebra holding a slim margin, at 40-37.
Japeth Aguilar led the way for the champs with 10 points and 5 rebounds while Justin Brownlee had 7 points and 7 boards in the first two quarters. Bench production was one of the major keys for the Gin Kings in the first half as the bench of Ginebra was led by Mark “The Spark” Caguioa’s 6 points.
Allen Durham, officially a 2-time Best Import awardee, had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists in the first half. Chris Newsome had already surpassed his points total in Game 1 as he already had 8 in the first half of Game 2 on 4 of 5 field goal shooting. Aside from shooting better than they did in the series opener, Meralco was also able to take advantage of their opportunities to score on the break as evidenced by their 10 fastbreak points.
Allen Durham began the 2nd half by attacking the paint but Ginebra defenders were able to block him and force another Meralco turnover in the process. 
Both teams struggled to get anything going during the first two minutes of the quarter until Baser Amer broke the dry spell on a floater to bring his team with 1 as Allen Durham drained the Bolts’ first two charities of the game to bring Meralco up, 41-40. 
Off a Ginebra miss, Chris Newsome threw a lob to Allen Durham who finished the play with a slam to make it 43-40 as the Gin Kins remained scoreless for almost 4 minutes during that time- a dry spell that was finally broken by Japeth Aguilar who slammed it home. On the next Meralco possession, Ranidel De Ocampo nailed his first trey in two games to make it 48-42. 
Later in the quarter when Meralco was up by 4 points, Scottie Thompson, who was miserable in the free throw line drained a three-pointer to decrease the lead to 51-52 but Durham answered right back with 4 straight points. 
Both teams then missed most of their next shots until Justin Brownlee tied the game at 57 all with under a minute to play in the third quarter but Garvo added another three-pointer during the closing moments of the quarter to give the Bolts, a 62,57 going into the fourth period. After attempting ZERO free throws in the entire first half, Meralco shot 11 of 13 free throws in the 3rd quarter alone.
The Gin Kings scored the first 7 points to open the final quarter to regain the lead, at 64-62 only to be answered by a long 2 from Ranidel De Ocampo to tie the game then Baser Amer made it 66-64 on another jumper during the early minutes of the quarter. A sprinting Amer later gave the Bolts, a 73-67 edge on a lay-up which led to Tim Cone calling a timeout approaching the 7-minute mark of the 4th quarter. Meralco still struggled to make their threes like they did in the first game as Justin Brownlee brought Ginebra just down at 75-73 entering the final 4 minutes of the game- a play which forced Norman Black to call a timeout. Refusing to disappear, Justin Brownlee added an inside basket to tie the game at 75 all as LA Tenorio gave the Gin Kings their first taste of the lead in a very long time on a lay-up that made it 77-75 with under 3 to play.
With Ginebra holding a slim margin, Scottie Thompson was fouled by Baser Amer, was sent to the free throw line and drained both charities which increased the lead to 4 with 1:42 to play, to the delight of the fans. Around that time, the defense of Ginebra was actually holding Meralco scoreless for more than 4 minutes until RDO lifted the spell by draining a free throw.
After Jared Dillinger uncharacteristically missed two freebies, the Gin Kings wasted away the clock then the ball landed at the hands of Lewis Alfred Tenorio who drained a long one- with barely 2 seconds left on their shot clock, to give the champs, a 76-62 advantage with 67 seconds left on the clock.To make things worse, Baser Amer tripped and turned the ball over coming off a timeout and the Bolts were forced to foul. Tenorio drained both free throws as the lead ballooned to 76-64 with barely a minute to play. After yet again, another Meralco miss, Justin Brownlee drained another pair of charities to eliminate any chances of a comeback for the Bolts.
Justin Brownlee followed up his performance in Game 1 with 19 points, 13 rebounds and 7 in yet again, another all-around game. Japeth Aguilar stepped up big time to make up for the struggles of Greg Slaughter as the former had 16 points and 8 boards. Slaughter was limited to three points on 1 of 6 field goal shooting Tenorio, arguably the hero of Game 2, added 14 points but had to bleed for his points as he made 5 of his 12 shots which include 3 of 9 from beyond the arc. So how did the Gin Kings win this game despite the struggles from notable players? Anwer: Defense. They limited the Bolts to only make a lowly 36% of their 79 attempts which also include a horrible 21% three-point shooting.
Allen Durham, despite his 25 points and 22 rebounds, failed to knot the series at one game apiece as the Bolts will have two games to prepare for Game 3 especially if they want to make a series out of this one. Both Baser Amer and Ranidel De Ocampo had 10 points each while Jared Dillinger was clanking all night along as he only made 1 out of 7 field goal attempts which a three, one of his 5 attempts from that area. No wonder why they lost. Again.
Scores:
Ginebra
Brownlee 19, J. Aguilar 16, Tenorio 14, Devance 10, Thompson 9, Mercado 6, Caguioa 6, Ferrer 3, Slaughter 3, Helterbrand 0, Jamito 0, Cruz 0, Mariano 0. R. Aguilar 0, Taha 0
Meralco
Durham 25, Amer 10, De Ocampo 10, Hodge 9, Newsome 8, Lanete 6, Dillinger 5, Tolomia 3, Atkins 0, Yeo 0, Sedurifa 0, Caram 0, Hugnatan 0, Faundo 0
Quarter scoring:
18-24, 40-37, 52-62, 86-76

Joe Devance: Hips Dont Lie, Lingering Injury Could be a Problem

Joe Devance Scored 9 points, grabbed 5 rebound in 26 minutes of play in Game 1

Game 1 of the 2017 PBA Governors Cup finals is in the book and Ginebra takes the first victory by the score of 102-87.  Lucena city was jam-packed with basketball fans as they witnessed how Ginebra dominated the paint.
Japeth Aguilar scored 15, Justin Brownlee got 32 points, Greg Slaughter got 14 buckets, Kevin Ferrer contributed 11 and Joe Devance got 9 points. Surely at this stage, we all know that Ginebra is leveraging their height against Meralco.

Joe is not 100%

The concern is, one big man of Ginebra is playing in pain and fighting a hip injury. Joe Devance has been on and off the previous games and he may be the same with the series against Meralco. This would be a big concern for Tim Cone and with all the Ginebra crew as they use their big men as one of their primary weapons. Joe Devance was instrumental in winning many games for Ginebra and losing him would mean they won’t have a flexible big man that can stretch the floor, grab rebounds and score inside in crunch time.
Watch Joe Davance in game vs TNT in Game 4 

Exclusive Video: Aggressiveness and Free Throw: Nash Racela’s Last Fiery Words to Tim Cone After Game Loss

Nash Racela looks okay, didn’t sound like he is. 

After a heartbreaking loss to the crowd favorite Ginebra in Game 4, Coach Nas Racela allowed some of the media ask him questions about the game and while he did congratulate Ginebra with the win, he sounded sarcastic.
Coach Nash Racela had a debacle with Coach Tim Cone and Ginebra Governor Al Francis Chua during the series and  Nash Racela had to fire one last shot as he may still be upset about a few things.

Aggressiveness and free throw

At 1:50 mark, Nash Racela said.

Mali ang punto ni  Tim cone, Anong sinabi nya?  the more aggressive,   today they took 50 less two points shots, so we were more aggressive but why did they get more free throw still. So it’s not the issue. Tell that to Tim Cone. 

Joe Devance vs Jared Dillinger Tale of the Tape, The Tension Brewing Again!

Jared Dillinger has been waiting too damn long for this!

Right after the win of Ginebra against Talk n Text the Filipino American Small Forward of Meralco Bolts took to social media and announced on Twitter:

“Been waiting to damn long for this! Let’s go! This is what we wanted! Finals Rematch!- Jared Dillinger 

Joe is Ready to get his revenge

The 33-year-old PBA veteran could not hold his excitement and is looking forward to once again facing their tormentor last year. Meralco Bolts was the runner-up in the 2016 PBA Governors Cup and he wants nothing else than to avenge their defeat against the crowd favorite Ginebra. 
Dillinger who is one of the main gunners of Meralco Bolts will be facing up against another Filipino- American in Joe Devance. Joe was born in Hawaii and is two years older than Jared at 35. Coincidentally, Jared played his last college basketball in Hawaii, I wonder if they ever saw each other on the island and played pick up basketball?
Just when you thought the dust has already settled Joe Devance also tweeted and he had no reservations when he said that he hates Jared Dillinger. 

Joe Devance Tweets that he doesn’t like Jared Dillinger 

The Much Awaited Rematch 

Last year, Ginebra finished the series in game 6 with a looping shot from Justin Brownlee outside the rainbow country that sends the crowd into a frenzy at the Araneta Coliseum. This year, Meralco Bolts looks to get back and this time they will have more motivation to win, but while this is a team game, we certainly won’t miss the opportunity of pitting two players, especially Jared and Joe.