Twin Towers’ Strength is Too Much for Romeo-Less Batang Pier

LA Tenorio had 17 points and 7 assists for Ginebra. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

GlobalPort Falters in the 4th Quarter

The Global Port Batang Pier dropped their first game of the season without their superstar, Terrence Romeo. And their agony looked to continue as the three-time scoring champion was still on street clothes during their first game for 2018.
Despite Sean Anthony’s 29 points and a double-double from Kelly Nabong, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings fought their way back late in the 4th quarter after falling behind by as much as 9 points to get their 2nd win of the Philippine Cup after beating the Batang Pier, 104-97.
And here’s how the Gin Kings did it:


Twin Towers Displayed Full Strength

If there’s one thing that makes Ginebra a dangerous team to play against at any given game, it’s the dominance of their Twin Towers of Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter. Against the Batang Pier who was helpless without Terrence Romeo, Aguilar led the way with his 21 points on top of 9 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. GregZilla on the other hand, had 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots. With former versatile forward, Joe Devance now a free agent, it will be expected that Tim Cone will now rely more on his twin giants especially in games against the elite teams in the league.

Tinyente’s Brilliance

What would Ginebra do without LA Tenorio? They wouldn’t have won the Governors’ Cup for two consecutive seasons without him. And when the Batang Pier appeared for an upset victory, LA Tenorio nailed two three-pointers in the 4th quarter to ignite Ginebra’s comeback run. When the smoke cleared up, Ginebra’s Iron Man had 17 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals for another all-around performance.

Fourth Quarter Composure

To begin with, Global Port actually led as high as 11 points in the early moments of the 4th quarter before Ginebra began turning things to their favor. LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar took turns in scoring big basket after big basket which put a smile on Tim Cone’s face. Due to their composure, the Gin Kings were able to score 36 points in the 4th quarter alone while limiting the Batang Pier to only 20 points.

Conclusion

Will Ginebra continue to dominate even against the likes of the San Miguel Beermen? Possibly as long as the Twin  Towers are healthy. On the other hand, people shouldn’t count Global Port out of the playoff picture just yet. They have yet to win a game this season but when Terrence Romeo gets back, things will get better for the Batang Pier, eventually. 

A Rocky 2017: Stories that Rocked the PBA in 2017


A Rocky 2017: Stories that Rocked the PBA in 2017
Ginebra’s championship run during the Governors’ Cup is just one of the many stories that happened this year (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

What a year it has been for the PBA.

In case you haven’t been updated as to what happened in the PBA during the past 12 months, well, you’ve missed a lot. From an aborted Grand Slam to a controversial trade, 2017 has been indeed a busy year for the PBA and it has been a controversial year, too.
To help you have a recap of what happened in the league, below are the stories which this pundit on wheels thinks that rocked the entire league the most:

The Standhardinger Saga

Let’s start with one of the biggest stories in local basketball scene this year. Christian Standhardinger’s name has been very much familiar with the Filipino fans owing to his stint with the Gilas Pilipinas. When he announced his intention to join the draft, it had been expected by many that he would be picked ahead of the likes of Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng.
Surprise!
First, he missed the Draft Combine. Then, the Kia Picanto traded away the rights to pick first in the draft to the San Miguel Beermen for a bunch of bench players. Many questions were shocked by Kia’s decision with some even questioning if they intend to become a competitive team in the future. Despite questions from almost every direction, Commissioner Chito Narvasa still approved the said deal. Despite the questions, there was nothing illegal in the deal, to begin with. It was a lopsided trade, yes but it’s within the rules and regulations of the league. 

The Chito Narvasa Stand-off

The deal that sent Standhardinger to the Beermen created a rippling effect to the league and among those affected was none other than the good commissioner, Chito Narvasa. Why? He approved the trade despite calls for him to veto him. That started a war between two factions: the one led by the MVP Group who wanted Narvasa out of the picture, and the one that was led by the SMC Group who stood behind Narvasa. The MVP Group managed to get 7 votes to terminate Narvasa’s contract which a vote short of the 8 votes required to remove or retain a commissioner. This war canceled the annual planning session of the PBA in the United States, creating speculations of a possible lockout. 
Then came along the opening day of the 43rd season. The board members gathered around during a press conference just a few hours prior to the opening ceremony- announcing that Chito Narvasa has tendered his resignation. Then, the board came up with a resolution, retaining Narvasa until the end of the year to allow Narvasa to help in the selection of his replacement. 
Who will replace him? We’ll have to wait until next week to know. 

Ginebra’s Back-to-Back Governors’ Cup Championships

Ginebra’s road to another Governors’ Cup championship wasn’t easy as many people initially thought. First, they had to face a Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel Beermen that was bannered anew by 4-time MVP, June Mar Fajardo in the quarterfinals. Then, the Gin Kings battled the TNT KaTropa in a controversial semifinal series. 
Then came to the Finals where they faced the Meralco Bolts- the same team they beat for the championship in 6 games last year.
After winning the first two games of the series, many people began coming up with predictions that Ginebra would sweep Meralco this time around. The Bolts fought back and forced a Game 7 at the Philippine Arena. However, LA Tenorio showed us that yes, despite playing through pain, he still has what it takes to lead his team to a championship and that’s what he did. He drained jumper after jumper in front of a 50,000+ crowd who trooped to the Philippine to witness Ginebra being crowned a champion anew. LA Tenorio finished the 42nd season of the PBA with a Finals MVP. 

Conclusion

As it is, 2017 will be remembered as both a controversial and an exciting year not just for the PBA but for the basketball scene in general. While we are still waiting for the replacement of Chito Narvasa as the PBA Commissioner, this pundit on wheels believes that 2018 will be a better year for the PBA. If anything, this year’s draft class is already loaded with talent enough to shock the league next year. 

Recap: GregZilla Lifts Ginebra to a Christmas Day Win

LA Tenorio also contributed 15 points and 8 assists in the win.

Slaughter slaughters Magnolia with a huge double-double performance.

Heading into the season’s first conference after winning two consecutive Governors’ Cup titles, both against the Meralco Bolts, expectations have been sky-high for the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings. With Greg Slaughter, fresh from winning the Best Player of the Conference award in the last conference, back in full health and playing like the monster he was advertised a few years ago, many pundits are starting to believe that the Gin Kings have been seasoned to challenge the supremacy of the San Miguel Beermen- at least in the Philippine Cup.
True enough, the Gin Kings started the new season the way their fans always wanted: a win on Christmas Day against the Magnolia Hotshots as the crowd darlings opened the season with an 89-78 victory over the Hotshots who were missing the services of many of their players due to injuries.
So what enabled the Gin Kings to win at the Philippine Arena? Below are the numbers:

GregZilla’s Dominance

We all know that when Greg Slaughter is healthy and playing the way he should be, it’s almost impossible for whoever who is guarding him to contain him and even Norman Black saw that, twice. Against the Hotshots, Slaughter scored 24 points while grabbing 12 rebounds. He went 10 for 14  in the field while making 4 of 5 from the free throw line. All that in 33 minutes of action. Efficient, isn’t it?

Shooting Well and Defending Well

If there are two things which enabled the Gin Kings to win two consecutive Governors’ Cup championships in two tries, it would be their ability to play well on both ends of the court. On Christmas Day, Ginebra shot 44% from the field while forcing Magnolia to only 46% field goal shooting. While both squads struggled from rainbow country, it was the shooting percentage from the 2-point area which enabled Ginebra to come out on top and hold onto the lead throughout the game.

Tenorio’s Brilliance

LA Tenorio, one of the smallest guys on the court, stood the tallest during Ginebra’s championship run in the last conference despite playing through pain. Against Mark Barroca and company, he contributed 15 points and 8 assists. While he struggled from the field with his 5 for 15 shooting including a 3 for 11 outing from the three-point line, he helped shut down Barroca who only managed 4 points while going 2 for 12 from the field. Tinyente added 5 steals and a blocked shot to his all-around performance. 

Conclusion

Are the Gin Kings talented enough to dethrone the league’s best all-local team? That remains to be seen. However, if you look at their game against Magnolia, it would seem that, it’s the case. Ginebra is definitely one of those teams that can seriously become a threat to the Beermen. They will only need one thing: consistency. 

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.

Trade Possibility: Terrence Romeo and LA Tenorio, An Elite Point Guard Swap

What if Terrence Romeo and LA Tenorio Switch Places?


Terrence Romeo and LA Tenorio Trade
One thing’s for sure, Terrence Romeo wants to be traded, the question now is will Global Port management grant his wish? 

Trading Romeo

Is very likely. Now that Global Port management themselves have confirmed that the request has been sitting on their lap since the mid year of 2017. While both parties may have all the intention to part ways, everything will still hinge on the right offer among other things. 
We heard of the rumors about Meralco Bolts potentially sending Chris Newsome and Amer. We also got some news on Star Hotshots potentially making a run by offering multiple players that includes Marc Barroca or Jio Jalalon and while these teams provided such interesting offers, we were wondering what if Ginebra joins the bid?

Ginebra Needs Youth in the Guard Spot

Ginebra’s back court is great but it is aging, especially in the point position were their leading star LA Tenorio is already at 33. Now, don’t get us wrong, Tenorio is still at the top of his game especially after winning another championship and becoming the finals MVP, again.
Tenorio, while on the surface is still looking great, he had suffered a number of injuries already and the recent that he had to endure was an elbow injury. If you ask me, this could be the final year that Ginebra could get a good return for their floor general and if I am Ginebra, I would take advantage of the opportunity while his stocks are still high.

Prime, Young and Ready Romeo

At 25, Romeo is already a superstar and the face of PBA. Having Romeo wearing the Ginebra jersey will make the even more huge following of Ginebra even greater, but that’s the least of the concern. Ginebra just recently lost Jayjay Helterbrand due to retirement, soon Mark Caguiao will follow. Sol Mercado and LA Tenorio isn’t anymore younglings and Scottie isn’t really a natural point guard. Terrence will ensure continuity in a high level in the point position. Like Tenorio, he can score at will and can make difficult shots when needed.
Romeo, however, may not have the same mental toughness as Tenorio and this is why a stint with one of the greatest coach and mentor would be good for Terrence Romeo. Tim Cone could whip Romeo to
becoming a great leader and a more focused player.

What’s in it for Global Port?

Ofcourse, Global Port needs to get something in return and LA Tenorio alone may not suffice so Ginebra may need to throw in a first round draft pick, after all LA Tenorio might be on the edge of his peak at 33.
Global Port Batang Pier needs a winner and this is exactly what they will get if they trade for Tenorio.

A champion, an MVP and a real motivator that Terrence Romeo is not, at least not yet.  This attributes take time to develop and with experience with different teams, he will bring in a culture of winning to a team that badly needs one.

LA Tenorio with Stanley Pringle could also work better as Tenorio is a much more willing passer but can still hit big shots when needed.  Ball rotation will certainly improve and other players could get an opportunity to shine.

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE

If a Standhardinger trade happened then this trade could happen, too. We are not saying that there is a current offer in place but we are just offering potential trade scenarios that could benefit both sides.
Tell us what you think.

By the Numbers: Three BIG Things that Made Ginebra Champions Anew

Just what went well for the Gin Kings in last night’s Game 7?

LA Tenorio

Tinyente bagged another Finals MVP award as he led Ginebra to another title. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

As the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup trophy was finally into the air inside the Philippine Arena, as the confetti rained down the court, as the crowd mobbed the winning team, Tim Cone and the rest of the back-to-back champions, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings finally released a sigh of relief. 
After all, they saw the Meralco Bolts cut down a double-digit lead to just 4 points with just under a minute to play in the 4th quarter. Fortunately, time was on the side of the Gin Kings as they held on to win Game 7 with a 101-96 decision in front of a mostly pro-Ginebra 54,000+ crowd that watched the rubber match. 
Now, let’s check out the numbers that enabled Ginebra to win it all, finally:

Tinyete’s 26 Points= Another Finals MVP Award

If there was one specific player who deserved all of the praises, it’s none other than one of the smallest guys from either team, Lewis Alfred Tenorio. His 26 points, built on 4 long range bombs, 4 assists and 2 steals in 41 minutes of action gained him another Finals MVP award to add to his already full resume. 
Mind you, folks, this guy was playing all conference long with an injured arm but decided to wait until the end of the season to undergo a needed surgery. 
Now that the season has ended with Ginebra being the champs, again, Tinyente’s sacrifices were all worth it. That, folks, is the living example of Ginebra’s NEVER SAY DIE attitude and whether you like him or not, Tenorio deserves a drop of your respect. 

50% Field Goal Shooting: The Less. The Better

Sometimes, you don’t need to shoot more to win a basketball game, especially in a championship game. The Meralco Bolts took 84 SHOTS in Game 7 and they only made 35 of them. In contrast, Ginebra only took 77 shots and yet they made 39 of them, a 50% field goal shooting. Efficient, isn’t it? They also better at the 2-point area (53%) and from long distance (43%). Now that’s how you win a championship. By hitting your target instead of missing them, horribly. 

55 Points for Ginebra’s Giants

As mentioned by this basketball pundit on wheels during the entire series, one of Ginebra’s main strength against the smaller Bolts is their height. And if you watched Game 7 last night, then you saw how the bigs of Ginebra continuously pounded on the inside while Justin Brownlee sniped from the outside.
The result: Brownlee, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar and Joe Devance went on to combine for 55 points- 23 from Brownlee alone. 
That’s a big difference compared to the output of Meralco’s bigs who got 26 points from Allen Durham and only 7 from Reynel Hugnatan. Now that’s dominance.

Conclusion

Meralco may have lost, again but that doesn’t make them any weaker. No. It’s just that they’ve lost to a better team, again. They’ve lost to a hungrier, bigger and more talented team in Ginebra. That’s the reason why the Gin Kings are kings again.

54,000+ Witness Game 7 as Ginebra Wins it All, Finally

And they survived a furious 4th comeback from the Bolts

LA Tenorio may be playing with a problematic arm but that didnt stop him from hitting 5 threes in Game 7. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

After six games, no championship trophy was hoisted into the air. Yet.
After six games, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings couldn’t use their size advantage to the fullest.
After six games, the Meralco Bolts couldn’t hit their target. Consistently.
After six games, the series is still tied at 3-3 and that’s why we’re heading to a Game 7 so they can finally decide who will take home the PBA Governors’ Cup championship.

Ginebra Imposed Early Dominance

The defending champions started Game 7 with a 5-0 scoring blast as Meralco found it difficult to find the basket as the latter went scoreless until Allen Durham scored on a pair of charities 2 minutes into the game as he later added a lay-up to make it 7-4, in favor of the Gin Kings. Ginebra’s lead never reached beyond 5 points during the first 6 minutes of the opening quarter as Meralco was able to slice it down to 1, at 12-11. Compared to Game 6 when they were shooting miserably from deep, Ginebra already have 3 three-pointers made during that span- 2 from LA Tenorio.

Turnovers have began to hit the Bolts’ offense as evident by Baser Amer who have the ball tipped by Scottie Thompson  as the latter dished the ball to Japeth Aguilar for an easy lay-up to make 21-14, with under 3 minutes to play in the 1st quarter as Ginebra ended the first quarter on top, 27-19 with LA Tenorio leading the way for the Gin Kings.

Ginebra continued with their efforts to break the game wide open as LA Tenorio later hit another long bomb and Scottie Thompson added another lay-up to give their team, a 9-point advantage, 4 minutes into the second quarter as Norman Black called a timeout. Mark Caguioa scored on a floater and Justin Brownlee added another inside to make it 42-29 as the Bolts struggled to get anything on their offense. Ginebra’s lead later ballooned to 19 as Caguioa and Greg Slaughter took turns in scoring on the inside which led to another Meralco timeout with under 4 minutes to go before intermission. The champs held a huge 52-37 lead into the break as Meralco acted as if they needed a halftime filled with rants from Norman Black because their offense in the first half was a mess, really.

The Halftime Numbers

Tiyente LA Tenorio had 13 points while Justin Brownlee added 11 points and 4 rebounds. Offense-wise, Ginebra was the dominant team as evident by their 58% field goal shooting in the first half, including a whopping 65% shooting in the 2-point area. They also prevented the Bolts on the break, limiting Meralco to 0 FASTBREAK POINTS while Ginebra 6 points off fastbreak opportunities.
Surprisingly, Jared Dillinger had 11 points after the first two quarters for Meralco while Cliff Hodge added  8 makers. Allen Durham was almost a non-factor for Meralco as he only managed 6 points on a horrible 1 of 6 shooting while playing for 24 minutes, so far. Meralco’s inability to score consistently in the first half was what doomed them in the first place as they only made 35% of their shot attempts. Lots of clanks. Indeed.


Meralco’s Struggles Continued


After Meralco sliced the lead to just 12 points during the opening minutes of the second half, Ginebra unleased an offensive outburst to re-establish a 20-point lead with under 10 minutes to play- a lead sliced down anew to 17 after Allen Durham completed a three-point play. However, shooting slump hurt Meralco during the early goings. To make things worse, Jared Dillinger was called for a “deliberate” foul after a hard foul on Japeh Aguilar with under 4 minutes left. Despite Allen Durham’s commendable effort who produced 12 points in the 3rd quart alone, Meralco failed to contain LA Tenorio who already had 23 points after 3 quarters as Ginebra walked with an 81-64 leading into the final quarter. 
Meralco began the 4th quarter by cutting the lead to 12 anew thanks to Garvo Lanete’s trey which forced Tim Cone to call a timeout with barely 2 minutes into the quarter. But Justin Brownlee scored 5 consecutive points for the Gin Kings to quickly regain control and put his team up, at 86-69. Ginebra’s lead never reached below 11 points the rest of the first 7 minutes of the 4th quarter as every time Meralco attempted to cut the deficit, Ginebra instantly answered right back with an outburst of their own to keep the Bolts at bay. 
That was until Anjo Caram scored on a lay-up to bring Meralco within 9 points for the first time in a LONG time. However, for Meralco, Joe Devance made it 100-89  on a lay-up with under 2 minutes as time was already on the side of the Gin Kings. Chirs Newsome decreased the deficit down to 7 on a lay-up while he was fouled but missed the bonus charity as Allen Durham grabbed 2 offensive rebounds during the final minute and dished an assist to Jared Dillinger who in turn, drained a three-pointer to make it 100-95 with 40 ticks on the clock. Utilizing their height advantage, Japeth Aguilar was able to grab an important offensive rebound as LA Tenorio made 1 of 2 free throws to make it, 101-96 with 22 seconds left as Norman Black used up his final timeout of the ballgame. 

The Numbers that Mattered in the End

LA Tenorio led Ginebra with 26 points while Justin Brownlee added 23 points and 8 rebounds. Scottie Thompson chipped 14 points and 9 rebounds- leading the Gin Kings in rebounds in this victory. As expected, it was defense that won the title for Ginebra as they limited Meralco to only 41% field goal shooting throughout Game 7. 
Allen Durham’s 26 points and 24 rebounds were all for naught as Meralco, for the second consecutive time, against the same team, failed to win it all. Jared Dillinger’s 20 points came way too late and so were Cliff Hodge’s 14 points. Despite their 52-43 advantage in the rebounding battle, Meralco missed 7 of their 23 attempts from the free throw line. SAYANG, isn’t it? 
Scores:

Ginebra
Tenorio 26, Brownlee 23, Thompson 14, Slaughter 12, J. Aguilar 10, Devance 10, Caguioa 4, Ferrer 2

Meralco
Durham 26, Dillinger 20, Hodge 14, Newsome 11, Caram 9, Hugnatan 7, Amer 6, Lanete 3

Quarter scoring

27-19, 52-36, 81-64, 101-96

Back to Basics: 3 Things Ginebra Must Do Tonight to Win it All

Failure to do these things might force a Game 7. Might

Scottie Thompson 2017 Governors Cup Finals
With Sol Mercado out, the rest of the Ginebra guards must step up in Game 6. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

After a convincing outing from LA Tenorio who was held scoreless in Game 4, after Greg Slaughter started for the first time in the series and scored 17 points in their Game 5 victory at the Philippine Arena which was witnessed by more than 34,000 fans, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, the defending Governors’ Cup champions, can clinch the title with a win tonight in Game 6 at the Philippine Arena. 
The only question is: Can the Gin Kings pull it out and celebrate tonight? It’s up to the Gin Kings themselves. But one thing is certain: the Meralco Bolts will rely on Allen Durham anew to carry the majority of the Bolts’ scoring load come tonight’s Game 6.
Now, we all know that the Bolts can definitely force a Game 7 on Friday IF they can hit their target, especially from rainbow country. If you’re Ginebra, wouldn’t it better if you can celebrate tonight rather than go home and prepare yourselves for a slugfest on Friday? Should the Gin Kings do the things below, there won’t be a Game 7 to worry about:

Limit Allen Durham’s Output

Okay. This is easier said than done for any team who is playing against the Meralco Bolts. Keep in mind, folks, Allen Durham is a two-time Best Import awardee and his numbers don’t lie either. In their Game 5 defeat, Durham scored 27 points, leading all scorers from both teams, on 52% field goal shooting. He also had 19 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks If anything, the Gin Kings should be wary of Durham’s capability to unleash a scoring onslaught especially now that the Bolts’ season is on the line. 

What to do? 

Tim Cone should put his best defenders on Allen Durham. Throw in double teams whenever Durham is in the post. Frustrate him and you take away Meralco’s power source. Whoever Tim Cone will be sending in to guard Durham will have his hands full. Now, who among the giants of Ginebra can defend the smaller Durham? 
Answer: All of them. Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Justin Brownlee and yes, even Joe Devance can make life miserable for Allen Dirham especially on the offensive end primarily because of the formers’ height advantage.

The Guards Must Step Up

With Sol Mercado out indefinitely due to the injury that he sustained back in the closing seconds of Game 4 which was won by the Bolts, the play setting duty falls to the hands of Tineyte, LA Tenorio who played for 40 minutes in Game 5 and scored 17 points. Earlier this week, Tenorio indicated that he doesn’t mind playing for 48 MINUTES if the need arises but, he doesn’t have to do that, right? 

What to do?

Scottie Thompson MUST step out of his shooting slump and take parts of the defensive pressure away from Tenorio because in case you’ve forgotten, Tenorio is already playing with a problematic arm so the last thing you will need is Tenorio aggravating that arm injury due to the fact hat the rest of the Ginebra guards are struggling to pick up the pace. 
Tim Cone may even opt to allow Jay Jay Helterbrand play for longer minutes because whether we like it or not, Helterbrand can still contribute as we saw in last year’s Game 6 of the Governors’ Cup Finals. 
And, what a better way to clinch a title than with Helterbrand teaming up with old pal, Mark Caguioa, on the floor, for one final time, for possibly their final championship run, together? Fans will definitely go nuts if the old Fast and the Furious duo takes the court for one final ride.

Shut Down Meralco Early On

Let’s make this simple, folks. Bury the Bolts during the early goings of the game and don’t allow Durham and company to turn the tide in their favor. In Game 1, Ginebra finished the first quarter with an 11-point lead and then outscored Meralco, 25-16 in the fourth quarter which enabled the Gin Kings to win the game. If Ginebra can do that again tonight, then the party starts right after the final buzzer.

Conclusion

Ginebra has been in the same situation last year when they were one-win away from the title. If they do the things above, they won’t be needing a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Justin Brownlee to take it all. 

Ginebra Blows an 18-Point Lead, Still Wins to Move One Win Away from Title

Greg Slaughter proved why he is the Best Player of the Conference

Greg Slaughter silenced his critics with his huge double-double performance. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

There are two reasons why this best-of-7 series needed a Game 5 at the Philippine Arena. One: Ginebra won first two games. Second: they lost the next two against the smaller Bolts.

Historically speaking, whoever wins Game 5 when the series is tied at 2-2 will go on to win the championship. After Game 5, one team will go home needing to only win the next game to finally win it all.

They established an 18-point lead in the second quarter. They allowed Meralco to come back and even momentarily take the lead in the third quarter. In the end, the defending champions, Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings were able to regain control in the 4th quarter and consequently, regain the lead in the series as they won 85-74 over the Meralco Bolts, only needing one more win to clinch the championship.

Tinyente is Back!

The Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings started Game 5 with a 6-0 run, 4 points from LA Tenorio who was held scoreless in Game 4.  The Meralco Bolts, like they were in the previous four games of the series, were struggling to put the ball into the basket for the first 4 minutes of the first quarter until Allen Durham made the Bolts’ first basket with a contested lay-up. The defending champs held a 6-point cushion during most of the opening quarter until Meralco started chipping away and cut down the deficit at 12-10 on Cliff Hodge’s lay-up with under 4 minutes to play, leading to a Ginebra timeout. Right after a Ginebra miss, Reynel Hugnatan drained an open three-pointer to give Meralco its first taste of the lead, something LA Tenorio did on the other end to make it 15-13 in the favor of the crowd darlings. Ginebra held onto the lead, at 21-15 to finish the first quarter. LA Tenorio exploded for 9 points after going 0 of 7 in the previous game.

Ginebra’s Second Quarter Rampage

Greg Slaughter and Mark Caguioa teamed up in the opening minutes of the second quarter to give Ginebra an 11-point lead as the Bolts settled for mostly outside shots which were missing the mark, terribly. A three-pointer from Joe Devance made it 29-15 which forced a timeout from Norman Black as his team was held scoreless for almost 3 minutes.Chris Newsome finally broke the Bolts’ silence with a long one from deep.

Meralco Charged Back

Meralco went on a scoring run which was highlighted by an Allen Durham Dunk to trim down the champs’ lead to 11, at 35-24. Then, Garvo Lanete drained a rare long one for Meralco to bring the Bolts with 7, at 36-29 with 2:11 on the clock. Jared Dillinger hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the first half to trim the deficit to 42-35 at the intermission

The Numbers at the Break

LA Tenorio and Greg Slaughter each had 9 points after the first two quarters for Ginebra who led despite only making 36% of their shot attempts and 20% of their shots from beyond the 3-point line was also the reason why their 18-point lead quickly evaporated.
As usual, it was Allen Durham yet again, shone the brightest for Meralco in the first with his 12 points as the Bolts only shot 31% from the field. Fortunately, it was their three-point shooting which brought them back in the game as Meralco dropped 5 long bombs of their 19 attempts.  

Meralco’s Electrifying Third Quarter

Meralco was able to sustain their shooting touch to open the second half with 7 points to come within 2, 44-42 during the first 3 minutes of the third quarter, a scoring run which was highlighted by another trey from the old man Reynel Hugnatan. LA Tenorio later put things back in control for the Gin Kings as he drained another jumper plus a driving lay-up to reestablish a 9-point lead. 
The Bolts then went on an 8-0 run to come within 1, at 56-55 with under 5 minutes to play in the third. After a Japeth Aguilar dunk, Garvo Lanete added another one from long distance to tie things up at 58 apiece and Allen Durham picked up his own miss and scored to make it 60-58, in favor of the Bolts as a visibly upset Tim Cone called a timeout.The  Gin Kings still held a 66-62 lead heading into the final quarter as Allen Durham scored 11 points in the entire third quarter.

Ginebra Regained Control. For Good

Ginebra went back to work as their defense shut down Meralco while building an 8-point advantage with under 9 minutes to play. But, Meralco quickly woke up from their nap as Allen Durham and company came within 74-70 on Chris Newsome’s basket.

However, a 3-point play from Justin Brownlee and a pair of charities from Greg Slaughter put the Gin Kings up, 79-70 as Norman Black was already complaining about the calls from the officials. A Greg Slaughter basket gave a double-digit lead for the Gin  Kings as Meralco was beginning to go back to their bad habit of fading away late in the game. LA Tenorio later scored on the inside to give Ginebra a 13-point advantage heading into the final 2 minutes of the game. 

The Numbers

Justin Brownlee led the way for the Gin Kings with his 20 points and 12 rebounds but it was Greg Slaughter’s 17 points, 15 rebounds and 6 blocks that made the difference for the Gin Kings. LA Tenorio also scored 17 as Ginebra won despite only making 3 of their 22 attempts from rainbow country. 
Allen Durham had 27 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Bolts as Garvo Lanete played his best game in the series, so far, to score 11 points off the bench but nobody else scored significantly for Meralco which was one of the primary reasons why they one loss away from another disappointing Final defeat. 
Scores:
Ginebra
Brownlee 20, Slaughter 17, Tenorio 17, Devance 12, J. Aguilar 8, Thompson 5, Caguioa 4, Ferrer 2.
Meralco
Durham 27, Lanete 11, Hugnatan 8, Caram 7, Hodge 6, Dillinger 6, Newsome 5, Amer 4, Tolomia 0, Faundo 0.
Quarter scoring:
21-15, 42-35, 66-62, 85-74

By the Numbers: Three Things that Went Wrong for Ginebra in Game 4

Because of these things, the series is tied at 2-2 instead of Ginebra holding a 3-1 leading heading into Game 5

Allen Durham Meralco Bolts
For the second straight game, Ginebra failed to utilize their height advantage. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

Despite another 34-point performance from Justin Brownlee, despite the fact that we got to see the Fast and the Furious in action, and despite the vociferously deafening “GI-NE-BRA!” chants by the Ginebra faithfuls that this basketball pundit on wheels endured, those things weren’t enough as the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings suffered yet another stunning 85-83 defeat at the hands of the Meralco Bolts in last night’s Game 4 which knotted the series at 2-2. 
However, we must remember that the game wasn’t won until the final buzzer when Ginebra took 4 shots right after Allen Durham made a lay-up to give the Bolts the lead. 4 shots. 4 attempts. 0 makes. 
Even Coach Tim Cone admitted that even if one of his players was able to call a timeout before the last possession, he doubted that it could affect the outcome, stating that calling a timeout will also enable Meralco to make some adjustments. So, the players made the call. Justin Brownlee attempted a floater to force an extra period and he missed. Ouch!
Justin Brownlee may have scored 34 points while making half of his 24 field goal attempts but he had 5 turnovers and had 5 personal fouls. Joe Devance broke out of his shooting slump to score 15 points but fouled out late. 
There were many things that went horribly wrong for Ginebra in Game 4 so allow this basketball pundit on wheels to list down 3 things which basically denied the Gin Kings to celebrate tomorrow at the Philippine Arena- should they win Game 5:

4 Points Combined from Tenorio, Thompson and Mercado

One reason why the defending champions struggled and eventually lost Game 4 was the fact none of their guards were shooting and scoring well. 
Scottie Thompson scored 4 points on 2 of 5 field goal shooting. LA Tenorio, the hero of Game 2, was pointless, literally as he missed all of his 7 attempts although he did have 6 assists and a steal. Sol Mercado, who gurt hurt late in the dying moments of the game, was scoreless too. He is likely to miss tomorrow’s Game 5 which means the rest of the Ginebra guards needed to make sure that their presence will be felt offensively.

14 Missed from Deep

If anything, Game 4 a reversal of roles. Why? In the first two games of the best-of-7 series, it was the Meralco Bolts who were shooting bricks from outside. 
In Games 3 and 4, it was Ginebra who was shooting bricks. Horribly. 
In Game 4 alone, the Gin Kings have attempted 22 shots from the 3-point line and they missed a total of 14. Only Justin Brownlee (4 of 8) and Joe Devance (3 of 5) had respectable shooting performance from long distance as they were the only ones who scored in double figures in the first place.  

17 Offensive Rebounds for the Bolts

This is another one of those nagging ironies of Game 4. The entire Meralco team out-muscled the much-taller Gin Kings on the offensive boards as evident by their 17-12 advantage in that category. Allen Durham, who top-scored for Meralco with his 28 points, grabbed 18 rebounds- 7 on the offensive end. The result: the Bolts also took a 13-9 advantage on second-chance points.

Conclusion

Assuming that Ginebra did get the timeout on the last possession of Game 4, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Sure, they made 43% of their atempts last night but failed to make even one of those 4 attempts in the 40 seconds of the game. Just one make to force an overtime. A 3 to win. Unfortunately, Ginebra faltered. Ginebra missed. And, Ginebra lost. Again. 

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. 

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

By the Numbers: Ginebra’s Big Numbers from Last Night’s Game 46, 25, 21

Ginebra needed big numbers from 3 players to eliminate an import-less TNT team

Coach Tim Cone knows one thing: Ginebra will need more of those numbers come the Finals. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

Every basketball fan knew that from the moment Glen Rice Jr. got himself ejected after pushing down Ginebra rookie, Kevin Ferrer and even almost hit the latter with the ball, it would have a rippling effect on the flow of the ballgame. 
For the fans of the defending champions, an ejected TNT import meant that their team could easily score and take the life out of Nash Racela and the rest of the KaTropa. 
Instead, Talk N Text was able to hold onto the lead despite the departure of their import and even built an 18-point lead only to have Ginebra erase it completely as the Gin Kings completely outplayed Jayson Castro and company in the second half which ended with a 115-105 Ginebra win over the fading TNT KaTropa that cemented a Finals rematch between the Gin Kings and the Meralco Bolts.
So, how did the Gin Kings fight they way back to finally eliminate a Talk N Text that was playing an all-Filipino crew? Answer: they needed  big numbers from these players to accomplish that feat:

Justin Brownlee- 46 Points

Okay. Let’s begin with the most obvious one. The ejection of Glen Rice Jr. benefited one specific Ginebra player the most: Justin Brownlee. 
By the end of  Game 4, Brownlee compiled 46 points, his new career’s best, on 15 of 23 field goal shooting which included 4 makes from the 3-point line. In fact, his 11-0 personal run in the 3rd quarter alone enabled Ginebra to get back into the game. But Brownlee was more than just scoring in last night’s victory. Aside from his 46 points, the Ginebra import also grabbed 10 boards and 5 assists while blocking 2 TNT shots in an all-around performance. 

LA Tenorio- 25 Points

While his backcourt partner, Scottie Thompson was held scoreless, LA Tenorio stepped like the “Tinyente” we all know used to know and love in the past, and scored 25 big points, many of those points came in during the pivotal second half run of Ginebra which enabled Ginebra to charge back from an 18-point hole. Tenorio’s 25 points were highlighted by 6 long-range bombs. 
In addition to this, “Tinyente” also had 7 assists, proving that he is still among the elite floor generals we have in the league right now. Although he turned the ball over on 6 occasions, that doesn’t change the fact that Tenorio was one of the reasons why Ginebra is back in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals for the second straight year, giving them a shot at winning back-to-back Governors’ Cup championships. 

Greg Slaughter- 21 Points

With fellow frontline players, Joe Devance and Japeth Aguilar struggling to get anything going on offense, Greg Slaughter, the gentle giant off the bench, made 7 of his 8 shot attempts, on his way to finish the game with 21 points to lead the bench players of both squads. Like Brownlee, Slaughter’s 87% field goal shooting can be associated with the absence of Glen Rice Jr. and the subsequently fading away of the defense of Talk N Text, especially in the second half. Slaughter also had an efficient shooting night at the free throw line, making 7 of 9 charities. He also added 9 rebounds and blocked 2 shots in a remarkable defensive effort for the big man from Cebu. 
The trio of Brownlee, Tenorio and Slaughter combined for 92 of Ginebra’s 115 points. While it’s an impressive outing for the three of them, the rest of the Gin Kings need to improve especially with the Finals about to open on Friday. If they will continue to rely on three players to do all the dirty works in the floor against a vastly-improved Meralco team, Ginebra fans are in for a long Finals series. 
But knowing Tim Cone, he will find ways to have his team ready despite a shorter preparation period because whether you’re a Ginebra fan or not, Tim Cone is one of the reasons why Ginebra was able to win their first championships in 8 years and he will be one of the main reasons why Ginebra is back in the Finals again, facing the same team they’ve beaten last year. 

Comeback is REAL: Brownlee Score 46 Points to Lead Gin Kings

Ginebra Erased an 18-point Lead as Glen Rice Jr. got Ejected

The absence of Glen Rice Jr. was too much for TNT as Justin Brownlee scored 46 points. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Okay, folks. If you have seen how heated Game 3 was, how it was filled with fouls, including numerous technical fouls, how close the score was at the end of that tension-filled Game 3, then you can expect more of the same in Game 4 when the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings will gun for a return to the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals while they will be facing off against the Meralco Bolts, a team they’ve beaten in last year’s Finals. 
On the other hand, Coach Nash Racela and the rest of the Talk N Text KaTropa will need all hands in to win this game and force a sudden death match on Tuesday. For that to happen, the KaTropa will need more than just another monstrous performance from their import, Glen Rice. Jr.
As Glen Rice Jr. walked out of the court and later, of the venue, the chances of a Ginebra victory increased remarkably. However, the Talk N Text KaTropa were able to hold on their own, for a short period of time as the Gin Kings stunned the KaTropa when the crowd favourites left nothing to chance after erasing an 18-point hole in the third quarter to win Game 4, at 115-105 to book their much-awaited Finals rematch with the Mealco Bolts.
Coming off their close encounter back in Game 3 of their best-of-5 semifinal series which ended in a 106-103 victory by the defending champions, both teams started off scoring against each other as the KaTropa built a 5-point lead 4 minutes into the game as Jayson Castro scored 7 points during that span. Then, Glen Rice Jr. made it 27-17 after draining jump shot just a few steps away from the 3-point line as Ryan Reyes and Moala Tautuaa joined forces to score TNT’s next 5 points to make it 32-17 which was followed by a timeout from Tim Cone. 
However, just when TNT was already leading, Glen Rice Jr. was ejected after pushing down Kevin Ferrer AND, throwing the ball which almost hit Ferrer in the face. Despite that, TNT was able to end the first quarter with the lead, at 43-32.
Knowing that the KaTropa were already without their high-scoring import, Ginebra slowly trimmed the deficit to 43-38 during the first 3 minutes of the second quarter. From that point on, turnovers plagued the offense of both teams as Ginebra was able to furthermore to push down the lead to 5 points but TNT was able to score thanks to the aggressiveness of Jayson Castro who completed a 3-point to play to make it 52-44 with under 7 minutes to play before halftime. Then, Tautuaa added a one-handed dunk to bring the lead up to double-digit. Roger Pogoy then drained a long-distance bomb to give the KaTropa, a 15-point advantage in the closing minutes of the first half as both teams headed into the break with TNT leading at 66 -52.
Troy Rosario top-scored TNT with 18 points in the first half while Jayson Castro added 14 points and 6 assists to lessen the effects of Glen Rice Jr.’s absence who had 2 points before getting thrown out. While both teams were shooting above 50% in the field, points scored off fastbreak opportunities propelled TNT into the lead during the first half as the KaTropa outscored Ginebra13-2 in fastbreak points. And, despite the absence of their import, TNT rebounders were able to outmuscle their Ginebra counterparts, holding a 22-15 rebounding edge.
Justin Brownlee had 18 points to lead the Gin Kings as LA Tenorio added 14 markers in the first half. One of the reasons why Ginebra failed to pound on the absence of Glen Rice Jr. was the fact that Ginebra’s offense was mired with 13 turnovers in the first half which the KaTropa converted to 16 points.
Right after Justin Brownlee dunked the ball during the first two minutes of the second half, Jayson Castro drained two charities to give TNT an 18-point advantage. However, LA Tenorio made a 3-point shot and Brownlee added two free throws to make it 72-59 with 8:33 to go as Nash Racela called a timeout to stop the bleeding. Then, Justin Brownlee went on personal 11-0 scoring blast to bring the lead down to 74-69 with under 7 minutes to play in the quarter. 
With Ginebra threatening to inch closer, Jayson Castro and Moala Tautua scored the 4 straight points to put TNT’s lead to 9, at 80-71 with under 4 minutes to go. TNT’s lead never went back to double digits during the remaining minutes of the 3rd quarter as both squads went into the final quarter with the KaTropa only leading by 6 points, at 86-80.
Kelly Williams opened the 4th quarter for TNT with an alley-oop dunk but Sol Mercado made another trey for Ginebra to bring the Gin Kings with 3 points, at 88-85. Then, the score was finally tied at 90 apiece after Justin Brownlee calmly drained two charities with under 10 minutes left in the game to force a puzzled Nash Racela to talk things out with his players because their 18-point lead had already evaporated. Mark Caguioa gave the Gin Kings the lead, at 92-90 after scoring on an inside shot only for Castro to add 2 free throws to tie the game anew, at 92 all. Justin Brownlee continued his scoring onslaught as he drained another one from outside and LA Tenorio scored on another inside basket to give the Gin Kings a 99-94 lead.
Exactly like they did back in the 3rd quarter, TNT struggled to make shots as they missed tons of open shots as LA Tenorio added trey to give Ginebra, a 10-point advantage with under 5 minutes left. Roger Pogoy finally broke the silence for TNT after scoring on the inside but the entire KaTropa team continued with their slump which was made worse by the ejection of Glen Rice Jr.
Justin Brownlee scored 46 BIG points to lead the Gin Kings. Former Ateneo Blue Eagles LA Tenorio and Greg Slaughter added 25 and 21 respectively while Sol Mercado added 11 points off the bench. As a team, the Gin Kings were able to make 13 out of their 32 attempts from deep while blocking 9 shots.
Without their high-scoring import, the rest of the KaTropa struggled all game long as they were lead by Troy Rosario with his 28 points to go along with his 10 rebounds. Jayson Castro had 26 points, 8 boards, and 9 dimes. The bad side of that impressive stat line was that Castro only made 9 of his 20 attempts.
Scores:
Ginebra – 115
Brownlee 46, Tenorio 25, Slaughter 21, Mercado 11, J. Aguilar 6, Ferrer 4, Caguioa 2, Thompson 0, Devance 0, Helterbrand 0, Jamito 0, Cruiz 0, Mariano 0, R. Aguilar 0, Taha 0
TNT – 105
Rosario 28, Castro 26, Pogoy 14, Semerad 12, Williams 10, Tautuaa 9, Reyes 4, Rice Jr. 2, Golla 0, Carey 0, Hernandez 0, Lingganay 0, Seigle 0, Chua 0
Quarter scores:
32-41, 52-66, 80-86, 115-105

The Analytics: Ginebra’s Win Against SMB By The Numbers

Just how good the Gin Kings were last night?

At one point, there were three Ginebra players bothering MVP candidate Fajardo. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
While there’s no denying the fact that the San Miguel Beermen, a team whose Grand Slam aspiration was crushed to the final piece last night, is still among the elite teams in the league thanks to having the best starting unit that was ever assembled, they had no concrete answer to the way the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings played against them last night and as a result, a 104-84 victory by the Gin Kings  which booked their slot into the semifinals. 
While many were shocked by the fact that the Beermen struggled offensively during the entire game, many were also quick to admit that Tim Cone’s defensive schemes especially against June Mar Fajardo, worked to perfection as Ginebra successfully limited the offensive output of the Kraken by occasionally throwing in two defenders against the big man who was forced to take difficult shots that were either blocked or miserably missed the basket. And it didn’t stop there. Even the snipers of Coach Leo Austria had a miserable shooting night which was one of the main reasons why they were blown out in the first place.

As good as the win was for Ginebra, let’s take a look at some numbers and see how these numbers contributed to Ginebra’s victory:

8 Offensive Rebounds

This was probably was of the amazing numbers that were produced last night. This, folks, was Scottie Thompson’s total number of offensive rebounds. Let this basketball pundit emphasize it again: Scottie Thompson, a guy who is only 6’1” in height, had 8 OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS and 13 in total. He was the leading rebounder last night. Even though his shots weren’t falling, he managed to find other ways to be effective and out-rebounding the big men of the Beermen allowed Thompson to pass the ball to his teammates for another scoring opportunity.  Sure, Fajardo grabbed 9 offensive rebounds but watching Thompson grabbed those 8 offensive rebounds with the big men of San Miguel around him, this guy has the “Never Say Die” mantra printed in his very soul.   

9 Points in the Second Quarter for SMB

This was the total points that San Miguel scored in the whole second quarter, a far cry to Ginebra’s 22 points. To begin with, the score was actually tied at 23 apiece to start the quarter and that was when Ginebra’s defense started to bother Fajardo and company. In fact, the Beermen were held scoreless for almost 5 minutes as San Miguel’s shots were clanking or rattling out of the basket thanks to the consistency and the willingness of the Ginebra players to contest shots, even those shots that the Beermen usually make. In addition to this, that scoring drought that was endured by the Beermen allowed the Gin Kings to go on an 8-0 run which allowed them to pull away, for good. 

22 Points Bench Productions

Ginebra bench players stepped up and produced 22 points during the entire game which proved essential against a San Miguel team that is known as a team who relies heavily on their starting unit. 13 of those 22 points came from the gentle giant, Greg Slaughter who also got the assignment of trying to stop his fellow Cebuano, Fajardo. Sol Mercado also came off the bench to produce the same number of points as of the entire bench of San Miguel, at 9 points. 

25 Dimes

This was the number of assists that Ginebra generated in last night’s victory. As a result, the Gin Kings were able to make most of their scoring opportunities as they made 49% of their field goal attempts, most of them were inside shots such as dunks and lay-ups off crafty passes from Ginebra playmakers. Tinyente LA Tenorio had 10 of those 25 assists, two more than the combined number of assists of San Miguel’s Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross. 

Video: TNT’s Rice Jr and Castro Exploded to Gain Crucial Win Against Ginebra

TNT Makes Life More Miserable for Gin Kings with Complications

Glen Rice Jr. regained his shooting touch to help lead TNT to an important win. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
If there’s one game where both teams knew that they cannot afford to lose, it’s probably this game between crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings against the Talk N Text Katropa. 
Why? Let’s just say that if Ginebra will lose this game, their road towards a back-to-back Governors’ Cup titles will be much complicated because we all have to remember that the Meralco Bolts can still snatch that Number 1 seed from the Gin Kings, should the Bolts win tomorrow. 
As for the Katropa, a win against the Gin Kings will enable them to finish the elimination round with an 8-3 record and should the Bolts go on to win against the San Miguel Beerman tomorrow, Talk N Text will have a fighting chance via the PBA quotient system to enter the playoffs as the number 3 team.
As it turned out, Ginebra will have to wait for the result of the Meralco-San Miguel game tomorrow to know their fate after the Talk N Text Katropa dominated them 122-98 which pushed the Gin Kings’ record to 8-3 after 11 games
The first half was a see-saw battle with Ginebra leading after the first 12 minutes of action and then TNT just started stepping on the gas at every scoring opportunity as Jayson Castro buried 3 of his attempts from beyond the arc as he led TNT with 17 points and 4 assists at the break. TNT took an 8 point lead into halftime despite the struggle of their import, Glen Rice Jr., who had 16 points on a miserable 5 of 15 shooting. 
Ginebra on the other hand only had Justin Brownlee who had 14 points at halftime to lead the Gin Kings. While Ginebra forced their opponent to make only 35% of their shots from the rainbow country, they allowed TNT to dominate the 2-point area which saw Castro and company 61% of the shots inside during the first half as compared to Ginebra who only made 42% of their shot within the 2-point area.
When the third quarter started, TNT started building a double-digit lead which reached 14 with under 8 minutes to play in the quarter thanks to Rice Jr’s aggressiveness. In addition to this, local players of Coach Nash Racela made a significant impact throughout the game to counter the earlier struggle of their import. Ginebra fell behind by as much as 17 points after a trey from Rice Jr. with under 6 minutes to go in the quarter. In fact, Ginebra struggled to sustain an offensive run as TNT would simply answer every run they make with a scoring run of their own as the lead later ballooned to 20 after another 3-pointer from who else? Glen Rice Jr. who scored 18 points in that quarter alone. RR Pogoy later hit a 3-pointer of his own to put TNT up by 22 with 4 minutes to spare. Ginebra’s Head Coach Tim Cone could only watch as his team fell behind by 17 entering the fourth quarter.
TNT wanted to make sure that they kept Ginebra at bay as they started the 4th quarter with back-to-back treys from Jayson Castro which forced Tim Cone to call a timeout 2 minutes into the quarter. The Blur would later add 2 more treys and Pogoy would score on a fastbreak dunk as TNT  continued to pound in on the points.
What doomed Ginebra in this game? Tons of things. They weren’t able to contain the 3-point shooting of TNT. They allowed Castro and company to make the most of their opportunity from beyond the 3-point line, converting a total of 17 out of 40 attempts which is a far cry to Ginebra’s 6 of 23 attempts from beyond the arc Ginebra was also outscored in terms of the fastbreak points where they only converted 6 points compared to 19 fastbreak points by TNT.
Glen Rice Jr. recovered from his early slump to lead his team with 36 points including 6 of 13 attempts from rainbow country. Castro complimented their import’s performance with 28 points on his own to go along with his 7 assists.  Troy Rosario added 15 points, which includes a perfect 3 of 3 shooting from beyond the arc, and 10 rebounds while Kelly Williams finished with 10 points and 11 boards. Roger Pogoy finished the elimination round with 15 points to lead TNT’s players off the bench. 
On the other hand, only Justin Brownlee and Japeth Aguilar managed to score in double figures for the Gin Kings as Brownlee and Aguilar finished with 28 and 19 respectively. The rest of the Gin Kings struggled miserably starting with LA Tenorio who only made 1 of his 9 attempts for his 6 points.  Joe Devance was also struggling with his offense as he only converted 3 of his 8 attempts, good for 7 points for the night. The Gin Kings cannot simply play this way if they want to win back-to-back Governors’ Cup titles.

Scores:

TNT – 121
Rice Jr. 36, Castro 28, Rosario 15, Pogoy 15, Semerad 4, Chua 4, Golla 3, Carey 2, Tautuaa 2, Siegle 2, Nuyles 0, Hernandez 0, Reyes 0, Lingganay 0, Tamsi 0

Ginebra – 92
Brownlee 28, J. Aguilar 19, Thompson 9, Devance 7, Tenorio 6, Mercado 6, R. Aguilar 4, Caguioa 4, Slaughter 4, Ferrer 3, Cruz 2, Helterbrand 0, Jamito 0, Mariano 0, Taha 0

Quarter scores:

30-31, 57-49, 88-69, 121-92

Back in 2013, Abueva Said he Wants to Play for Ginebra…Someday

Is the beast on the move?!

Where will the Beast go from here? (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Over the years, Calvin Abueva has been known, loved and even hated for his aggressiveness as well as for his defensive antics that have one primary purpose: to make any player he is guarding at any given moment lose his focus, his cool and eventually, that player’s offensive game will be ruined.

That’s the kind of game Abueva has been playing ever since he came to the PBA since he was drafted by the Alaska Aces back in 2012. Even back in his college days with the San Sebastian Stags in the NCAA where he also won an MVP award, the Beast was already dominant on both ends of the court.

As the Alaska Aces ended their miserable 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup campaign with a 3-8  slate after another embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, nagging whispers regarding Abueva’s future with the team have been making the rounds anew. Even though it has been continuously denied by the Alaska management namely, by Head Coach Alex Compton, circulating rumors has it that Abueva may be on the move come next season.

This is despite the mere fact that both Alaska and Abueva himself, have agreed to a 15.1 million Peso, 3-year deal back in 2015- a deal that will be ending this season. Should Abueva wants to remain with the Aces, it should be easy especially considering the fact that he was considered to be a part of the Aces’ core back in 2015. Was.

If Abueva will be playing for another team come the next season, the Aces will lose a big part of themselves and the Aces themselves know that. But, Abueva wasn’t even in uniform during the Aces’ latest defeat and he has been missing tons of games this season due to personal reasons and his stint with the Gilas Pilipinas.

Should the Beast make a move, which team would be the best destination? 

The answer to that question is simple: Ginebra. As mentioned by Abueva himself in the past and earlier this season, he wanted to play for the fan-favorite Gin Kings. In fact, photos of Calvin Abueva in a Ginebra uniform have been circulating in the social media as of late and apparently, fans are clamoring for it to happen- fans of the Gin Kings and the Beast to say the least.

Here’s the question, folks, let’s say Abueva does go on to sign with the Gin Kings, will he fit in the already crowded and talented line-up of Coach Tim Cone? The answer would be a BIG YES. Why? Ginebra is known as the team who lives and dies by their “Never Say Die” mantra and when it comes to never quitting no matter the odds are, we all know that the Beast can live up to that reputation and will stand up against opposing players no matter how big they are- something that we all saw during his stint with Gilas that played in the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon earlier this year.

Whether or not Calvin Abueva will play for Ginebra, it’s all up to the Beast himself and, to the Alaska management, too. Abueva may have been tamed down a bit but we all know what he’s capable of. The Aces can drop him but they too, themselves know that replacing a player of Calvin’s caliber is a monstrous task for any team for that matter.

If ever Ginebra gets to sign the Beast, that alone, could change the balance in the PBA because imagine a team that has a healthy Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson who is making a name for himself too, an always reliable LA Tenorio and, the Beast, that’s a scary team. It’s like giving a monster another claw for himself.

LA Tenorio Thinks LeBron is Getting Better But Hoped Cleveland will Lose to This Team

LA TENORIO LOOKS UP TO LEBRON JAMES BUT IS NOT A CLEVELAND FAN

The star point guard recently played alongside LeBron James in an exhibition game last weekend and while he thinks that Lebron James is getting better, he hopes that they wont beat the San Antonio Spurs. 
In an interview after the Strive for Greatness Manila Tour game when Lebron James visited the Philippines for the 3rd time, Tenorio was very thankful that he was invited to be part of the action again and still wishes to be a part of future events like this. He also noted how far reaching the influence of LeBron James has gone especially among young players and fans. 

Ala Eh! Batangas Native LA Tenorio is the Best Player of the Week

33 year old native of Nasugbu, Batangas is at it again against Global Port as he torched the Batang Pier with his relentless shooting.  He tallied a total of 29 points and his performance earned him the player of the week honor from the PBA.
He has spent 12 years in the PBA already and there are no signs of slowing down from the 2006 4th overall pick of San Miguel Beermen. Tenorio, who played for four teams already with SMB, Magnolia, Alaska and currently with Ginebra is averaging 22 points in his last two games.

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Do you think LA Tenorio will have a breakout conference?

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LA Tenorio Dedicates Win to an Avid Ginebra Fan that Recently Died

LA Tenorio after a top notch game against the Meralco Bolts talks about how difficult the game was against Meralco Bolts a top team like Meralco Bolts. He recognized coach Norman Black for being a great defensive team and was really thankful for the hard earned win.
LA Tenorio also commented on the retro jersey that they wore at the game, he said that they owe it to the players that played before them and why they are here right now. He also shares that it would be a waste if they doesn’t win the game.

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Lastly, he dedicates the win to a Ginebra fan that recently died.

ICYMI: LA Tenorio Manila Clasico Awesome Play Against Tony Mitchell

The last Manila Clasico was definitely one of the best games that Ginebra played.
It’s always a classic when two of the most popular sports teams in the land meet.
In case you missed it, Ginebra won that game and LA Tenorio put up this amazing under the net reverse layup that shook the world by storm.
Check out the crazy play below.

Watch What Happened When Tenorio and Fonancier Competed with Harden and Paul

It was July of 2011. The NBA was on a lockout and the NBA players have been itching to play.
The basketball gods suddenly smiled at the Philippines and brought over some of the best NBA players during that time.
Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant among others and of course James Harden and Chris Paul who competed with Larry Fonancier and LA Tenorio in a 3 point shoot out. Check it out!