Cone Wants Japeth And Joe To Get Their Offense Going.

Photo by PBA Media Bureau

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is off to a great start after falling behind in their first game of the conference against the Phoenix Fuel Masters in an out of town game. The country’s most loved ball club who had a very impressive performance in their last conferences, clinching a title in the Governors’ cup in the previous season and made another finals appearance in the season opener conference against the tough contender San Miguel Beermen.
Cone and the rest of the squad is on a mission again this conference to try and bring the glory to their country-wide-known franchise as they prove that they can beat elite teams such as Star Hotshots who they previously gave a beating in a Manila Clasico showdown in MOA arena in front of an expectedly huge crowd.
The most winningest coach was left impressed with how their import was able to battle head to head with tall imports. Barangay Ginebra brought back their Governors’ Cup hero Justin Brownlee as their reinforcement into this conference which allows each team to bring in an import with the maximum height limit of 6’10”. The Ginebra management chose familiarity over size to try and clinch another title. But the most successful coach still wants Japeth Aguilar and Joe Devance to find their tempo and get their offense going given that they are the ones banging their bodies inside the lane with the role to fill the shoes left by Greg Slaughter.
As the Ginebra squad tries to figure out a way to get everybody involved, it is probably one of the best start in their franchise history that will eventually lead them to another Finals appearance without the help of the tallest player in the PBA, Slaughter who is expected to suit up next conference in another import-laiden conference.

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Rides Sol Mercado’s Heroics to Get Their First Win in The Series

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After being down by 0 to 2 in the series against the Star Hotshots in the first two games of the best of seven semis, The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel finally got their first W after a successful fourth quarter run.

Ginebra dominated most of the quarters, but again found themselves trailing after a huge run by the Hotshots. Paul Lee, the hero of the first two games had a hard time sinking his shots but eventually converted his three pointers during the final stretch.

Sol Mercado, the key player of this game sank three point attempts during the crucial moments of the final quarter along side Japeth Aguilar who surprisingly made a shot from beyond the arc that took the game away from their long time rival Star Hotshots.

With less than two minutes left in the pay off period, Ginebra led with as much as 13 points. Coach Chito Victolero has decided to call the game off by sending his starters back to the bench obviously surrendering from this huge deficit to preserve and prepare his players for game 4 on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Barangay Ginebra stayed alive in the series after a possible 3-0 series lead by Star Hotshots. People are not surprised that Ginebra could comeback in the series as they’ve been to a lot of the same scenarios and eventually emerged victorious.

The scores: 

GINEBRA 73 – Mercado 16, Aguilar 15, Caguioa 8, Tenorio 7, Thompson 7, Ferrer 6, Devance 6, Cruz 3, Marcelo 3, Ellis 2, Mariano 0, Helterbrand 0, Mariano 0. 

STAR 62 – Pingris 12, Melton 8, Jalalon 7, Lee 7, Barroca 6, Sangalang 6, Simon 5, Maliksi 4, Reavis 3, Abundo 2, Dela Rosa 2, Brondial 0, Ramos 0. 

Quarterscores: 21-10, 33-29, 50-51, 73-62.

Maliksi Continues Streak, Lifts Star Pass Mahindra for Playoff Spot

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After a few frustrating losses which was assessed by Victolero as miscues, Star ended their elimination round with great performances with stacked wins in the past few games.
Alein Maliksi who was chosen as player of the week continues to show great performance in the absence of his former team mate who’s currently playing with Rain or Shine. Maliksi, who had some off nights in most of their outings in the past season has finally proved his worth in the Star roster as one of the deadly shooters in the league.
The success of Star Hotshots has finally saw its moment after playing under a different system with Chito Victolero calling the shots on his first season with the SMC franchise.
Consistency is one of the notable characteristics that has been visible in this campaign for Star after struggling to gel into the new system but it’s still a long way to go before these compliments pay off and will be tested in their new mission to win in the playoff games against one of the most improved teams in the PBA Phoenix Fuelmasters.

The scores:

STAR 124 – Maliksi 33, Lee 16, Melton 11, Ramos 11, Jalalon 11, Sangalang 10, Abundo 8, Barroca 7, Brondial 6, Reavis 5, Pingris 2, Javier 2, Dela Rosa 2, De Leon 0.

MAHINDRA 87 – Salva 15, Mallari 15, Yee 14, Paniamogan 9, Revilla 7, Ballesteros 6, Teng 6, Celda 5, Apinan 4, Elorde 2, Eriobu 2, Galanza 2, Nimes 0.

Quarterscores: 41-19, 68-40, 93-65, 124-87

Meralco continues to fight for 8th spot after win against Elasto Painters

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After being on the losing column a couple of times, Meralco finally found their way into the winning track after beating the talented guard loaded roster of Globalport Batang Pier on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Right after a disappointing conference finals against the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Meralco just had a 6 straight losing skid prior to the 82-72 win against the Batang Pier.

Meralco bursted with 35 points in the first quarter against the 20 points production of Globalport and eventually got their 3rd win in this season opening conference after 10 games, it has been tough for the squad to gain back their composure after their finals series.

Newsome led the Bolts  with 19 points, 4 boards and 6 assists. This win doesn’t guarantee them a spot in the playoffs but they admit that this win boosts their morale after losing most of their games out of the 10 recorded.

Another game left for the Bolts against Star on January 28, a game that will not also guarantee them any spot in the quarter finals but also one of the must win games left in the elimination round.

Alaska to play best basketball against Star Hotshots

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Each team had a long break after the holiday season but Alaska had the longest rest off the PBA main court after being out of the playing field for three weeks.

It is hard to sustain the kind of momentum a team has especially after not playing for a while. Compton said that it is hard to face a team that has a lot of threats in the offensive end.

Guys like Paul Lee, Allein Maliksi and Pj Simon who have great shooting percentage are one of the worries that the Alaska coach has. While also strategizing on how to stop guys like Marc Pingris and Reavis who are dominant inside the paint.

But as witnessed, Alaska is set to keep it’s streak going with the help of Calvin Abueva, Pascual and their strong frontliners. Having a 3-3 record in the current PBA elimination round, it is also crucial for these teams to win each remaining games to qualify into the next round and get a chance to step on to the Championship Stage again after a long time.

Both Alaska and Star Hotshots are Championship caliber teams that is always an anticipated shodown of physical game. They will face each other on January 11 to increase their chances to get a play-off spot.

Rain or Shine overhauls team roster, parted ways with Guiao, Lee and Quiñahan.

After Yeng Guiao’s transfer from Rain or Shine to NLEX Road Warriors, the Rain or Shine management swiftly shuffled their team roster.

JR Quiñahan, one of the “extra rice” duo has found his way to the Globalport Batang Pier a few days after Guiao’s reported take over of the MVP franchise team NLEX. Quiñahan has been one of the inside and outside threat of Rain or Shine will now bring his arsenal to his new team Globalport that will be an additional offensive option for this ball club and will be an additional help on the Globalport’s frontline toughness. On the other hand Jay Washington who has been one of the perimeter threats of Globalport will now try to crack a spot in the first or second stringer to help out Romeo and Pringle.

Another developing story that was first reported by is the trade of the two All Star members James Yap and Paul Lee.Though it is not on the papers yet and we are yet to get a confirmation about it, this could be one of the biggest exchange of players in this season and the coming off season. James Yap has been one of the Star Hotshots weapon inside and outside of the paint and if this Star makes his way to Rain or Shine, he will be a good addition to their off guard line up together with Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood. Paul Lee as an exchange for Yap, if the trade has been confirmed will be joining RR Garcia and Barroca in the play maker lineup of the Star Hotshots. Being one of the dedliest shooter in the league with an excellent skill in transition play execution we will expect this franchise to be a complex run and gun with outside threat in the next season.