A Wheeler’s Opinion: The Hotshots’ intact core MIGHT help them get back to the Finals. MIGHT
Question: will a good chemistry be enough to bring the Hotshots to the promised land?
Yesterday’s crowd was an indication of the fans’ displeasure towards the league
The PBA is back, ladies and gentlemen!
PBA Board appoints Willie Marcial as OIC
Fans will finally get the answers once the season kicks off next week
Who will be the PBA Commissioner come December 17, 2017?
Will San Miguel win a Grand Slam this time?
Who will win the Rookie of the Year?
With the huge addition of Christian Standhardinger on the SMB Squad, liquor just got even stronger so they may destroy the mighty Barangay Ginebra or give them a hard time at the very least.
With the threat against the twin towers being shut down, who can fill in the hypothetical void to be left?
Christian Standhardinger picked 1st while Raymar Jose was 3rd overall in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft.
Here’s why it can happen and why it will not happen
Question: Will it Happen?
Here’s why it’s right and not
TNT has a point
- Standhardinger submitted his application through a proxy.
- He was allowed to miss the Draft Combine regardless of the validity of the excuse.
No. It’s Totally Disrespectful
Update: SMB vs KIA trade vetoed by the Commissioner and now being revised
3 players? All third-stingers for the Beermen:
- JayR Reyes
- Rashawn McCarthy
- Keith Agovida
- Chris Ross
- Alex Cabagnot
- Arwind Santos
- June Mar Fajardo
Ginebra enters the semifinals after dominance against the Beermen
Ginebra – 104
Brownlee 37, Devance 17, J. Aguilar 13, Slaughter 13, Marcelo 9 Tenorio 8, Thompson 7, Helterbrand 0, Ferrer 0, Jamito 0, Cruz, Mariano 0, Caguioa 0, R. Aguilar 0, Taha 0
San Miguel – 84
Watson 30, Fajardo 19, Lassiter 13, Cabagnot 8, Santos 6, Ross 5, Espinas 3, Heruela 0, McCarthy 0, Pessumal 0, Reyes 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Agovida 0, Semerad 0, Tubid 0, de Ocampo 0
23-23, 45-32, 74-61, 104-84
These things will help Ginebra against SMB
The Gin Kings had the chance to go for the number 1 spot but the Talk N Text Katropa denied the crowd darlings and instead, Ginebra was relegated to 3rd place.
On the other hand, the Beermen had the chance to finish in the Top 4 and get that twice-to-beat advantage but thanks to a stunning defeat at the hands of the Meralco Bolts which saw the Bolts come back from an 18-point hole, June Mar Fajardo and the rest of the Beermen fell to 6th place and have to beat the Gin Kings, twice, to be able to move on to the semifinals which will keep their hopes for a grand slam alive.
Now, equipped with the twice-to-beat incentive, the Gin Kings know that letting the Beermen build up any form of confidence when the two teams clash anew come Wednesday is not an option because whether we like it or not, the Beermen have been in this situation where they needed to win successive games against a team. Remember? They won 4 straight against the Alaska Aces in the Finals to win the championship after being down 0-3. So, winning two straight game is, let’s say more doable for a team of the Beermen’s calibre.
Even though San Miguel is only making 19% of their attempts from rainbow country during the elimination round, Ginebra should make sure that they defend the shooters of San Miguel. And, don’t forget to defend Fajardo as well. Basically, choosing between sending a double-team or even a triple-team to defend Fajardo and, closing in on the shooters is a gamble and a headache for any team who is facing San Miguel and that what makes them the best all-local team that we have in the league right now.
The rest of the Gin Kings must find a way to contribute in other way when they are struggling offensively. For starters, LA Tenorio’s leadership on the floor will be needed so is the athleticism of Scottie Thompson. Greg Slaughter also needs to find a way to make his presnece felt to take off some defensive pressure away from Brownlee and Aguilar. And speaking of Aguilar, he has to score more points now that he has ended a series of scoreless games which can benefit the Gin Kings because this will mean that Brownlee won’t need to take majority of the scoring load.
Live the “Never Say Die” Mentality
If anything, Wednesday will be the perfect time for the Gin Kings to go back to that mentality because playing against a deadly team like San Miguel will require more than just the talents and skills. It requires the heart to go on fighting and when it comes to this, no better team does this other than Ginebra, right?
Meralco Claims Number 1 Spot after Comeback Win
After back-to-back made baskets by Fajardo, Allen Durham another trey with under 6 minutes on the clock only to be answered by another basket by Fajardo. A pair of charities by Cliff Hodge brought Meralco within 2 with under 5 minutes to play.
After the Beermen increased their lead back to 9, Meralco charged back right away, just trailing 96-92 with under 3 minutes to go until Jared Dillinger drained another trey cut down the lead just to 1. After a Watson basket, Amer scored on another three-pointer to tie the game at 98 apiece with 1:24 to go. Durham gave Meralco its first taste of the lead on a driving lay-up against Fajardo with under a minute to play. Chris Ross answered right back with another trey to give the Beermen a 101-100 lead heading into the final 40 seconds. Durham scored on his own missed shot to put his team back up 102-101 with under 28 seconds remaining.
San Miguel still had one more chance to take the lead but Fajardo’s shot was heavily contested and Meralco was able to grab the ensuing rebound and call an all-important timeout with 4 seconds on the clock. Durham added two more free throws as San Miguel ran out of time on the other end.
While the starters of San Miguel produced their usual numbers, it was the bench scoring that allowed Meralco to mount a comeback and eventually, helped them win the game.
SMB Wins a close one against Phoenix
Here’s the thing, if the Beermen win this game, they will be tied with the NLEX Road Warriors for the 4th spot which will give them a chance to earn a twice-to-beat advantage. If they lose, they will be tied with the Rain o Shine Elasto Painters for the 5th spot. Either way, the Beermen will be tied with another team and if you are a team who is gunning for a rare grand slam, you would surely prefer to be fighting for a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals, right?
While both teams struggled offensively, only shooting 37% in the field during the first half, the 2-pt field goal percentage of San Miguel proved to be the difference as they outperformed Phoenix 50% to 42% in that category during the entire game. Free throw shooting has also played an important part as well as total assists as the Beerman has proven again and again that they can beat any team if they are fluidly passing the ball around, looking for the best scoring option.
Both teams traded both made and missed baskets in the next few minutes of the 4th. The Fuel Master got as close as 2 points, at 98-96 with five minutes on Matthew Wright’s free throws. Then, on Brandon Brown’s free throws, the game was tied at 100 with under 3 minutes to go until the Beerman answered with 4 straight points to put their lead up by 4-points with under 2 minutes left.
The Fuel Masters still had one more chance to inch closer but Mathew Wright uncharacteristically air-balled a 3-pointer with under a minute left. To make things worse, Arwind Santos was able to tap the ball away from Brandon Brown then Fajardo was fouled and made both free throws. Jeff Chan later scores on a lay-up to cut the lead to 4, at 106-102 with 21 seconds to go in the game. Cabagnot made 1 of 2 free throws after winning a jump ball and then JC Intal nailed a trey with under 10 seconds only to for Cabagnot to make 2 more throws to ice the game with 6 seconds to go.
The Fuel Masters scored on another basket with 1 second remaining but that proved to be their last hurrah as the Beermen dribbled away the clock off a timeout.
|Cabagnot flying through traffic, photo by PBA Media Bureau|
SMB > PHX.
SAN MIGUEL 110 – Fajardo 22, Rhodes 19, Lassiter 15, Cabagnot 14, Ross 11, Santos 11, McCarthy 6, Agovida 4, Van Opstal 3, Espinas 3, Heruela 2, Semerad 0.
PHOENIX 88 – McKay 21, Jazul 16, Intal 14, Dehesa 8, J. Wilson 6, Kramer 6, Alolino 4, Borboran 4, Miranda 3, Eriobu 2, Torres 2, Viernes 2, Wright 0, Baguio 0, Hayes 0, W. Wilson 0,
Quarters: 24-23, 55-40, 84-62, 110-88
|Photo Courtesy of PBA Media Bureau|
|Photo Courtesy of PBA Media Bureau|
|Courtesy of PBA Media Bureau|
JC Intal led the Phoenix Fuel Masters into another win as they surpass the league giant San Miguel Beermen.
San Miguel Beermen struggled in converting their charities as they only averaged 55% making only 12 of their 22 attempts. On the three point category where Phoenix did an awesome job where they averaged 40% led by JC Intal who made 5 three point shots out of his 9 attempts along side Simon Enciso who scored 15 points all coming from beyond the arc.
The Phoenix Fuel Masters has bee on the driver’s seat through out the game as the Beermen played catch the entire four quarters of this second game in a Wednesday Philippine cup showdown.
The Fuel Masters’ rookie Matthew Wright had an excellent performance night contributing 14 points with an impressive 75% freethrow shooting average to end the game together with fellow rookie Gelo Alolino who listed 13 points who was perfect from the free throw line with 50% conversion from beyond the arc.
Junmar Fajardo tried to salvage the win for the beermen and was the highest scorer of the game with 19 points after dominating the paint but fell shortly with lack of points contribution from his fellow beermen having Alex Cabagnot only converting 1 three pointer out of his 4 attempts which is unusal for this shooting guard.
Final : 92-85 in favor of the Phoenix Fuel Masters
Phoenix 92 – Intal 22, Enciso 15, Wright 14, Alolino 13, Caperal 10, W. Wilson 6, Lanete 4, Torres 4, Baguio 2, Hayes 2, J. Wilson 0, Borboran 0.
San Miguel 85 – Fajardo 19, Cabagnot 16, Espinas 12, Lassiter 12, Santos 10, Garcia 9, Ross 4, Reyes 3, Agovida 0, Semerad 0, Tubid 0.
Quarters: 26-15, 49-35, 77-63, 92-85
Best players of the game: Simon Enciso (15 points and 9 assists) and Matthew Wright (14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists)!
|Photo by Cynthia Pedrosa|
This is probably one of the most historic semi-finals series in the history of the PBA where records have been written such as Scottie Thompson’s triple double performace, huge crowd recorded in a semi-final game, most anticipated games by the fans and the fastest ticket selling. Having two brackets with two sister teams competing for a title, the PBA has made a huge difference in terms of showcasing a great entertainment platform in the sports industry.
The longest running professional league has been known for historic match ups and legendary players but this match up between the San Miguel Beermen who we might say the most successful team in the league so far having been crowned multiple times as PBA champions while on the other hand, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, one of the first franchises in the league and the most popular ball club is different on it’s own era.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel has not won a title in almost a decade now and this crowd darling with the largest fan base is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated teams in the league to win this prestigious conference title. Social Media has been exploding with topics about this semi-finals series between these sister franchises. While San Miguel Beermen, will try to continue their rampage as they continue to fight for another title. Meralco’s first final appearance is also one of the milestones that this conference has recorded.
Having said that, as many people say, this is probably one of the best seasons that the PBA had. With the highly anticipated games and new records reached. PBA is off to a successful season ending conference as people goes back to the glory days and make this era one of them. Continuing the legacy of the league legends, all the members of PBA and even the players are giving the fans what they deserve and exceeding their expectations with exciting and entertaining games.
|Photo by PBA Media|
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel went through a very rough path before getting their 2nd win in the semi-finals series against the San Miguel Beermen giving them a inch distance away from their finals appearance where they will face the winner of the series between Meralco and TNT.
It was a tight ball game from the tip off to the final period having the two teams exchange leads from time to time and even had multiple deadlocks through out the quarters. The beermen continues to show their successful three point skills which have been dangerous from the start of the series.
Junmar Fajardo was limited with playing minutes because of foul trouble having 5 fouls listed in the 4th quarter which made coach Leo Austria to bench him out for long minutes, Ginebra took advantage of this edge and gets their points from inside the pain and penetrations.
At the fourth quarter with 30 seconds left on the clock the beermen was on the driver seat with a precarious 1 point lead. Ginebra has the possession and decided not to call a time out to go back to the drawing board. Justin Brownlee fired a three and missed then Scottie Thompson gets the possession and attempted a lay up and was also not successful. LA tenorio got the ball with 8 seconds on the clock and dished it to Sol Mercado who immediately attacked the basket which lured the SMB defense leaving Japeth Aguilar at the wing side, Sol Mercado passed the ball to Japeth then Aguilar took a jumper with approximately 1 second on the clock and sinks the winning jumper.
Best Player of the Game:
Scottie Thompson 12 points, 10 rebound and 10 assists
After an excellent elimination round in the post-season conference, seeing young teams emerging into the next level of this conference top 4 teams have earned their top spots in the standings. Two of the biggest franchises in PBA history have placed their teams on the top seeds. And as per their performance, these teams have outstanding backcourt standouts.
TNT Katropa who ended their conference elimination round at the top spot after beating Barangay Ginebra in a game deciding match have their number 1 point guard not only in the league but was hailed as the best point guard in Asia. Jason Castro who served as the steering wheel of the squad is doing an excellent job in making his team mates involved in their offense and sometimes makes his own executions perfectly.
San Miguel Beermen, on the other hand who ended at the 2nd spot after the TNT-Ginebra game also have impressive point guards and one of them is Alex Cabagnot who’s one of the veteran playmakers in the league. Cabagnot is know for his deadly beyond the arc baskets and dishing ability. His one of the players that every team should have a focus on aside from their frontliners in Junmar Fajardo and Arwind Santos.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel who had an amazing campaign probably the most successful compared to their last stints in the league also ended at the top 4 on 3rd spot. One of the most anticipated and watched out for guards in this squad is their rookie All Star member Earl Scottie Thompson. Scottie Thompson is surprisingly leading the rebounding department of the crowd darlings. This triple double machine way back in college is proving his worth in the league and repaying his coach’s trust on him by providing excite in the Ginebra backcourt and contributing on different statistics such as assists and steals and also badly needed points. This playmaker will be tested come playoffs.
Meralco Bolts earned their rights for the 4th spot in the standings after defeating Mahindra in a deciding game which result will lead to a twice to beat advantage or the other way around. Meralco Bolts’ veteran point guard Jimmy Alapag who has been in the league for quite some time who came back from retirement to put a winning tradition into this MVP franchise will be one of the guards to watch out for along side Chris Newsome and Dillinger. Alapag is expected to be the primary playmaker of this ballclub as they drive their way to the finals stage.
It is going to be an exciting playoffs in history as the two biggest franchises , SMC and MVP will clash to get the season ending conference title.
San Miguel Beermen parades their new import against Meralco Bolts on Wednesday. Junmar Fajardo dominated the points production for the Beermen while meralco tried to squeeze in some buckets to try to catch up.
Meralco Bolts import tried to salvage a win together with Jimmy Alapag and Chris Newsome. Alapag scored in double figures with 14 points to end their game against the Bolts, Chris Newsome on the other hand contributed 12 points while Durham listed a huge 34 points production which brought them closer to the Beermen lead but fell shortly during the payoff period.
Junmar Fajardo together with their new import Singletary and Arwind Santos helped the Beermen to maintain their lead and finally ended the game with a win despite the late comeback of the Bolts.
Fajardo scored 24 points, while their reinforcement scored 21 points. Alex Cabagnot who was chosen as the best player of the game who made the difference during the 4th quarter scored 18 points, with a couple of dishes and 2 steals.
SAN MIGUEL 110 – Fajardo 24, Singletary 21, Santos 19, Cabagnot 18, David 13, Ross 9, Lassiter 4, De Ocampo 2, Heruela 0, Reyes 0, Tubid 0.
MERALCO 106 – Durham 34, Alapag 14, Newsome 12, Faundo 10, Hodge 10, Nabog 10, Amer 7, Hugnatan 6, Dillinger 3, Buenafe 0, Uyloan 0.
Quarters: 25-24, 55-44, 81-79, 110-106
|Chris Ellis tries to score against San Miguel’s Marcio Lassiter and June Mar Fajardo|
Smart Araneta Coliseum – The Barangay Ginebra outlasted the San Miguel Beermen and boosts their hunt for twice to beat advantage after defeating the Beermen with a 26 points differential, 110-84.
It was a close first quarter and a see saw battle before the Kings pulled away starting from the second quarter until the final buzzer. From that the Kings never looked away.
Ginebra demolished the beermen with their tight defense that forced too many turnovers for the Beermen. They allowed the Beermen to scored 84 points only while dropping 110 against their opponent.
Othyus Jeffers led the Kings with 22 points and 13 rebounds while Greg Slaughter added 18 points. Chris Ellis, who had a poor game against the TNT, bounces back with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. He was named best player of the game.
Tyler Wilkerson led the Beermen with 20 points and 16 rebounds in a losing effort. Reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo was limited to 14 points and 4 rebounds.
Ginebra improved to 6-4 record and officially claimed an outright quarterfinals berth while the Beermen dropped to a 5-3 record.