Because of these things, the series is tied at 2-2 instead of Ginebra holding a 3-1 leading heading into Game 5
4 Points Combined from Tenorio, Thompson and Mercado
14 Missed from Deep
17 Offensive Rebounds for the Bolts
|Photo by PBA Media Bureau|
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 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.
|credits PBA media bureau|
The fans and the players went crazy after the referees didn’t call a what could be a travelling violation on Sol Mercado.
The Meralco Bolts were trying to make a comeback and Ginebra were leading 87-81 when Sol Mercado got away with a travelling violation that resulted on a Scottie Thompson’s three pointer later on and push the lead up to 9 points, 90-81 with 44 seconds left in the game.
“We have nothing to apologize for” said Cone on non-call on Sol Mercado’s travelling violation.
“I bet so many bad calls, the last two conferences we were knocked out in what we consider bad calls. We have nothing to apologize for” said by the Ginebra mentor
Ginebra were knocked out by GlobalPort in the last Philippine Cup on a controversial win with multiple violation on the final possession of the Batang Pier that were not called by the referees.
“It’s part of the game, it happens” added by the 18 time champion coach.
Tim Cone also mentioned the non-call on Allen Durham’s push in the rebounding battle against Justin Brownlee.
“My caught there is a player earlier where, Durham got caught on a push on, an obvious push on Justin right in the back, Justin had the ball and put it back in and he push him right out of play, and I call a timeout” cited by Cone.
“That’s part of the game, anybody could complain about all they want” added by the american mentor.
If you say import, he must be matched up against another import or a legit bigman in PBA. But in case of Ginebra, it was different.
After exploding for 46 points in Game 1, Allen Durham was contained for only 22 points in almost 41 minutes of playing time.
He was not guarded by Justin Brownlee (Import of Ginebra) or not even Japeth Aguilar. He was mainly guarded by the 6’0 feet tall Sol Mercado.
Sol gives away 6+ inches in terms of height but it seems that Durham was uncomfortable facing Sol as he shoot only 10 out of 24 shots.
But this defensive assignment was extremely suprising for Sol as he only knew it before the game.
“I was suprised actually, Coach Tim told me before the game that I’m going to guard Allen and I just took the challenge. From the beginning I started with Durham, just trying to get him out of his spots. I tried fronting him and run him out of the perimeter, he’s a good player”, Mercado said after they won 82 to 79 in Game 2 of the Finals.
Also Coach Tim Cone said that “You’ve gotta give the credit to Sol, He’s our MVP tonight.”
|Photo by PBA Media|
With another surprising defensive approach, Tim Cone made another breakthrough in making it hard for the Meralco Bolts import to replicate his game 1 performance by putting a combo guard to man the best import awardee Allen Durham.
Tim Cone, is known for his genius innovations when it comes to coming up with different kinds of strategies based on what kind of game and who they’re facing and in this game against Meralco in game 2, the league’s most successful coach gave Sol Mercado the hardest assignment of the night to man their opponent team’s import.
Sol Mercado’s first PBA finals appearance is one of the milestones that the PBA have reached, one of the many first time records in this wonderful conference. Mercado made it hard for Durham to create shots and even stopping Allen from a possible rampage again.
Sol Train, played man to man defense on Durham while their frontliners such as Justin Brownlee, Japeth Aguilar and Joe Devance protects the rim as a support making it a rough road for the Meralco Bolts import before making a field goal.
“Your defense is your constant, the offensive side of all especially shooting that varies from game to game you’ll have good nights you’ll have bad nights but your defense is your constant and that’s why we hang our hats on our defense.” Tim Cone said
Tim Cone also explains how well they executed their plans and how hard it is to stop guys like Durham. “We changed the match ups a little bit today that Sol go after Allen Durham and he did a great job just kinda limit his touches then when Durham got by Sol there was either Justin or Japeth there at the rim trying to protect it.”
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach repays Sol Mercado’s great defensive execution against Durham.”You gotta give the credit to Sol, it was a very defensive game It think you gotta give it to the one with the best defense, He’s really our MVP tonight.”
“Sol has certainly got his disadvantages when he guards Durham because of the size and so Norman’s gonna figure out things to do for him and we gotta figure out something for these adjustments.” Cone said.
Ginebra collapsed late again but this time they survived a gritty Meralco Bolts, 82 to 79.
Bolts’ coach Norman Black said that they lost because of failure to get rebounds, as highlighted by the Barangay Ginebra Kings’ dramatic victory due to Sol Mercado’s follow-up shot, where he came from under the basket and flew above Meralco’s big men, Reynel Hugnatan and Allen Durnham.
“We actually lost the game on an offensive rebound by Sol Mercado.” Black admitted
Given the fact that the Gin Kings specialized on a three-guard line up, Black is expecting the Bolt to be dominating the boards, both offensively and defensively because they have taller players on their line up.
And after being dismayed by the Kings in the dying seconds of Game 2, Black said that the team will give importance on controlling the boards more, knowing that it was the rebounding that stopped them from getting the series lead.
“That’s the number one thing [rebound] we have to address in practice. Certainly, we would not be doing rebounding drills, but mentally, we just have to focus on the fact that we got killed on the board tonight,” Black said.
1. MORE PLAYING TIME for the YOUNG GUNS
a. Scottie Thompson – The very promising rookie out of the Perpetual Help Atlas had make an impression last conference. He is an all around player and is a very energetic player. He could be the new spark off the bench for Ginebra. Scottie will fill the statsheet every game if given a chance. Based on P.E.R., Thompson is a very efficient player.
b. Nico Salva – Salva had a great collegiate career from Ateneo and we know what he can do inside the court if given a chance. CTC can develop this guy into something special. He can provide some shooting and scoring for the team. He could be the today’s Sunday Salvacion or Mark Macapagal for Ginebra.
2. ACQUIRE a DEADLY SHOOTER and WING DEFENDER
This is what I think the missing piece in Barangay Ginebra’s title quest. Chris Ellis hasn’t shown improvement on his offensive game. And I think its time for them to part with him. They can trade him for the likes of Rey Guevarra, Anthony Semerad or Ronald Pascual plus future picks.
3. CONSISTENCY for JAPETH AGUILAR
Greg Slaughter is the only consistent contributor in Barangay Ginebra bigs and Japeth Aguilar should be the other one. If he will only be consistent together with Slaughter, they will be a force to reckon with every night. Japeth needs to do something with his game or else he would end up playing for another team.
4. SOL MERCADO should be the “SIXTH MAN”
Sol Mercado is a combo guard so he can be the reliever of either L.A. Tenorio or Mark Caguioa. I see him as a great team leader that could guide this team to the championship. You can see the “Never Say Die” spirit on him. If he can average atleast 13 points and 5 assists a game off the bench, Ginebra will be back to the Finals.
5. JOE DEVANCE and JERVY CRUZ should be the “TWIN TOWER’S RELIEVER”
Joe Devance and Jervy Cruz need to provide some scoring off the bench. They should be the reliever of Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter. If this two will be consistent and will contribute every game together with Slaughter and Aguilar, Ginebra would be unstoppable.