PBA Governors: SMB, Ginebra and TNT are Teams to Beat in Philippine Cup

A Wheeler’s Opinion: SMB’s star power will dominate anew

(Photo by  the PBA Media Bureau)
If you watched the official launching event for the upcoming 43rd season of the PBA, you wouldn’t believe that the 12 PBA governors were once divided with regards to whether or not Chito Narvasa should stay on as PBA commissioner. For one event, the 12 teams are united behind the fact that the new season will open on December 17, 2017, when the defending Philippine Cup champions, the San Miguel Beermen open their title defense against the Phoenix Fuel Masters. 
There were no visible tension or any sort seen during the launching event and there were many questions that were thrown to the governors themselves. Among the questions that were asked was this:
Who among the 12 teams will be the team to beat in the season-opening Philippine Cup?
Three teams stood as the answers for the majority of the 12 teams:
  1. San Miguel Beermen
  2. Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings
  3. Talk N Text KaTropa
For starters, picking the Beermen as one of the teams to beat this upcoming conference comes as no surprise because they are first and foremost, the defending champions. The Gin Kings will have Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar plus a continuously improving Scottie Thompson as they will enter the new season following a successful Governors’ Cup run which ended in a championship celebration. The KaTropa, despite being kicked out of the semifinals by Ginebra in the last conference, will again be bannered by Asia’s best point guard, Jayson Castro, and big man Troy Rosario. The three teams will be the teams to beat indeed. 

Question: who will win it all?

Answer: The Beermen.
Why?
Simply put it this way. Neither Ginebra nor TNT has someone to even match up against the 4-time MVP, June Mar Fajardo. Tim Cone can employ sending his Twin Towers to double team Fajardo but we all know that won’t work as SMB also has shooters. And, the best starting 5 is still intact, folks. No other team in the league has that powerful all-locals starting unit.

Conclusion

While SMB may be the among the favorites to win it all, anything is still possible. After all, who would have thought that the finals series between Ginebra and the Meralco Bolts would go to a Game 7? 

Kelly Williams is the Comeback Player of the Year

Kelly Williams is the William ‘Bogs’ Adornado Comeback Player of the Year

Kelly Williams is the Comeback Player of the Year
At 35 years old, the power forward of Talk n Text has found his second wind with his commendable performance last season.  Becoming one of the offensive weapons of his team, Kelly Williams in recent years has seen a decline in his performance especially after getting traded from Sta. Lucia, the team who drafted him first overall in 2006. 
In almost four years with Sta. Lucia, he was the leader and averaged as high as 18.2 points in a season.  He became an MVP in 2008 and have received other individual awards including a 5-time All-Star, 3x mythical five among others. His career was flourishing early and in just his second year in the league, he was able to capture the championship with the Sta Lucia Realtors. 

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In 2009 however, he was diagnosed with a recurring blood disorder. He was traded to Talk n Text in the same year and had played for them til present. His production when he was with Sta. Lucia, however, was never duplicated and his performance has since dipped. He has averaged his lowest point average in 2014 with 4.7 points. 
Talk n Text, however, stuck with Kelly and while he was not heavily utilized on offense, he was a major part of the rotation and has occasionally brought in big games. Last year, he once again burst back to the scene as he became one of the primary players. In the last conference, Kelly averaged  11.82 points, almost 7 rebounds, an assist in 27 minutes of playing time. A stat line that helped him capture his 4th PBA Mythical Second Team and this year, his 2nd Comeback Player of the Year award.

Ranidel de Ocampo Signs a New Contract with Meralco Bolts

It looks like RDO will continue to play for the Meralco Bolts

Ranidel de Ocampo Signs a New Contract with Meralco Bolts
Photo courtesy of Charlie Dy’s Facebook Account
The 35-year-old forward from Tanza, Cavite will have a couple of years more in the PBA as he signs what looks like a 2-year deal with the team who acquired him last season via trade, the Meralco Bolts. 
Facebook post of CEO of Virtual Playground Co. Charlie Dy reads
RDO @teamrdo still “bolting-in” with @meralcoboltsofficial @paolotrillo #PBA #2Years #MeralcoBolts#VirtualPlayground #Basketball #Family
Ranidel De Ocampo was the 4th overall pick in 2004 by the FedEx Express. He played for four years with the team who drafted him until he got traded to Talk n Text for Don Allado. From 2008 to 2017 he became one of the staples of Talk n Text and was instrumental to the team championship runs. He has compiled a total of 6 championships with 2 finals MVP  during his years with  TNT.

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Now with Meralco Bolts, he will get another chance to play major minutes as the Bolts do not have the luxury of height in his position.  Aside from Bryan Facundo who stands at an identical 6ft 6 inch with Ranidel, there is no one else on the Bolts roster that is taller than them, not even the centers.

Highlights: Against Taiwan, Jayson Castro Shows Why he is Still the Best Point Guard in Asia, 5 Reasons Why

Checking  the  Blur Lines of Jayson Castro 

Highlights: Still the Best Point Guard in Asia, Jayson Castro
In the second game of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, Jayson Castro William, dubbed as the best point guard in Asia proved that he is still the best, carrying out another exemplary performance and making it work when it matters the most. With little reactions on the court, Jayson Castro plays focus and plays well. 
Against Taiwan he scored another 20 points, duplicating his performance in Japan where he also played well. But it isn’t just the scoring that makes Jayson Castro dangerously good.
Let’s take a look at some of his numbers against Taiwan.

1. Great Filed Goal Percentage – 20 Points on 7/12 (58.3%), At 5’10 Jayson Castro isn’t the tallest player on the court but he is one of the best in scoring inside and outside. In the game against Taiwan, his outside shooting was struggling but his ability to score in many ways helped him get 20 points. 

2. Can do other things – 4 rebounds and 4 assists against Taiwan.  Jayson is one of the most versatile players on the court for the Philippines and while he can shoot the lights out, he can also make things happen on both ends of the court. He can pass the ball and can defend.

3. Takes care of the ball well – with only 1 turnover in Japan and Taiwan games, Jayson knows how to take care of the ball and he has done so consistently. While most point guards would turn the ball over more than other players, Jayson is different. In the first two games of the FIBA qualifiers, he was just amazing in taking care of the ball. 

4. Knows when to attack – Castro is one of the primary offensive weapons of the Philippines and while the other players knew this already, it seems like they still could not stop the Blur when he wants to score. Against Taiwan, his shot selections were impeccable and his timing could not be greater. 

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5. Leadership – In the last game, he was vocal and was even suggesting some plays to coach, and rightfully so as he has earned the rights to have a voice in the team. A leader that does not only tell you how it’s done but shows you how to do it. A perfect example for other players. 
You already know that we love Jayson Castro!
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Describe Jayson Castro

The best point guard in Asia
The best player in the PBA
The best player in Talk n Text
He should be in the NBA
He is Okay
I am not a fan

www.poll-maker.com

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Watch: How Amazing was Jayson Castro Against Japan?

Jayson Castro Leads Gilas Pilipinas to Victory!

31-year-old Jayson Castro is a veteran of the National team and through time he has proven that he is one of the most reliable and effective point guards that we have for a while now.
Against Japan, the 5’10’ point guard and a proud native of Pampanga, Philippines showed that he can lead the team inside and even on the sideline as he also helps coach and also suggests offensive and defensive sets. Truly, Castro has developed and retained his form as a premier point guard in Asia.
Playing 28 minutes, he was able to score 28 points on a 7/23 ( 53%) shooting percentage including 3 three-pointers. For a small guy, he also sneaked in 7 rebounds paired with 6 assists, a steal and only one turnover.

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Jayson Castro and the Gilas Pilipinas won their first ever game in the World Cup qualifier defeating Japan on their home turf with the score of 77-71. The battle will not end there however as they are due to come back to the Philippines and play against Taiwan on Monday, November 27 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Congratulations Jayson Castro and Gilas Pilipinas! 
Watch Jayson Castro’s highlights against Japan. 

A Wheeler’s Opinion: Both Meralco and GlobalPort are Winners if Terrence Romeo Trade Happened

Just imagine if the Bolts have Terrence Romeo against Ginebra during the Governors’ Cup Finals



Terrence Romeo wants to join a winning team.

Terrence Romeo has emerged as one of the league’s elite scorers since coming into the league back in 2013. Through his 5 years in the PBA, Romeo has received the following awards and recognitions:
  • 2015 PBA Most Improved Player
  • 3 times PBA All-Star
  • 2-time PBA All-Star Game MVP
  • 2-time PBA All-Star 3-Point Shootout Champion
  • Member of the 2016 PBA First Mythical Team
  • Member of the 2015 PBA Second Mythical Team
  • Member of the 2014 PBA All-Rookie Team
  • 3-time PBA Scoring Champion
However, one thing is still missing in the Terrence Romeo’s list of achievements: winning a PBA championship. 
No wonder why he requested to be traded during this season’s Commissioner’s Cup as rumor has it. And we cannot blame Romeo’s frustration towards GlobalPort’s lack of success. 
Why? In 5 years that they had Romeo on board, they were in the quarterfinals, 7 times, only making it to the semifinals, once. Despite numerous coaching changes, trades and other possible changes, nothing seems to have worked for the Batang Pier as they are still yet to reach the PBA Finals despite having one of the most exciting backcourt duos in Romeo and Stanley Pringle. 
Over the past few days, rumors of past attempts to trade Romeo has been raining down the social media and various sports website. Apparently, the Batang Pier first offered Terrence Romeo to the Talk N Text KaTropa for Moala Tautuaa- a deal which the KaTropa immediately turned down owing to the fact that they intended to develop Tautuaa into a stronger force, especially in the post. 
Next, it was reported that GlobalPort offered their superstar guard to the Meralco Bolts in exchange for a much heavier package: the backcourt duo of Chris Newsome and Baser Amer. But Bolts Coach Norman Black didn’t to part ways with Newsome so, nah. 
However, this trade would have worked for both sides especially for the Bolts had Romeo suited up for them during the Governors’ Cup Finals against the eventual back-to-back champions, Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings. 

2 for 1 Trade: It would have worked both ways

Assuming that there would be no chemistry issue, Terrence Romeo would have easily blended with the Bolts and would have provided Allen Durham a more consistent scoring reinforcement- something that they sorely needed in their 7-game series against the Gin Kings.
Sure, it’s heavy for Norman Black to let go of Newsome but had the deal went through, there’s a high possibility that the Bolts would have won the Governors’ Cup trophy. Mind you, folks, Terrence ended the 2016-2017 season by averaging 23 points per game. 
On the other side of the fence, the Batang Pier would have received a dynamic duo in Amer and Newsome. That deal would have allowed GlobalPort to establish a young but promising trio of Amer, Newsome and Stanley Pringle. Sure,  nobody can replace Terrence Romeo’s numbers but we all know that both Amer and Newsome are both capable players who can score both inside and from the three-point line.

Conclusion

Terrence Romeo is still on the trading block as rumor has it. And wherever Romeo will land come the 43rd season of the PBA, he will continue to dazzle around. He will continue to find ways to score and most importantly, Terrence Romeo will find more ways to win and it includes winning his first PBA championship. 
Who knows? We might be able to see him in a Ginebra jersey.
After all, the reason why he’s wearing #7 is that Robert Jaworksi was his father’s idol. 

A Wheeler’s Opinion: The Narvasa Removal: Will it Happen?

Here’s why it can happen and why it will not happen

Due to his approval of the Kia-SMB trade, Chito Narvasa’s days in office are numbered? (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
The weather here in Quezon City is gloomy and so is the future of Chito Narvasa as PBA Commissioner. Why?

Here’s why:

Rumor has it that the majority bloc in the PBA Board, led by the teams under the MVP Group, is currently on the move to out the good PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa. 
Why? 
Let’s face it, folks, when Mr. Narasvasa approved arguably one of the most questionable and equally one of the most lopsided trades in the history of the PBA, the one involving the Kia Picanto sending the rights to pick Christian Standhardinger on draft night to the San Miguel Beermen in exchange for bench players, future picks and cash. 
Question: Was it lopsided? Definitely. Questionable? Indeed. 
So why did Mr. Narvasa approve deal despite concerns from the PBA teams? Simple: there was nothing wrong with the trade if you were San Miguel. There was nothing really wrong especially after both teams submitted a 3rd revised version of the deal which sealed Narvasa’s approval.
Now, that decision by Mr. Narvasa not only changed the balance in the league as San Miguel gets to have Standhardinger team-up with 4-time MVP June Mar Fajardo but also angered the majority of the team owners who now, want him out of office.  
And if you remember just a few days ago, Talk N Text blasted Narvasa for divulging the information to the media, stating that it was actually Magnum Membrere, a team official of TNT, who filed Standhardinger’s draft application on the latter’s behalf. TNT, in a statement, called the move made by the good commissioner, biased. Given that TNT is under the MVP Group, it came as no surprise that it’s now leading the move to remove Narvasa.

Question: Will it Happen?





Yes. Provided…

Here’s the catch, folks. Removing Chito Narvasa as PBA commissioner can be done as long as you have the support of the majority of the team owners. Now, there are 12 teams in the league. Get 7 from those teams and Chito Narvasa’s stint will be done in no time.
Now, according to league insiders, the MVP Group has already found supporters in Alaska’s Wilfred Uytengsu and Blackwater’s Dioceldo Sy. 
Additionally, sources are now saying that both Rain or Shine and Phoenix are backing the move so that’s 7 against 5. They are said to agree to call a board meeting tomorrow to finally decide whether or not Chito  Narvasa will go on as commissioner. 

Nope 

Why? Simple. According to league insiders, Chito Narvasa still has the support of the three teams playing under the San Miguel Corp block as well as SMC ally, GlobalPort, and Kia, of course. These teams firmly believe that 5 votes are enough to keep Narvasa in office thanks to the gray area in the league’s by-laws.

Conclusion

Even though the move to oust PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa falters should it happen tomorrow, this pundit on wheels firmly believes that Mr. Narvasa won’t last long in office because he has lost the trust and confidence of the majority of the team owners. Now, it all depends on the outcome of tomorrow’s board meeting but one thing is certain if we are to believe a league insider: Chito Narvasa won’t have a full 1-year extension.

A Wheeler’s Opinion: Was It Right for TNT to Call Chito Narvasa "Biased" for Standhardinger Saga?

Here’s why it’s right and not

Chito Narvasa 2017 PBA Rookie Draft
PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa was called “biased” by the KaTropa management in a statement. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)


Even though he has yet to play a single second in the PBA and won’t play until he completes his stint in the Asian Basketball League, Christian Standhardinger, the top pick in last night’s 2017 PBA Rookie Draft, has become the hottest topic over the last few weeks. 
To begin with, he was one of the last applicants to submit his application for the draft. He then missed the Draft Combine where he could have showcased why he is indeed, the most sought-after rookie which almost caused him to be disqualified from joining the draft. 
But perhaps, nothing could have made Standhardinger as the most talked-about rookie than the trade involving the Kia Picanto sending the rights to pick Standhardinger to the San Miguel Beermen for bench warmers, future draft picks and cash. Due to the lopsidedness of the said deal, many were puzzled land were asking the same question: “What is wrong with Kia?”

Despite concerns from other PBA teams, the good PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa approved the trade anyway and Christian Standhardinger walked out of Robinson’s Place Manila with a Beermen jacket. 
Just when everyone thought that the Stanhardinger Saga could be finally buried, nope. 
Apparently, the Beermen wasn’t the only team who was trying to trade for the number one pick. 
As it turned out, the Beermen just beat the Talk N Text KaTropa to the rights of picking Stanhardinger and incidentally, the KaTropa through an official statement released to the public, questioned the statement made by Commissioner Narvasa just a few hours prior to the Game 7 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals, saying that it was TNT’s team official, Magnum Membrere who initially submitted Standhardinger’s application to join the draft.

Apparently, the statement made by the good commissioner, according to TNT’s statement, proved that Commissioner Narvasa was biased. Talk N Text also mentioned that Narvasa mentioning the name of their team official was meant to help him explain, justify his decision to eventually approved the widely-questionable deal between SMB and Kia.
Was it even fair to call the good Commissioner Chito Narvasa “biased” for his statement? Let’s take a look at the points:

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TNT has a point

Simply put it this way, folks:
  • Standhardinger submitted his application through a proxy.
  • He was allowed to miss the Draft Combine regardless of the validity of the excuse. 
With all due respect to the good commissioner of the PBA, what he just allowed to happen, was a show of disrespect not just to TNT or the other teams but, to the rest of the PBA. It can send the wrong message to future draft aspirants that they can do such things in the PBA and they can walk away from them. 
It’s simply unacceptable. It’s also questioning the priorities of Standhardinger who has an upcoming stint in the ABL which is the main reason why the Beermeen can’t utilize him for the big chunk of next season. 

No. It’s Totally Disrespectful

To call Commissioner Chito Narvasa “biased” is to question the integrity of the entire institution that Mr. Narvasa is representing. 
With all due respect to the officials, players and fans of the KaTropa, there was no need for such a statement. Sure, Chito Narvasa was in Lebanon to support the Smart Gilas Pilipinas during the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup and invited Standhardinger to join the draft. Would it be nice for Narvasa to offer a little flexibility with regards to the rules to a player who contributed a big amount of effort during that tournament and the ensuing 2017 South East Asian Games where Gilas dominated, anew? 
Sure, Standhardinger’s not applying on his own and missing the Draft Combine, sends the wrong message but Chito Narvasa is only doing what he could to help Stndhardinger get into the big league. After all, once Stanhardinger suits up and teams up with 4-time MVP award winner, June Mar Fajardo, we can expect bigger crowd during the games of the Beermen. 

Conclusion

The Standhardinger Saga is not yet done and is far from over. One thing is certain, we can expect a statement from the good PBA commissioner and TNT should watch out because Chito Narvasa loves to hand down hefty fines to teams, players and coaches who say disrespectful things towards the PBA, in general. 

By the Numbers: Aggressiveness and Free Throws: Does Nash Racela Have a Point?

Who was the more aggressive team, really?

TNT Coach Nash Racela was left puzzled with the huge disparity in the free throws. 
The Talk N Text KaTropa were sent packing for an early vacation after they dropped their semifinal series against the crowd favorite, Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings after Ginebra pounded on the ejection of TNT’s import, Glen Rice Jr., en route to a 115-105 Game 4 victory for Tim Cone and the rest of the defending champions which sealed another Finals rematch with the Meralco Bolts. 
But, if you were watching the entire series as this basketball pundit did, then you witnessed how heated and tensed the entire series was especially in the last two games which were both won by the Gin Kings.
If the players were tensed, if the fans were tensed, so were both head tacticians, particularly Nash Racela. In fact, during the halftime break of Game 3, he had to be pulled away from Ginebra Governor Alfrancis Chua after both gentlemen nearly came to land blows as both engaged in a verbal fistfight. Fortunately, no fines were handed down and no one was hurt. 
But even after that, Alfrancis Chua, the ever passionate Alfrancis Chua took things to Twitter, fired a series of tweets which were obviously for the TNT coach even without mentioning the former’s name. Nash Racela for his part, begged off to be dragged from this attack from Chua, saying it was up to PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa to comment about the tweets of the Ginebra governor.
So what was the point of all these? The answer to that is simple. Nash Racela, the ever-sarcastic Nash Racela first questioned Tim Cone in saying that the main reason why Ginebra was awarded 43 free throws in Game 3 was that Ginebra was the “more aggressive” team in terms of attacking the basket.
Okay. So let’s check the number for the entire series to see who was telling the truth:

Game 1: 121-94 win by Ginebra

Game 1 saw a dominant Ginebra team which frustrated the KaTropa by shutting down Glen Rice Jr., who missed 12 of his 20 attempts which rippled to the struggles of the rest of the team. Now, aside from shutting down the import of their opponents, the one thing Ginebra did in the series opener was shooting better in the 2-point area. In fact, the Gin Kings attempted 68 shots in the 2-point area while making 40. Free throw shooting also favored the Gin Kings as they went to the line, 32 times while making 23 charities. 
In this case, Tim Cone was right because TNT, as a team, only attempted 59 shots from the 2-point area and they only made 26 of those 59 attempts, a 44% field goal shooting. TNT was only awarded 25 free throws which the KaTropa converted 18 from the 25 giveaways. 

Game 2: 103-96 win by Talk N Text

Now, Game 2 was a little more different than Game 1. The 2-point field goal shooting of TNT was at 30 out of 53 which was good for 56%. On the other side of the fence, Ginebra fired 59 attempts from the inside of the three-point area and made 32 of those attempts which resulted in a 56% field goal shooting.

If you will ask this basketball pundit, Ginebra was the “more aggressive” team in this particular game because of the fact that they shot more and made from the two-point area, especially in the shaded area. In terms of free throw shooting, 35 free throws were awarded to TNT and only 19 for Ginebra and that was something that Tim Cone didn’t whine about until Nash Racela went sarcastic after Game 3.

Game 3: 106-103 win by Ginebra

If you’ve watched Game 3, then you know that this game was when things began to break apart especially for the KaTropa. Why? Here’s why:
Even though both teams made 29 field goals from the 2-point area and both Ginebra and TNT shot 45% and 47% respectively from that area, it was the huge disparity in the number of free throws that heated things up. Just how wide the disparity was? 43-14 in favor of the Gin Kings. Ginebra was awarded 43 free throws and made 30 of them. In fact, 27 of those attempts were awarded in the first half which had Nash Racela scratching his head. In contrast, Racela’s boys made 12 of 14 free throws for the entire Game 3. No wonder why he was being sarcastic after that. 

Game 4: 115-105 win by Ginebra

As mentioned above, the Gin Kings were able to book their return trip to the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals after beating an all-Filipino TNT crew. To accomplish this, however, the Gin Kings needed 46 points from Justin Brownlee. 
But what was more interesting in this specific game was the disparity again, in the number of 2-point baskets, both attempted and made. TNT fired 63 shots from that are and the made 30. In contrast, Ginebra made 28 of their 47 2-point field goals. You cannot really blame Nash Racela for questioning aggressiveness of Ginebra if we are to look at the field goal shooting of both squads. 

Conclusion:

Maybe Tim Cone was right for Game 2. Maybe Nash Racela had the right to be sarcastic about the outcome of Game 3 and, the series in general. But the basic rule in basketball: if you constantly attack the shaded area, you can score easy baskets and fish fouls from defenders. 
Maybe both squads were indeed aggressive from their own perspective. 
Or maybe, one team wasn’t lucky enough.  

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

Monstrous Performance from Glen Rice Jr with 44 and 20 but Missed Most Important Shot as Ginebra Escapes with the Victory

Gin Kings Use Balance Attack to Inch Closer to Finals

Scottie Thompson had 17 points and 12 rebounds in the win. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Just when the Ginebra faithfuls who were watching in Batangas and those who were watching on their respective TVs thought that the Gin Kings would finally take a commanding 2-0 series lead back in Game 2 of their best-of-5 semifinal series, the Talk N Text KaTropa went back to business and disappoint the crowd darlings as the KaTropa won Game 2 to tie the series at 1 game apiece. 
Now, both the defending champions, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings and the KaTropa will slug it out anew to decide to will move within 1 win away from a slot in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals to dance against the already waiting Meralco Bolts.
“GI-NE-BRA! GI-NE-BRA!” These were the words that were coming from the mouth of those who were in attendance as they witnessed the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings moved within one win away from returning to the Governors’ Cup Finals after battling it out all game long to come out victorious, 106-103 against the Talk N Text KaTropa.
Wanting to make up for their sloppy start that eventually cost them Game 2, the Gin Kings went back to basics as they immediately two blocked shots and take a 13-5 lead in the first 3 minutes of the game. Coming off a timeout, Glen Rice Jr. scored the KaTropa’s next 7 points which were highlighted by 2 dunks and a 3-point shot to make 13-12 and force Tim Cone to use a timeout. Throughout the remainder of the quarter, TNT held a 3-point lead during most of the time until the KaTropa, again, started to clank away all of their shot attempts as  Sol Mercado ended the first quarter with a lay-up to make it, 31-26 in favor of the Gin Kings. Glen Rice Jr. already had 14 points in the first quarter alone.
TNT began the second quarter with Jayson Castro and Glen Rice Jr. scored the first 4 points of the KaTropa as Ginebra struggled to get anything going on their offense during 3 minutes into the quarter until their inside attack started to click in as the Gin Kings were able to fish fouls from TNT defenders. 
Later in the quarter, LA Tenorio drained a 3-pointer to make it 45-37 as TNT continued to struggle with their own shots and were also mered by turnovers. After hanging onto a slim margin, a shot from rainbow country by Justin Brownlee increased Ginebra’s lead to 9, at 51-42 approaching the 2-minute mark of the 2nd quarter. Then, Scottie Thompson added a lay-up to make it 55-45 with under two minutes before the halftime break.
The Gin Kings held a 60-49 advantage at the half as LA Tenorio stood the tallest for Ginebra with his 13 points to lead all Ginebra scorers. Scottie Thompson and Greg Slaughter scored 9 points apiece. What was the difference for Ginebra in the first half? Simple: Free throws. The Gin Kings were awarded 27 free throws in the first 24 minutes of action with the Gin Kings 19 of those freebies.
Glen Rice Jr. had 27 points and 9 rebounds to lead the KaTropa but no one else on the TNT team scored in double figures in the first half as Jayson Castro only managed 6 points and that was one of the primary reasons why the KaTropa fell by double digits entering the 3rd quarter.
Again, the dynamic duo of Glen Rice Jr. and Jayson started things off for Talk N Text as they joined forces to trim Ginebra’s lead to 62-56 with under 9 minutes to play in the third, leading to a Tim Cone timeout. Talk N Text continued to score as the lead went down to as low as 2-points, 69-67.  
Ginebra went on to re-establish an 8-point advantage during the course of the third quarter as TNT was able to prevent Ginebra from breaking the game wide open as they kept themselves within striking distance thanks to their improving shooting from beyond the three-point line. Despite Glen Rice Jr. only scoring 2 points in the 3rd quarter, Talk N Text was only down, 85-80 heading into the final quarter.
When the 4th quarter began, Glen Rice Jr. drained another bomb from long distance and Jayson  Castro added another mid-range jumper to knot the score at 85 apiece with barely a minute into the quarter. After a series of missed attempts from deep by both teams, the KaTropa finally overtook Ginebra, 91-89 on a Kelly Williams basket which followed by a Ginebra timeout with 7:05 left. A few possessions after that sequence, Scottie Thompson added another trey to give his team a 94-93 lead heading into the final 5 minutes of the game.
Then, with Ginebra clinging to a slim margin, Scottie Thompson, again, outrebounded TNT rebounders and scored on a putback to make it 101-98 with 2:09 remaining in the game. Joe Devance scored on another putback to make it 103-98 and forced Nash Racela to call another timeout with 1:33 on the clock. Then, with Jayson Castro missing on a three-point attempt on the previous possession, Joe Devance came out of nowhere to score a crucial putback to make it 105-100 with  32 ticks left on the clock.
After TNT inched closer, at 106-103 on Glen Rice Jr.’s trey with under 10 seconds left, Scottie Thompson missed both charities on the other end, leaving the door open for TNT to force an extra period but Rice Jr.’s final attempt just clanked off the rim as time expired.
Joe Devance led the Gin Kings with 20 points. Greg Slaughter came off the bench to score 19 points. Justin Brownlee had 17 points and 13 rebounds. Ginebra won because of their ability to grab offensive rebounds and score 22 points off those offensive rebounds which played an essential role in the endgame.
Glen Rice Jr.’s 44 points and 20 rebounds to lead Talk N Text went straight to the trash can as the KaTropa are just one loss away from ending their season. Jayson Castro added 17 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists but also had 4 turnovers.  The game was basically equally-matched in every statistic except for one thing: points scored by bench players. The bench players of Nash Racela only managed 15 markers, a far cry to Ginebra’s bench players who combined for 28 points.

Related: Our prediction of the game, did we get it right? 
Scores:
Ginebra – 106
Devance 20, Slaughter 19, Brownlee 17, Thompson 17, Tenorio 16, J. Aguilar 8, Mercado 7, Ferrer 2, Helterbrand 0, Jamito 0, Cruz 0,, Mariano 0, Caguioa 0, R. Aguilar 0, Taha 0
TNT – 103
Rice Jr. 44, Castro 17, Semerad 10, Williams 10, Rosario 7, Pogoy 7, Golla 3, Reyes 3, Seigle 2, Carey 0, Nuyles 0, Tautuaa 0, Hernandez 0, Lngganay 0, Chua 0
Quarter  scores:
31-26, 60-49, 85-80, 106-103

Prediction: Game 3 Ginebra vs TNT and the 8 Ways to win Tonight’s Ball Game

Will TNT Explode or Will Ginebra Play Inspired Basketball?

The series’ balance is on the line tonight

Pivotal Game 3 and the winner tonight could potentially be the team who will advance to face the Meralco Bolts in the 2017 PBA Governors Cup.
Actually, a win tonight does not give you a guaranteed ticket to the finals but it certainly provides a much-needed confidence boost, momentum, and cushion and both teams know how critical it is to be back against the wall against each other. The 2017 PBA Governors Cup Semi-finals is a best of 5 series and getting ahead at this stage where both teams got one win each will be paramount, but what will it take for both teams to win game 3?



1. Get hot early, win quarter 1 and 3.

In the first two games, the team that starts well ends up being the winner. Coincidentally, both teams scored an identical 31 points in the first quarter in the first two games. Ginebra in the first game and TNT in the second. Setting up the mood of the game from the start of each half turned out to be one of the deciding factors.

2. Get to the century mark

The team that doesn’t score over 100 points lost the game in their first two meetings. TNT Scored 94 points in the first game and Ginebra scored 96.  A score beyond one hundred maybe one of the keys to the game, especially if you consider our first key which is to get hot early and score more than 30 points in the first half.



3. Important imports but Local needs to be vocal, magic number 21

Justin Brownlee and Glen Rice Jr are certainly the main men for each team that carries the scoring burden and while they have done exceptionally well for their team,  Game 1 and 2 had a magic number for both imports that can is against coincidental.  Brownlee scored 21 in the first game and Glen Rice did the same for the second and both got the wins.  Both imports actually scored more than 21 points in a losing effort so it isn’t exactly import scoring that made the difference. As it is a given already that their imports are effective, it is really the locals who need to step up their game.


4. Keeping it steady for Castro 

First game: 16 points, 50% FG, 2 Three pointers, 7 Assists, 3 steals, 6 turnovers
Second Game: 20 points, 43% FG, 3 Three pointers, 10 Assists, 1 Steal, 4 Turnovers
The stats above is that of the primary point guard of TNT and he has been steady throughout the series and tonight cannot be any different for the Blur as he needs to continue to produce both in points and an assist to give their team a chance of winning game 3. It would be nice if he can also lower down the number of turnovers.
5. Yo Joe! What happened to Devance in the second game?
Playing 26 minutes, draining 4 three-pointers and producing a total of 19 points that was the production of Joe in the first game. In the second game, he was given more playing time at 29 minutes but his performance disappeared with zero from the arc and only 4 points. We knew that Devance was one of the difference makers of the game and in game 2 he was shut down by the overwhelming defense of TNT. Joe needs to go GI on game three to give his team a chance of winning tonight!

6. Shoot better and you can be assured of the win…not really?

Barangay Ginebra has done better than TNT in both games but it did not necessarily translate into a win, so what was it really?  Defense wins the game! While not all the defensive stats are being counted and there are no points in hustle plays, it certainly made the difference for both teams, especially in a high stakes game. The team that turns the ball over in each game lost the game though.


7. Sharing means winning.

First game, 33 assists for Ginebra vs 15 for TNT. Second game, 26 assists for TNT against 20 for Ginebra. Need I say more? The more you share, the more chances of winning. Obviously, both teams would have adjusted their defense by now and all of those expected scorers will be marked down in red underlines so finding an open man would be critical tonight.


8. Benchwarmers needs to be hot

The team with more bench points wins the game. Basketball is a team game and while we have already stressed the importance of sharing, we also want to emphasize the value of the bench. Stats don’t lie and benchwarmers should be ready when their number is called to contribute in any way possible.
Conclusion
It is always hard to give a prediction but the wind will be leaning towards the team who will win the first quarter scoring. If Joe Devance shows up tonight then Ginebra would get a big boost and potentially win but if Talk n Text can defend well early then it would be a different story.

Glen Rice Jr.’s 21 Points Lead TNT in Game 2

Glen Rice was outstanding but Jayson Castro also led with a double-double as TNT avoids going 0-2.

Glen Rice Jr. stepped up in the 4th quarter to lead TNT. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
The defending champions have already drawn the first blood in this series. They will now have the opportunity to take full control of the series and go within a win away from a second consecutive Governors’ Cup Finals appearance and yes, they certainly have the firepower to do so. 
On the other hand, the Talk N Text KaTropa are hoping to bounce back from a disastrous Game 1 performance and equalize the series at 1 game apiece. The only question is: Can the KaTropa find a way match up against the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings and avoid being down 0-2 coming into Game 3?
They built an 18-point lead. They blew that lead and let Ginebra take the lead, temporarily. Their import, Glen Rice Jr, didn’t play an entire quarter due to foul trouble. The odds were against the TNT KaTropa and yet, they came out victorious, scoring an important 103-96 win to tie the best-of-5 series at 1-1.
As expected of them, the KaTropa opened the scoring chores of Game 2 as they held the Gin Kings scoreless for the first 2 minutes of the game until Justin Brownlee’s lay-up gave Ginebra their first two points. TNT went up as high as 10-4 on Anthony Semerad’s fastbreak lay-up which resulted to Ginebra calling for their first timeout of the game with 8:43 left in the opening quarter. 
Both teams then struggled to get anything going as Ginebra scored the next 4 points only to miss the next few sots. On the other hand, Ginebra’s defense bothered TNT players as Glen Rice Jr. hit a trey to break the KaTropa dry spell. Unable to control the rebounds early on, Ginebra fell to 19-10 after Moala Tautuaa hit a putback basket to force another timeout from Tin Cone. A dunk by Rice Jr. with 3:11 left in the quarter gave the KaTropa their first taste of a double-digit lead, at 23-12. Ginebra faced a 31-14 hole entering the second quarter as they were plagued by their 12 turnovers in the opening quarter alone.
The KaTropa held onto the double-digit lead during the early minutes of the second chapter Ginebra cut it down to 13 from the highest 18, twice. Then, Joe Devance decreased it to 12, at 36-24 after scoring on a lay-up. Then, Sol Mercado swished in a 3-pointer to cut down the lead to 9 only to be answered by Jayson Castro who hit a 3-pointer of his own to put the lead back to 12. Mercado later added another unguarded 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 6, at 39-33 with under 7 minutes to play before halftime as TNT’s offense became as messy as it was like in Game 1. 
Japeth Aguilar later soared on a monstrous dunk to the delight of the pro-Ginebra crowd and putting his team down by just 4. However, just when TNT was starting to regain control after Jayson Castro hit a trey and Glen Rice Jr. added another free throw, Glen Rice Jr. was called for his 4th personal foul with 3 minutes left in the first half.  The Gin Kings inched closer to 49-47 at the end of the first half after Justin Brownlee hit one from long distance to end the half.
Brownlee led the way for Ginebra with 17 points on 50% field goal shooting in the first half. Sol Mercado added 8 markers off the bench. Defense was again, one of the reasons why Ginebra was able to come back from an 18-point lead as they blocked 5 TNT shots in the first half and the Gin Kings were able to take advantage of the KaTropa’s mistakes as they scored 17 points off those 11 TNT turnovers.
On the other hand, nobody among the players of Nash Racela scored in double figures after the first two quarters as Glen Rice Jr. and Troy Rosario had 9 points each while Jayson Castro had 6 points- scored on 2 3-pointers. If there was one thing that enabled the KaTropa to hold onto the lead, it was their ability to run on the break as they were able to score 10 fastbreak points as compared to none by Ginebra.
Come the third quarter, the Gin Kings wasted no time as Joe Devance scored the first two points of Ginebra to tie the score at 49 all then Japeth Aguilar added another jumper to give Gin Kings the lead for the first time at 51-50. However, Ginebra has been plagued with turnover anew as Talk N Text, like they did in the first half, was able to run on the break and established a 10-point lead with under minutes to play in the quarter.TNT went on to lead the rest of the third quarter despite Glen Rice Jr. not playing due to foul trouble as the KaTropa led 76-69 heading into the 4th quarter.
The KaTropa re-established a double-digit lead during the early minutes of the final quarter as Kelly Williams scored on an alley-oop dunk to make 79-69 with under 3 minutes into the quarter, forcing Tim Cone to call an early timeout. TNT later pushed their lead to 13 off a Tautuaa basket with under 8 minutes remaining in the game. From that point on, TNT again, held onto the lead the rest of the way as Ginebra failed to sustain the same energy that they had which enabled them to battle for the lead in the 3rd quarter.With under a minute to go in the game, Sol Mercado drained two triples to bring the deficit down to 6 but it was already too late.
Glen Rice Jr. scored 21 points on an efficient 6 of 10 field goal shooting despite playing in the 4th quarter with 5 fouls. Jayson Castro had 20 points, 10 assists and 4 rebounds while Troy Rosario had 16 points. One of the keys that triggered this important win for Talk N Text was their points off turnovers as they scored 23 points off Ginebra’s 19 turnovers. The KaTropa also had 20 fastbreak points, many of those were also off the turnovers of Ginebra.
For the losing team, Justin Brownlee had 25 points and 10 rebounds while LA Tenorio had 17 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and a steal. Sol Mercado added 14 points off the bench for Ginebra who was hounded all game long by the defense of TNT which forced the Gin Kings into turnovers that took away all of the possible opportunities to mount a comeback, especially in the 4th quarter.
Scores:
TNT – 103
Rice Jr. 21, Castro 20, Rosario 16, Pogoy 14, Tautuaa 10, Williams 7, Semerad 5, Seigle 4, Reyes 2, Nuyles 1, Hernandez 1, Chua 1, Golla 0, Carey 0, Lingganay 0
Ginebra – 96
Brownlee 25, Tenorio 17, J. Aguilar 14, Mercado 14, Thompson 8, Slaughter 8, Devance 4, Cruz 4, Caguioa 2, Helterbrand 0, Ferrer 0, Jamito 0, Mariano 0, R. Aguilar 0, Taha 0
Quarter scores:
31-14, 49-47, 76-69, 103-96

Analyzing the Numbers that Enabled the Gin Kings to Run Away

How Ginebra Won Game 1: The Numbers

Glen Rice Jr. had to bleed for his points during the entire game (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
If anything, their defense both in their lone quarterfinal game against then Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel Beermen and again in Game 1 against the Talk N Text KaTropa got the job done for the defending champions, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings who took Game 1 by disorienting the offense of the KaTropa on a 121-94 victory to start their best-of-5 semifinal series. While defense was Tim Cone’s main weapon against a TNT that has a Jayson Castro who can score at will given the opportunity, there were other things that Gin Kings did right and efficiently which inched them 2 more wins of another Finals appearance. 

The Numbers:

54 

The bench players of Ginebra provided the needed reinforcement in last night’s victory as they combined for 54 points, outscoring their TNT counterparts who only scored 30 points. Greg Slaughter continued to prove that he is still a vital part of the Gin Kings’ core as he led the bench of Ginebra with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 BLOCKS, providing an effective performance on both sides of the court.  Mark “The Spark” Caguioa provided the spark in the 4th quarter as he scored 13 points in only 12 minutes of action while Jervy Cruz was able to regain his shooting touch as he added 10 points on an effective 5 of 7 field goal shooting. 
The production of the bench players enabled Tim Cone to limit the minutes of his starters with the lone exception of LA Tenorio who logged in 32 minutes in the game. Justin Brownlee didn’t even need to score more as he totaled 21 points, 8 boards and 5 dimes to lead the Gin Kings. The bench players’ production also enabled the Gin Kings to confuse the defenders of the KaTropa as almost every player that Tim Cone fielded contributed in other ways and not just by scoring. 

22

That was the total number of turnovers that Ginebra was able to force on the KaTropa. In fact,  those turnovers by Nash Racela’s wards are one of the many reasons why Castro and company weren’t a serious threat against the Gin Kings in the game as Ginebra was able to take advantage of the mistakes of TNT to score 23 points off those turnovers. Jayson Castro, known as a point guard with steady hands, turned the ball over 6 times while Glen Rice Jr. committed 7 of those 22 turnovers. If TNT doesn’t want an early vacation, they will need to take good care of the ball, make extra smart decisions when they have the possession. 
Otherwise, the Gin Kings will pound in on those costly turnovers. 

12

If you want to see the effectiveness of Ginebra’s defense last night, just take a look at the field goal shooting of KaTropa import, Glen Rice Jr. Of his 20 shot attempts, he missed 12 of those attempts including 4 of his 5 attempts from rainbow country. In effect, Rice Jr.’s struggles to score made life miserable for TNT throughout the entire as the defense of Ginebra also shut down the rest of the KaTropa’s starters Aside from their import, Roger Pogoy was miserably struggling too, missing 9 of his 13 attempts to score 12 points. 

Ginebra Leans on Defense to Take Game 1

The Gin Kings were never truly threatened throughout the game

Joe Devance co-led the balanced offense of Ginebra. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
For the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, slamming down the hopes of the San Miguel Beermen for a Grand Slam during their one-time quarterfinal date is nothing compared to having to face a dangerous team like the Talk N Text KaTropa in a best-of-5 series. 
Against the Beermen, they had a twice-to-beat advantage. Here in the semifinals, they start at 0. No advantages. No bonuses. If they win 3 games against TNT, then their hopes of winning back-to-back Governors’ Cup titles will be very much alive. As for the TNT KaTropa, their road towards getting back to the Finals begins here in Game 1, against the defending champions, a team they defeated early on in their last playing date for the elimination round.
The Ginebra Gin Kings went on multiple scoring runs, defended well and did not rely heavily on their import as the defending champions did everything right for most parts as they prevailed victorious in Game 1 after frustrating the Talk N Text KaTropa, 121-94.
Both teams started off running on offense as the Gin Kings began with a 4-0 spurt and then Jayson Castro scored the TNT’s first 5 points of the night. After a series of mixed made and missed shots by both squads which kept the score close for most parts, a three-point shot by Glen Rice Jr. enabled Talk N Text to take the lead for the first time, at 17-15. In the next possession, Japeth Aguilar was fouled, drained both charities to tie the score at 17 all as both teams endured another scoring slump as they were clanking most of their shots, not allowing any significant scoring run. The lead went up to 5 after a dunk by Justin Brownlee, 24-19 with 2:13 to play and was followed by a basket and a free throw from Greg Slaughter to put Ginebra by up 8. The defense of Ginebra forced TNT players to commit silly turnovers or get the ball stolen away from them as the Gin Kings led, 31-22 after 1 quarter.Joe Devance already had 9 points, on 3 three-pointers.
Jervy Cruz and Slaughter scored the first points of Ginebra in the early minutes of quarter number 2 as the lead reached 12 points off a Jervy Cruz made a basket with barely 3 minutes into the quarter. From that point, Ginebra’s lead never went below 8 points as the Gin Kings’ players off the bench were able to work with Brownlee as they kept the KaTropa clanking on defense. The rest of the second quarter was a sore in the eyes for TNT fans as their team was not only missing a big amount of shot attempts but also turning the ball every now and then. The Gin Kings were up by 12, at 60-48 after LA Tenorio drained a floater to end the first half
Justin Brownlee scored 15 points in the first half to go along with his 6 rebounds, 4 assists plus 3 steals. Joe Devance added 11 while Greg Slaughter had 8 points off the bench. Ginebra’s field goal percentage in the first half was at 52%, a better percentage as to what TNT was able to manage which was at 43%. Ginebra’s 10 steals in the first 24 minutes of the game were proven essential as Ginebra were able to run and score on the other end.
Jayson Castro, on the other side of the fence, led TNT  with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists while Glen Rice Jr. added 12 points but thanks to Ginebra’s defense plus his erratic shot selection, he only made 4 of his 12 shot attempts heading into the halftime break. But what exactly doomed the KaTropa of Coach Nash Racela in the first half? It was their 15 turnovers that were converted into 19 points off those turnovers.
As it turned out, the KaTropa’s struggles continued in the second as the lead ballooned to 16 in during opening minutes of the 3rd canto only to be decreased back to 13 on Glen Rice Jr.’s 3-point play.
Then, Joe Devance another trey to put his team up by 17, at 68-51 with under 9 minutes to play in the quarter, prompting Nash Racela to call another timeout. All of a sudden, the lead went up as high as 22 points only for TNT to bring it down to 16 off a Glen Rice Jr. dunk, bringing Tim Cone up from his seat to call a timeout with under 6 minutes left. But that was the closest TNT would get until Glen Rice Jr. drained two charities to bring down the lead to 15 with under two minutes left in the quarter. Throughout the 3rd, Ginebra went with Greg Slaughter who scored on a wide variety of ways but most of his points were scored on the inside, something he was well-known even during his playing days in Cebu. The crowd darling Gin Kings held a 20-point advantage, at 95-75 heading into the 4th quarter.
The KaTropa were held without a single field goal in the first 3 minutes of the final quarter as Ginebra slowly increased their lead to 27 as Jervy Cruz scored on another mid-range shot to prompt another time from Nash Racela. And finally, at the 7:32 mark of the 4th quarter, Alex Nuyles scored the first points of TNT in the quarter but the lead went up 107-77 after a pair of charities from Mark Caguioa. Soon enough, the rest of the bench players of Ginebra took the floor and delivered the finishing touches to the game.
Justin Brownlee again, led the Gin Kings with his 21 points while converting 10 of his 15 attempts. Joe Devance added 19 while Greg Slaughter contributed 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks while leading Ginebra’s bench. Ginebra’s defense was again, one of the keys that gained Ginebra this win as TNT only made 44% of their attempts, including 30% shooting from downtown. Points scored by bench players was clearly another thing that was dominated by Ginebra as the Gin Kings’ bench players combined for 54 points as compared to only 30 points by TNT’s bench.
For the players of Nash Racela, Glen Rice Jr. had 26 points but missed 12 of his 20 attempts including 4 of his 5 attempts from deep. Jayson Castro had 16 points but turned the ball over 6 times. Roger Pogoy finished with 12 points but only made 4 of his 13 shots. TNT’s inability to score on a more consistent basis throughout the entire game can be contributed to the fact that they never got to hold onto the ball for long as a result of their 22 turnovers.
Scores:
Ginebra – 121
Brownlee 21, Devance 19, Slaughter 16, Caguioa 13, Tenorio 10, J. Aguilar 10, Cruz 10, Thompson 7, Mercado 7, Mariano 4, Taha 4, Helterbrand 0, Jamito 0, R. Aguilar 0
TNT – 94
Rice Jr. 26, Castro 16, Pogoy 12, Tautuaa 7, Carey 6, Nuyles 6, Rosario 5, Williams 5, Semerad 5, Hernandez 3, Reyes 2, Chua 1, Golla 0, Lingganay 0, Seigle 0
Quarter scoring:
31-22, 60-48, 95-75, 121-94

2 Basic Things TNT SHOULD Avoid Against Ginebra

These things almost cost them a victory last night

TNT must avoid any kind of shooting woes against Ginebra. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
If anything, last night’s game between the Talk N Text KaTropa against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters was indeed, a long one for both teams as neither was certain of the outcome until J’Nathan Bullock threw a bad pass, turning the ball over and fouling out in the dying seconds of the game. That sequence took the life out of the Elasto Painters as they came out short. 
Given how ugly the game was especially in the second half when TNT was struggling to make shots but was able to stick around within striking distance, they cannot simply afford to play exactly the same way especially when you’re up against the defending champions, Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, in the semifinals. Sure, TNT unmercifully dismantled the Gin Kings in their final game in the elimination round but that was a long time ago. We are now in the semifinals of the Governors’ Cup. Things here are different compared to the elimination round and the quarterfinals. Here, both teams will have identical paths. The first team to win 3 games, goes on to the Finals. Simple. And not especially for TNT.
For the players of Head Coach Nash Racela, playing against the crowd darlings will be a huge challenge because Racela just took over the coaching job of the KaTropa at the start of the season while Tim Cone is no doubt, a coach whose resume is already filled with multiple championships and Grand Slams. In addition to this, TNT surprisingly traded away some of its longtime players including Larry Fornacier to the NLEX Road Warriors and Ranidel De Ocampo to the Meralco Bolt which is one reason why the chemistry in the team has been shaken off a little bit.  
To have a decent chance to at least, challenge the Gin Kings, the KaTropa must avoid the following things they did in last night’s game because if they are to them again in the semifinals, they are off to an early vacation:

Shooting Woes

Last night, Jayson Castro had 20 points but 12 of those points came from the free throw line. While there’s nothing wrong in scoring most of your points from the charity stripe, you can’t just make 3 of your 11 shots in the field and expect to win against Ginebra. Yep, Jayson Castro’s view was blurry as he only made 3 out of his 11 attempts including 2 of 7 from rainbow country. Roger Pogoy also shot poorly especially beyond the arc where he missed 8 of his 10 attempts in that area.  TNT won last night despite Rain or Shine shooting better in the field. The KaTropa will need everyone on board to have a good field goal percentage and avoid getting themselves buried in shooting slumps.

Rely heavily on the starters

Let’s put it this way: if Glen Rice Jr. wasn’t on the court to pick up Jayson Castro’s missed 3-point attempt during the dying seconds and score on a  putback, it could have altered the outcome. Both players had to log 40 minutes because only Anthony Semerad had a respectable 3 of 4 shooting night, good for his 8 points off the bench before fouling out late in the 4th. TNT must find a way not to force its starters to play heavy minutes because come clutch situations, fatigue will play a critical part and in situations like these especially during the semifinals against the defending champions, the fresher your legs are, the better you can perform. The bench players of TNT will play a vital role because they can help take off some of the offensive load from Castro and Rice Jr. to help them stay fresh come the 4th quarter

3 Things TNT Needs To Do Against ROS

These things will bring the TNT KaTropa to the semifinals

Glen Rice Jr. only made 8 of his 28 attempts last Wednesday. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Many thought that the Talk N Text KaTropa would put an end to the season of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters when they opened their quarterfinals match-up last Wednesday. Unfortunately, many were disappointed when the Elasto Painters were able to weather away from a furious 4th quarter comeback by TNT as they successfully pulled a 106-102 victory which is the reason they will need to play one more time tonight to decide who between them will face the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings in the semifinals.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We all know that the players of Coach Nash Racela are capable of beating any team regardless if they have the twice-to-beat-advantage or not. Fortunately for TNT, finishing in the Top 4 at the end of the elimination round gives them another chance to make things right and to be able to move on to the next level, there are things that they need to do to avoid another embarrassing loss and below are those things:

Bench must produce!

If we’re going to look back at last Wednesday’s game, one of the reasons why TNT ran out of gas especially during their failed 4th quarter comeback was the mere fact that there was no significant production that came out from the bench players of TNT who combined to finished with 9 points which a far cry to the 29 points of the bench of ROS. 
If TNT wishes to get rid of the Elasto Painters, they will need everyone on board and they cannot simply rely on the heroics of Jayson Castro especially during clutch situations. For one, Roger Pogoy must become the player who helped his team beat Ginebra in the final game of the elimination round. In their game last Wednesday,  Pogoy only had 7 points and 6 fouls. If anything, this conference has proven what Pogoy can do and he will need to bring his A+ game come tonight. And so is the rest of the bench players of TNT.

Glen Rice Jr. must score more

The defense of Coach Caloy Garcia and his wards had successfully limited Glen Rice Jr.’s offensive output to only 19 points while making only 8 of his 28 attempts including just 1 of 12 three-point attempts. Coming into tonight’s game, Nash Racela knows that for his team to have a chance against the Elasto Painters, he must tell his import to manage his attempts and only take the shots that have a higher chance of going into the basket because otherwise, a missed shot is a missed opportunity for the rest of the team. Last Wednesday’s game saw Rice Jr. waste 20 scoring opportunities for his team. He doesn’t only need to score more for  TNT to win the game. He needs to slow things down on offense.

Make it rain

As ugly as it sounds, TNT only made 9 of 35 shots from rainbow country, a horrible 25% shooting from that area. And that is not the kind of shooting percentage you can expect from a TNT team that is loaded with shooters. In contrast, Rain or Shine made it rain from deep the entire game and they continuously bombed away and finished the game, making 16  out of 42 from deep. 
If anything, TNT has been known, loved and even hated by opposing teams for their ability to make it rain with threes and if they can go back to that habit of making more threes like nothing else happened, TNT would be a very scary team to play against and Ginebra would better watch out. 

ROS Survives Furious TNT Run in 4th

Rain or Shine forces a do or die game after diffusing TNT

Gabe Norwood scored 15 points to extend the season for ROS (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

This game featured two different teams with identical situations coming into the game. Both teams are still in working progress as they’ve undergone coaching changes. Both teams also traded some of their longtime players so they’re building new chemistry amongst themselves. The only difference is that in this quarterfinal series, one team has to win twice before moving on into the semifinals and that team is the Rain or Shine Elato Painters. Sure, beating the Talk N Text KaTropa on two consecutive occasions may be a big challenge but it’s not impossible, right?
Just when everyone thought that there would be another come-from-behind win again, nope. Not this time. The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters survived despite being held scoreless for almost 4 minutes in the 4th quarter as they beat the TNT KaTropa, 106-102.
The game between the KaTropa and the Elasto Painters began with both engaging in an exchange of scored baskets especially those that are off forced turnovers. Both teams were able to run the open floor and score on multiple attempts from the three-point line as the first quarter ended with TNT up by 2, at 28-26. When the 2nd quarter began, it became a battle of forced turnovers as TNT was able to take advantage the Elasto Painters’ mistakes by scoring on the other end. Then, TNT on a scoring run to increase their lead to 8 only for Rain or Shine to climb right back at as they tied the game with under 4 minutes to go in the quarter. The Elasto Painters took the lead and built an 8-point lead of their own after J’Nathan Bullock nailed a jumper with 1:57 on the clock, forcing Nash Racela to call for a timeout.
Rain or Shine entered the halftime break with a 5-point lead, at 52-47 thanks to Bullock’s 23 points to lead all scorers. The Elasto Painters did everything right in the first half from the field goal shooting at 46% including 40% from beyond the arc, to the making extra passes which results in a 13-8 advantage in the total assists.
For TNT, Anthony Semerad exploded for 11 of 16 first-half points in the first quarter alone to lead the KaTropa. Jayson Castro and Glen Rice Jr. added 9 points apiece. Even though TNT struggled offensively in the first half, they took advantage of the fastbreak points, holding a 6-4 edge in that category. In addition to this, the KaTropa were able to keep the score close for the majority of the first half by scoring more off their own missed opportunities as they also held a 9-2 advantage in terms of second-chance points.
Troy Rosario opened the scoring in the 3rd quarter by making a shot off an offensive rebound only to be answered by Chris Tiu on the other end. Jayson Castro soon scored on a lay-up and Kelly Williams added another field goal to put KaTropa back in the lead at 58-56 with 8:37 to play in the quarter, forcing Coach Caloy Garcia to call a timeout. The Elasto Painters scored on back-to-back three-pointers made by Chris Tiu and Gabe Norwood to give them the lead. Another trey by Beau Belga pushed the lead to 6 with 6 minutes to spare. Then, Kelly Williams scored on an alley-oop dunk off a lob from Castro to cut the lead down to 1 in the next few possessions.
Glen Rice Jr. later dunked on THREE defenders and Roger Pogoy added another lay-up to put TNT back in the lead and was followed by an acrobatic lay-up by Kelly Williams. with under 4 to play. After a couple of missed shots by the KaTropa, the Elasto Painters took back the lead on another pair of three-pointers by Gabe Norwood and J’Nathan Bullock. Kelly Williams added another dunk plus a free throw but Rain or Shine scored as they took an 84-75 lead heading into the 4th quarter.
Don Trollano scored on a three-pointer to open the 4th quarter scoring as Rain or Shine’s lead ballooned to double figures at 87-75 as Raymond Almazan followed with another putback to increase the lead to 14, just 2 minutes into the quarter. A Gabe Norwood trey increased the lead to 15 but Kelly Williams answered back with an inside shot for TNT.  The KaTropa continued to clank on their trey during the early minutes of the 4th as Pogoy fouled out with 7:43 to play. At this time, the Elasto Painters were already leading by 18 points after Almazan scored on a pair of charities. A driving lay-up by Maverick Ahanmisi put his team up 20 points with 6:27 to go as Coach Nash Racela called for another time because his team was struggling, both offensively and defensively.
A 9-0 scoring run by TNT cut down the lead to 102-91 with under 4 minutes to play. Troy Rosario added another pair of free throws to cut the lead to 9. The lead was later pushed down to 7 off Glen Rice Jr’s basket. Jericho Cruz finally ended the scoring drought for the Elasto Painters to bring the lead back to 9 approaching the final 2-minute mark. Knowing that his team needed a basket, Jayson Castro scored on another trey to cut the lead down to 6 with 1:17 on the clock to work with.
Glen Rice Jr. later attacked the basket, fished on a foul from a defender, and calmly drained both charities to put the lead back to 4 with under a minute left. After a series of bad passes by both teams which ended with the ball in Norwood’s hands, Ahanmisi drained 1 of 2 free throws to increase their lead to 5 anew with 33 seconds to play. Rice Jr.’s dunk’s cut down the lead as the Elasto Painters just made 1 of the free throws on the next possession, keeping the door open for TNT with 12 seconds to go. TNT missed the next two three-pointers as time ran out for them.
J’Nathan Bullock led the way for the Elasto Painters with 31 points to go along with his 15 rebounds. Bullock scored on 7 out of 12 three-point shots. Gabe Norwood added 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. Almazan finished the game with 13 points while Ahanmisi added 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. What won the game for the Elasto Painters was their three-point shooting as well as their bench scoring which saw the bench players of Rain or Shine outscored their TNT counterparts, 29-9.
For the KaTropa, Kelly Williams had 23 points and 10 rebounds while Jayson Castro added 22 points. Import Glen Rice Jr. had to settle for 19 points on a miserable 8 of 28 field goal shooting and this was actually one of the reasons why TNT fell behind in the first place. Anthony Semerad had 19 points too and was followed by Troy Rosario who 10 points and 16 rebounds.

Scores:

Rain or Shine – 106
Bullock 31, Norwood 15, Almazan 13, Ahanmisi 10, Tiu 10, Trollano 10, Cruz 8, Belga 5, Borboran 2, Daquioag 2, Maiquez 0, Ponferada 0, Yap 0, Robles 0, Matias 0, King 0

TNT – 102
Williams 23, Castro 22, Semerad 19, Rice Jr. 19, Rosario 10, Pogoy 7, Siegel 2, Golla 0, Carey 0, Nuyles 0, Tautuaa 0, Hernandez 0, Reyes 0, Lingganay 0, Chua 0

Quarter scoring:

26-28, 52-47, 84-75, 106-102

Trade Alert: Twists and Turns, Ranidel De Ocampo Traded to two Teams in One day

Ranidel De Ocampo Traded to Phoenix Fuel Masters, then to Meralco Bolts

Ranidel De Ocampo Traded to Phoenix Fuel Masters, then to Meralco Bolts
Photo by PBA Media Bureau 

Trade Never Stops as PBA teams have been making one trade after another and this next one is another shocker.

The 35-year-old former 2004 number four overall pick of FedEx Express will be playing for his 3rd team. Ranidel De Ocampo spent his first four years with FedEx Express before being traded to TNT where he found success and played for 9 years.
Below are some of his achievements while playing for TNT franchise.
Ranidel De Ocampo’s Achievements:
6× PBA champion (2008–09 Philippine, 2010–11 Philippine, 2011 Commissioner’s, 2011–12 Philippine, 2012–13 Philippine, 2015 Commissioner’s)
2× PBA Finals MVP (2012–13 Philippine, 2015 Commissioner’s)
PBA Best Player of the Conference (2014 Governors’)
9× PBA All-Star (2007–2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
3× PBA Mythical First Team (2012–2014)
PBA Mythical Second Team (2015)
PBA All-Rookie Team (2004–05)
Source: Wikipedia
Now in his 13th season as a PBA player, De Ocampo will see himself playing for his 3rd team after being traded twice in one day.
As reported on PBA.ph,  Talk n Text traded Ranidel De Ocampo to Phoenix fuel Masters for Norbert Torres and a first round pick but that is not the end of the story for De Ocampo as Phoenix FuelMasters traded him again to Meralco Bolts for Justin Chua and a first round pick in the coming PBA draft.
Ranidel De Ocampo ended up landing with a team under the same owner as TNT so it probably won’t be that difficult for him to make adjustments. The movements that have been happening in the PBA are moves in preparation for next season.
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Why did TNT Trade Ranidel De Ocampo?

For Future Draft Picks
They Believe that Norbert Torres is better at this stage of their career
To save money
RDO is past his prime
There were problems internally
RDO is old
TNT wants young players
Management has different direction
They are targeting a rookie

What am I

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TNT Advances to the Finals, 4 Statistical Reasons Why Ginebra Lost

Barangay Ginebra fans with head high and full hopes attended  the game 4 semi finals series against the Talk n Text Tropang Texters. 
Talk n Text needed just one more win to secure a date in the 2017 PBA Commisioners Cup Finals against SMB and they just did that tonight. 
The game stared Ginebra’s way as they poured it in right away scoring 35 points just in the first quarter, signaling to their opponent that they will not go down today. 
In the second quarter, TNT replied right away with their own scoring onslaught that reversed the momentum of the game in favor of the Tropang Texters. Score ended at 66 -63. 
Ginebra fought in the 3rd quarter and kept within striking distance as both team tallied 29 points in the 3rd. It was the fourth quarter when Ginebra fell short scoring only 17 against 27 of TNT that spelled doom and ended their Commissioners Cup run. 
Jayson Castro led the way for Talk n Text with a whopping 38 points, 7 rebounds and 11 assists performance. 
Statistical differences:
1. FG % for TNT: 52% against 41%
2. 3 PTS for TNT: 13 in 44% shooting
3. TNT Grabbed 8 more rebounds than Ginebra
4. Bench Points for TNT: 56 points against 23 of Ginebra
The scores:
TNT 122 – Castro 38, Smith 18, Garcia 16, Williams 14, Pogoy 13, De Ocampo 9, Semerad 5, Tautuaa 4, Reyes 3, Rosales 2, Rosario 0.
GINEBRA 109 – Aguilar 31, Brownlee 25, Tenorio 20, Devance 14, Thompson 10, Ellis 6, Marcelo 2, Mercado 1, Ferrer 0.
Quarterscores: 29-35, 66-63, 95-92, 122-109.

(courtesy:youtube/PBAMemesTV)

Meralco Bolts Survived TnT’s Late Assaults to Force a Deciding Game 3

Meralco charged early with 32 points against only 13 of TNT in the first quarter but TNT quickly responded in the second quarter exploding with 31 points and ended the first half with the score of 49 -44 in favor of Meralco.
The Hot streak continued in the second half but both teams leveled off in the fourth were defense took over the game and forced the contest to overtime with the score of 92 all.
Meralco Bolts’ hulking import Stepheson exited the game early due to foul trouble and was not able to provide his usual contribution tonight scoring only 7 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in 26 minutes of play. His counterpart on the other side Josh Smith scored 18 points and grabbed 18 rebounds.
The story of the night, however, isn’t about the import as Meralco leaned on their Wonderboy Baser Amer who played like a hero tonight scoring his career high of 32 points on an 11/21 (52%) shooting. Kelly Nabong also helped and scored critical points late in the game, contributing a total of 15 points.
Talk n Text was awful tonight with Castro shooting 2/13 (15%) Reyes  1/7 (14%), Garcia 4/12 (33%)…  you get the idea, right? TNT as a team did not shoot well at 36%.
At post interview, Baser Amer credits team aggressiveness even without their import late in the game. He also commended his teammates with the win.
The scores:
MERALCO 103 – Amer 32, Hodge 15, Nabong 15, Newsome 12, Dillinger 12, Stepheson 7, Hugnatan 7, Uyloan 3, Yeo 0.
TNT 100 – Smith 18, Williams 16, Garcia 14, Castro 12, Semerad 10, Pogoy 9, Rosario 7, Reyes 5, Rosales 5, Tautuaa 4.
Quarterscores: 32-13, 49-44, 79-73, 92-92, 103-100.

Video: TNT with Five Players in Double Figure Cruised Past Phoenix

Coach Racela in his first game as the new head coach of Talk N Text won his first game. TNT was in cruise control as they easily beat the struggling Phoenix team.

The scores:
TNT 117 – Williams 18, Castro 18, Rosario 17, Rosales 14, Tautuaa 11, Carey 8, Pogoy 7, reyes 7, De Ocampo 5, Rosser 5, Tamsi 5, Golla 2, Sumalinog 0.
PHOENIX 98 – Borboran 18, Wright 17, Baguio 15, Intal 11, Alolino 10, Caperal 9, Enciso 6, Miranda 4, Wilson J. 3, Wilson W. 3, Hayes 2, Javillonar 0, Lanete 0, Torres 0.
Quarter scores: 28-22, 60-45, 90-69, 117-98
Best Player :Kelly Williams with 18 points and 10 rebounds
Watch the Video below: 


Embedded from TV 5 Youtube

The Blur is unstoppable!

Photo by: PBA Media Bureau
Jayson Castro has been unstoppable so far in the 2016 PBA Governor’s Cup. The Blur is averaging close to 20 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists per game. Looking at the stats, those were impressive numbers. But that is not the only thing that we should think off. We should also look at the standings of his team. Talk n’ Text Katropa is still unscathed as they have 5 wins and no loss. This only shows that he plays efficiently; not forcing his shots and doing his best to win.
Many fans have already expressed their appreciation to Castro. Some said that he deserves to win this season’s MVP award. But if you ask me if I think the same, I would say that Castro has a great chance of getting it. He dominates his position really well. However, there are other contenders for the award like Junemar Fajardo and Calvin Abueva. These guys are also having a great season.
But thinking of the development of Jayson, he really has improved a lot. He has developed a consistent shot beyond the arc. He can also slash and run the fast break thanks to his speed. Shooting over opponents ain’t hard for him as he already proved it not only in the PBA but also in his national team stint. Bigger guys were competing there, but Castro’s performance and impact to the team is still relentless.
Castro can also create plays for his teammates and has a presence of mind on the court. He knows when to take over and when to pass. Not only is he the best point guard in the PBA, but also in the entire Asian continent.
He is a player determined to win. He got the skills and talent to do it and he’s going to dominate the league for even more years. Castro is one of the players that brought Philippine basketball back to the world stage. Together with his teammates in Gilas Pilipinas, they defied the South Koreans in the semis of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship in Manila. That served as our ticket to the FIBA World Cup in Spain. Those were times that filled our hearts with love, support, and passion for the nation. Let’s give a big thank you to them!
People have already known this guy by heart. They are amazed that he continues to be humble despite all the praises given to him. Fans even described him as a player that continues to improve. Truly, he is one of the modern heroes of Philippine basketball; a man who fights like a warrior when he steps on the court. Let’s continue to support him in his amazing basketball career.

Talk ‘N Text to Parade Former Piston Jason Maxiell for Governors’ Cup

Jason Maxiell with Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups
The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters will bring former Detroit Piston’s big man Jason Maxiell for the coming governors’ cup. Known for his defensive skills and rebounding, the ten year NBA veteran had a recent stint with the Tianjin Ronggang in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) where he averaged 19 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 34 games.
The 26th overall pick of the 2005 NBA draft averaged 5.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in his ten year stint in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets.
He is expected to bring energy and much needed presence in the paint for the Tropang Texters with his power, defensive skills and rebounding. Last month, the Tropang Texters were reportedly shopping the 2015 1st overall pick Mo Tautuaa for a legit big man. 

Beermen and TNT clash for top spots

Beermen hopes to gain top berth in the playoffs. Tropang TNT also wants a share behind the leader. (PHOTO CREDITS: Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net)

It’s always a hell of a game when this two teams face together. Now they will fight each other crucially hoping to avoid playoff implications.

As what is expected, this is an important game for both teams. For the Beermen, they just need to win this to make their semifinals bid easier. On the other hand, it’s about going with the flow for the same dream.

The Beermen seek  top seeding in the quarterfinals while Tropang TNT wants a shot at top 2.

The two contenders will fight at The Big Dome on Friday at 7 PM with a victory giving them heavy breathing space for any complication.

If Tropang TNT will come out victorious, they will get one of the top spots via large quotient lead against other teams.

“It’s a big game to have a chance for the Top Two,” said their head coach Jong Uichico.

It’s also as crucial for the Beermen, they need to win for them to avoid going down at the Top 2 because they lost at Barangay Ginebra in a blowout previously.

“This will be a good matchup”, said Leo Austria, the mastermind of the team.

San Miguel has successfully bounced back from the 84-100 painful loss from the hands of the Gin Kings.

The Tropang TNT also holds four straight victories, hoping to get five straight wins.

Ranidel de Ocampo is set to return and will be in action this Friday night.