A Rocky 2017: Stories that Rocked the PBA in 2017


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

What a year it has been for the PBA.

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

The Standhardinger Saga

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

The Chito Narvasa Stand-off

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

TNT Hopes to Get Win #1 Against Alaska

(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

Jayson Castro and company look to get over their opening day loss.

Coming off a rather disappointing end to their Governors’ Cup campaign which resulted in another semifinal exit, many fans began to question the ability of the Talk N Text KaTropa to compete against the league’s elite teams. After all, they have the best point guard in Asia in Jayson Castro and another big man in Troy Rosario who continues to improve every single game. 
However, the KaTropa started the Philippine Cup the same way they ended the previous conference, in a defeat as they dropped their opening game against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 82-79. That is despite Jayson Castro’s near triple-double performance which included 18 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds. What happened? As Nash Racela said it, the KaTropa weren’t making their shots as they only made 30% out of their 102 ATTEMPTS. They were shooting horribly that they only made 8 out of their 38 shots from deep while only making 47% of their free throw attempts. Nash Racela admitted that Jayson Castro was the lone bright spot in that horrible defeat as he was the only one who was making the right decisions.
Heading into tonight’s game against the Alaska Aces who are also gunning for their first win in the Philippine Cup, the KaTropa only need to do one thing if they are to get their first win: MAKE MORE SHOTS
In addition to this, Nash Racela stated that the rest of his team should learn to make better decisions with the ball as they can’t always rely on the Blur to bail them out every single game. Jayson Castro may have shot 42% from the field against the Elasto Painters but the problem was, his teammates weren’t doing any better as Anthony Semerad was only one aside from Castro who shot above 40%.

Conclusion

Beating the Alaska Aces who have a talented rookie in Jeron Teng is no walk in the park for the KaTropa. Aside from Jeron Teng, Jayson Castro and company will also have to worry about the explosiveness of the Beast, Calvin Abueva. Fortunately for the Blur, he has teammates who are known scorers. They just need to score MORE than they did against Rain or Shine. 

RDO’s Effectiveness: Shall He Stay with the Bolts or be Back on TNT?

RDO takes a three over Cliff Hodge

Yes, Meralco Bolts reached the finals when RDO came. But was he a factor for the Bolts to reach this far? Or was he just a dormant? An ampereless player?
Before Ranidel De Ocampo came to Meralco, we all know that he is a former Katropa of TNT and is a key player of that team. Both of these teams are undeniably one of the strongest teams in the present league but with this switch, questions started to arise, where is RDO more effective? Where does his playing style belong?
Before we could answer that question, we must first familiarize ourselves with the RDO play.

What kind of player is he?

A shooting power forward. Ranidel has the size and the accuracy. He can play under the rim, post up against towering players, finish fast breaks and shoot outside efficiently.
As I have observed, of these characteristics, we can consider his outside shooting the most threatening. Why? Well, a tall player which can deliver from beyond the arc is really dangerous. It is hard to defend him individually and it gradually loosens the opponent’s interior guard.

With this playing style, the conclusion would be …

He’s much more effective with the Talk N’ Text Katropa apparently and analytically.
Apparently, because we have seen him exploding wearing the TNT Jersey. He scores high, drilling crucial baskets and perhaps making the most for the team.
Analytically, his shooting would spice up TNT ‘s outside shooters. Given that the squad had great small men like the blur, but stopping small guys in the three-point area would be easier if their all small, why not put a larger gunner outside which is also capable of matching their pace during fast breaks. RDO could keep up with Castro’s speed and would be a great finisher given his height and agility, he’ll be hard to stop.
We’ve already seen it. We’re just waiting to see it again.

Exclusive Video: Aggressiveness and Free Throw: Nash Racela’s Last Fiery Words to Tim Cone After Game Loss

Nash Racela looks okay, didn’t sound like he is. 

After a heartbreaking loss to the crowd favorite Ginebra in Game 4, Coach Nas Racela allowed some of the media ask him questions about the game and while he did congratulate Ginebra with the win, he sounded sarcastic.
Coach Nash Racela had a debacle with Coach Tim Cone and Ginebra Governor Al Francis Chua during the series and  Nash Racela had to fire one last shot as he may still be upset about a few things.

Aggressiveness and free throw

At 1:50 mark, Nash Racela said.

Mali ang punto ni  Tim cone, Anong sinabi nya?  the more aggressive,   today they took 50 less two points shots, so we were more aggressive but why did they get more free throw still. So it’s not the issue. Tell that to Tim Cone. 

Glen Rice Jr’s Basketball Journey: The Ugly Past and the Unclear Future

Glen Rice last photo as he exits the Araneta Coliseum in his final game. ( Scored 2 points)

At 26 years old, Glen Rice Jr is still young and could still accomplish a lot in the game of basketball. 

Three months ago, when TNT tapped the service of the son of the legendary NBA player Glen Rice, the Talk n Text management had great expectations as he is well known for his athleticism and scoring prowess. Glen Rice Jr. was expected to bring the KaTropa to new heights in the last conference of the 2017 PBA Season.
Before joining PBA in the Philippines, Glen Rice played for the Washington Wizards in the NBA but that stint did not last long as he was not given enough opportunity and only averaged 2.7 points and with less than 10 minutes of playing time. While he had some moments, it wasn’t enough for the Wizards to keep him as a regular part of the roster.
Glen Rice had his best years playing in the NBA D League in 2013 to 2014 season as he averaged as high as 17 points per game. Surely, he’s got some talent but what’s stopping Glen Rice Jr from accomplishing his dreams?

Wikipedia’s description of Glen Rice Jr.

Rice is the son of Glen Rice Sr. and Tracey Starwood. Glen Rice Sr. was the all-time leading scorer for Michigan who led the 1988–89 Wolverines to the National Championship, played 15 seasons in the NBA, and was a member of the 1999–2000 Los Angeles Lakers championship team. Rice has a younger brother name G’mitri. On October 25, 2015, Rice was shot in the leg at an Atlanta restaurant and was later charged with reckless conduct and possession of 240.4 grams (0.53 lb) marijuana. In December 2015, he appeared in season 8 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. On July 28, 2016, Rice was arrested for battery

July he was arrested for battery. In August, he was on his way to the Philippines.

Glen Rice Jr has been given another chance, not by the NBA but the Philippine Basketball Association, the premier basketball league in the Philippines. This opportunity could be really big for the young Rice as most of the imports in the Philippines are given the opportunity to be leaders and be the primary options of the team. An automatic stardom in the Philippines, as imports are usually revered and advertised as the main man for each team.
Glen Rice did not disappoint as he showcased his talents and was able to bring his team to the second place in the elimination round and the semi-finals. He was also responsible for a few game winning shots and more often the highest scorer of the team. He can easily score 30 points at any given night.
Yes, winning a championship could have been the perfect ending but a semi-finals appearance and a second place finish is not as bad and will still look good on Glen Rice Jr.’s resume, especially as he was one of the main reasons why TNT is a good team in the conference.

Rice Spoiled his Philippine Adventure

Unfortunately, as much as we like Rice in the Philippines, he ended his stint in the PBA by spoiling all of his efforts and by acting very unprofessional in his last game, which was also the most critical of all the games he played in the Philippines. Leading the first quarter by a large number, his team was on its way to a potential grudge match but an unfortunate incident changed it all when Glen Rice Jr. lost his composure and threw the ball against his defender. Glen Rice was so furious at that instant and could not be stopped as he tried to engage the other teams into a potential altercation.
Glen Rice Jr was effectively thrown out of the game and what will be his last game in the PBA and maybe in the Philippines.  Throwing the ball against your defender would merit an automatic ejection according to the rulebook of the PBA.  Glen Rice was fined 26,000 pesos by the league and was also fined 10,000 US dollars by his own team for unsportsmanlike and unprofessional conduct that not only affected the outcome of the game but also the image of PLDT Group of companies, the mother company of Talk and Text.

From Top to the Bottom, Glen Rice flies back to the US

His father who recently visited the Philippines this same year left us with good memories but the son who carried his name may have left with a different story.
Glen Rice Jr., we wish you the best of luck on your next basketball journey and we hope you can get your act together soon.


Our last video of Glen Rice Jr.

By the Numbers: 3 Reasons why Ginebra vs TNT Game 3 was Equally-Matched

These will explain why the game wasn’t decided until the final buzzer

Jayson Castro layup
Jayson Castro came back to life in the 2nd half to equalize the game.  (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

Let’s face it: there were three kinds of fans in last night’s Game 3 of the best-of-5 semifinal series between the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings and the Talk N Text KaTropa: the happy ones which were the Ginebra, the sad or angry ones which were the fans of Jayson Castro and company and, the neutral ones which enjoyed the result regardless of who won the game. 
While the entire game was filled with fouls including a notable number of technicals many of which were called against the KaTropa which consequently led to the wide disparity of free throws awarded, can we all agree about one thing? 
The game was well-matched in terms of statistics because even though Ginebra was able to establish a double-digit lead in the early stages of the game, both teams were struggling with their shot attempts which ended in both teams only making 39% of their respective shot attempts.
Listed below are the 3 numbers of both teams which made the game close all night long:

60-58 Rebounds (In Favor of Ginebra)

In any game of basketball, whoever controls the rebounds, wins the game. Who said that? Hanamichi Sakuragi. 
In last night’s Game 3, both Ginebra and Talk N Text were able to get the rebounds as a result of both teams’ struggle the ball into the ring. Glen Rice Jr. for one, grabbed 20 rebounds for the KaTropa while Justin Brownlee 13 boards for Ginebra but what made the big difference which enabled Ginebra to come out victorious on a 106-103 decision was the number of offensive rebounds they were able to get off their own missed shots. 
Sure, both teams were equal in the number of offensive rebounds with 17 apiece but it was Ginebra who was able to take advantage of those extra possessions which allowed them to score 22 second-chance points in the process- many of those came in the crucial final 2 minutes of the games. 

26%-25% Three-Point Shooting (In Favor of TNT)

Let’s just put it this way: we all know that TNT can shoot the lights out on any given night and Game 3 was no exception. Despite their low shooting percentage from beyond the arc, Nash Racela’s boys were occasionally dropping long-distance bombs from deep as they made 11 of their 41 attempts n that area. In fact, Glen Rice Jr.’s three-point shot in the dying seconds of the game brought his team within 3 and had he nailed the final attempt at the buzzer, the game would have gone into overtime. 
That’s how the deadly the three-point shot is. One makes and it can change the course of the game. TNT’s shooting from the rainbow country was of the reasons why the KaTropa were able to stay within striking distance until the final buzzer. 

16 Turnovers Each

The turnover battle provided some needed excitement in a game that was filled with tensions and questionable calls from the referees. If anything, the 16 turnovers apiece of both squads proved that their respective defensive plans were clicking all game long especially in the 4th quarter. Both teams succumbed to make bad passes on multiple occasions.
Despite the painful loss which inched them closer to an early end to their season, we can’t deny the fact that Talk N Text was the better team in terms of taking advantage of their opponents’ mistakes by scoring 19 points off those 16 Ginebra turnovers. 

Video: Kevin Ferrer vs Glen Rice Jr Physical Altercation

Kevin Ferrer tries to get into the head of Glen Rice

Glen Rice Jr vs Kevin Ferrer
The game three battle between two heated rivals was full of in-game actions as well as special side attractions. From the verbal confrontation of Al Francis Chua and Coach Racela to the confrontation of players including Kevin Ferrer and Glen Rice Jr.
In the second quarter, Kevin Ferrer tries to get in the head of Glen Rice as he implements some sticky defensive tactics that almost flared up Glen as he pushes away Kevin Ferrer. Both were warned by the referee but Kevin continues to bother the import. 
Talk n Text lost tonight with the score of 106 -103 and while Glen Rice scored a game high of 44 points, he missed the most important shot that almost gave them another opportunity for an overtime. 
Kevin Ferrer, on the other hand, played only for 15 minutes and had zero points on a 0/3 shooting. 

Glen Rice Jr Proved he is Worthy of the Name and the Stint with TNT in the PBA

Glen Rice Jr Shines as TNT KaTropa Delivers 6th Loss in a row of  Phoenix Fuel Masters 

Glen Rice jr Proved he is worthy of the name and the Stint with TNT in the PBA

TNT flipped the coin as they got back to the win column after suffering a defeat against Rain or Shine in their last game. Rain or Shine however, continues their deep dive to the loss column by suffering their 6 straight losses in 8 games.
Glen Rice Jr., delivered what was expected of him in his second game in the league after being given a chance by the Talk n Text management due to his dismal first game performance that cost them a loss.
The KaTropa is now in the middle of the standing with 3 wins and 2 losses.
Glen Rice Jr., the son of the famous NBA shooter has been amazing against Phoenix as he scored 38 points on 58% shooting while grabbing 9 boards, dishing 5 assists and 3 blocks.
The game was a close one that even had the Phoenix leading by the end of the first half 49-46.
It was the 3rd quarter burst however, that made the difference in the game as TNT exploded to a 40 point performance and was able to steadily maintain the lead until the rest of the game.
Phoenix import also did well at 49 but his performance was not good enough for them to capture the elusive win.

The scores:

TNT 110 – Rice Jr. 38, Williams 18, De Ocampo 14, Pogoy 13, Castro 11, Tautuaa 7, Semerad 7, Lingganay 2, Reyes 0, Carey 0, Hernandez 0

PHOENIX 103 – Brown 49, Eriobu 12, Wright 11, Intal 10, Jazul 8, Chan 5, Alolino 4, Kramer 2, J. Wilson 2, Dehesa 0

Quarterscores: 25-23, 46-49, 86-79, 110-103

RR Pogoy and Jayson Castro: Perfect Gift to Talk and Text Before Leaving for FIBA Asia Cup

RR Pogoy’s hot hands and Jayson Castro’s excitement before the FIBA Asia Cup

RR Pogoy Hot Hands and Jayson Castro's Excitement Before FIBA Asia Cup

Both RR Pogoy and Jayson Castro were supposed to play light minutes for Talk and Text but coach Nash Racela had no choice but to stretch their play time as both FIBA Asia Cup bound players were hot like pancakes.
Winless Alaska was playing really well and was really challenging Talk and Text throughout the game. It was a closely contested ball game that was won during the later part and with the heroics and clutch plays of both Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy.
After the game, Coach Nash Racela was very apologetic to Coach Chot as he wasn’t intending to play the two guards with heavy minutes but they wanted to win badly tonight especially after the loss with SMB.
25-year-old RR Pogoy scored 25 points on an 8 of 11 shooting including that dagger 3 late in the game while his partner Jayson Castro added 23 points on a 8 of 15 shooting. Castro also got 10 assists and 9 rebounds.

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After the game, the two players were also interviewed. RR Pogoy mentioned that the performance tonight has given him more confidence and was hoping that he can carry it to the FIBA Asia Cup. Jayson Castro, on the other hand, talked about trying to win the games before leaving and shared his excitement playing along with players from other teams and competing for the country.
Gilas Pilipinas’ players are scheduled to depart early morning tomorrow as they get set for the tournament which will take place on August 15.

Highlights: TNT Put Alaska Further Down the Abyss as They Suffered 12 Losses in a Row

Talk and Text with the Dagger straight to the heart of Alaska Aces 107-106 

TNT Put Alaska Further Down the abyss as They suffered 12 Losses in a row
TNT exploded in the fourth to escape with a hard earned win against the depressed Alaska Aces who now have lost 12 games in a row dating back since last conference. Alaska Aces started the game well and led the game up to the 3rd quarter with 9 points with the score of 80-71. 
All was working well for the Aces and it looks like they will finally get that elusive win tonight but faith has frowned on them again as TNT had some big breaks including three point shots by Roger Pogoy and Jason Castro who led the locals with a combined score of 48 points.  
After the game, Coach Nash Racela was visibly happy talking to the media as he praised his team in making the right plays during the last quarter. 
TNT shoots at 47 FG%  while Alaska is only at 40%. 
Alaska actually did put up a good job and was leading in the rebounding, block shots, points in the paint, bench points and points of turn over but TNT got the breaks late in the game. 

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The scores:
TNT 107 – Craig 28, Pogoy 25, Castro 23, Rosario 15, De Ocampo 7, Williams 4, Garcia 3, Tautuaa 2, Carey 0, Hernandez 0, Semerad 0.
ALASKA 106 – Henton 42, Abueva 19, Manuel 13, Banchero 12, Casio 6, Baclao 4, Enciso 4, Magat 2, Hontiveros 2, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0.

Quarterscores: 17-20, 38-47, 71-80, 107-106.

Highlights: The Kraken was Unleashed as SMB Grinded a Win Against Rival TNT

SMB put rival TNT down in their first meeting after Commissioner Finals match 

Both teams look excited to see each other after their finals match last conference which was won by the San Miguel Beermen. This is the second game for both teams in the 2017 PBA Governors Cup and the match up against each other maybe a good gauge of how strong their teams are.
TNT started the game on fire leading the first quarter 24 -17 but SMB returned the favor back in the second to tie the ball game at the end of the half to 40 a piece. It was a rough and tough battle as both teams tried to claim their game against each other but SMB proved better as they had some breaks late in the game that resulted to a win in favor of the defending champion, 97 to 91.
Both teams were shooting 41% from the field, in fact, most of the stats are the same except for turnovers which plagued TNT at 26.
Fajardo lorded over again scoring a team high of 27 points, his rebounds were only 6 but he was able to block 5 shots.  Wendell Mckines followed the scoring parade at 22, Lassiter with 16 and Cabagnot with 15 points.
On the other hand, TNT import struggled with 16 points on an 8/25 (32%) shooting. It was a horrible shooting night for import Craig but nothing worst than his 6 turnovers.
Turnover leaders for TNT are Craig with 6, Tautuaa with 5 and  Williams and Pogoy with 3 a piece.

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL 97 – Fajardo 27, McKines 22, Lassiter 16, Cabagnot 15, Santos 7, Ross 5, Heruela 5, Espinas 0, Rosser 0.

TNT 91 – Craig 16, Castro 14, Pogoy 10, Tautuaa 10, De Ocampo 10, Williams 8, Garcia 8, Semerad 6, Rosario 5, Carey 4, Hernandez 0.

Quarters: 17-24, 40-40, 66-65, 97-91.

TNT Import Impresses with Triple Double in PBA Debut, Kia Fell Short Again

TNT KaTropa was in cruise control all game as they easily defeated Kia Picanto who is still trying to find their first win.
TNT got their second win in the conference and banked on new import Michael Craig who led the team in points, assists and rebounds. It was a triple double performance for Craig who got 21 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.
TNT was shooting at 50% in the ball game while Kia is at 41%. Kia is on the verge again of a losing conference after collecting their 3rd loss.

The scores:

TNT 106 – Craig 21, Rosario 18, Castro 16, Williams 11, Hernandez 8, Pogoy 8, Semerad 7, Tautuaa 7, De Ocampo 6, Carey 4, Garcia 0, Seigle 0, Tamsi 0.

KIA 96 – Cummings 27, Celda 14, Revilla 8, Salva 8, Paniamogan 8, Corpuz 5, Elorde 5, Khobuntin 4, Galanza 4, Camson 4, Jaime 3, Nimes 3, Deutchman 3, Yee 0.

QUARTERS: 25-21, 53-44, 79-71, 106-96.

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Will Kia Picanto have a winning conference?

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ICYMI: Beermen Took Game 5 Behind Dependable Locals, Highlights

The Beermen overcame a huge 35-point second quarter run of TNT by scoring 36 points in the 3rd quarter that gave them enough momentum to finish the game with a win.
SMB is now one win away from becoming the 2017 PBA Commissioners Cup Champion.
Cabagnot and Santos led the locals scoring a combined 55 points.
Scores:
SAN MIGUEL 111 – Cabagnot 28, Santos 27, Rhodes 20, Lassiter 17, Ross 10, Fajardo 9, Heruela 0, Espinas 0, D. Semerad 0, Tubid 0, Y. De Ocampo 0.
TNT 102 – R. De Ocampo 19, Rosales 16, Smith 15, Rosario 12, A. Semerad 12, Castro 12, Reyes 6, Garcia 3, Tautuaa 3, Pogoy 2, Williams 2, Nuyles 0.
Quarterscores: 29-26, 46-61, 82-79, 111-102.
Watch the highlights below:

Ginebra Dismantled TNT in Game 3 to Avoid Elimination Infront of Jawo

Back against the wall, Ginebra played one of their best games in the conference defeating TNT, 125-101.
Justin Brownlee led the fight for Ginebra as he collected 31 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 assists and 2 steals in just three quarters as they are enjoying a big lead entering the last quarter.

Brownlee also had a big help from the locals as Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, Sol Mercado and Joe Devance scored also in double digits, combining for 54 points.
TNT KaTropa were led by RR Garcia with 16 points and Mo Tautuaa who collected 15 points.
TNT’s import Joshua Smith went out of  the game halfway through the 2nd quarter with foot soreness and Ginebra just took advantage of it as they blew away the game open.
Robert Jaworki showed his usual support for the crowd darling, Ginebra as he showed up in the venue to cheer the team up who answered the call with this big victory.
Game 4 will be on Saturday, Tropang Texters will try to advance to the Finals while Ginebra will force a rubber match on Monday.

📸 credit to the owner.

Is Greg Slaughter 100% ready to play for Ginebra in the semis?

After another successful campaign during the elimination round, the Barangay Ginebra  San Miguel has dominated the front seat as they managed to get only two defeats in their eleven games during the current PBA conference.
After ousting Globalport in a quarterfinal match which also got heated up by Romeo and Tenorio’s clash of body and words, now Ginebra San Miguel is up for a great challenge as they faced and got defeated by the outstanding line up of Coach Nash Racela’s TNT katropa.
Backed up by their huge reinforcement Joshua Smith who stands 6’9″ with a wide built of 330 pounds that banged up the Ginebra’s interior defense, TNT katropa has dominated the game which caused the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel squad their first loss in the best of five semi final round.
Justin Brownlee, Ginebra’s all around import who put his body up for a challenge against the TNT import has proven that he can still deliver the goods for his franchise but fell short and obviously can’t do it all for the crowd favorite. Japeth Aguilar, who is one of the most athletic big men in the league also had a hard time defending the paint as the TNT import invaded the whole interior of Ginebra. One of the questions everyone has is, Is Greg Slaughter the answer to this Ginebra’s campaign?
Greg Slaughter who suffered from an injury and undergone a surgery has been out of the playing court for a while as ordered by the team’s physician and doctor to somehow recupirate and heal from the said surgery. The 7 footer big man has been activated days before the semi finals tip off and was expected by the fans to be a big help in this series.
Slaughter’s presence in the paint is a big help for Ginebra, it will divert and bother shots and penetrations from this TNT import while the other Ginebra big men gang up for the rebound. Is Slaughter the missing link? I’d say yes. The presence of a bigman for ginebra will somehow free up Japeth and Justin brownlee in the court while Slaughter lures the TNT defense, it will also limit the TNT import from dominating the paint who was relentless in their last outing. Slaughter is reported to be 80% ready to suit up for Ginebra and just being observed by the coaching staff if he can finally bear extended minutes on the court as Coach Tim Cone doesn’t want to risk the health of his big man. The question now is, will slaughter suit up for game 2? Let’s find out!

Highlights: TNT Shuts Off Alaska, Made a Comeback Victory After Being Down by 17 Points

TNT KaTropa escaped from a slow start in the first quarter, erasing an early huge 17-point deficit and beat Alaska Aces, 119-110, in the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup Saturday in Legazpi, Albay.
New import Joshua Smith, tallied 23 points and 10 rebounds and helped KaTropa improve to a 7-3 standing.
Returning to TNT after playing for Gilas Pilipinas, Jayson Castro produced 20 points, five rebounds and seven assists in the match against the Aces. Ranidel De Ocampo chipped in 15 points while the other player like RR Garcia and RR Pogoy tallied 13 and 12 markers respectively.
It was the Aces who had a big advantage early in the match with a 17-point lead, courtesy of KaTropa’s miscue plays.
TNT’s Troy Rosario snatched the lead at 56 – 55 as he did a layup shot in the second quarter but  Chris Banchero quickly gave the lead back to Alaska with a buzzer-beating layup.
Vic Manuel however were forced to dismissed in the game after he injured his knee after a fast break layup in the start of second half.
Jefferson led Alaska with 29 points and seven rebounds but unfortunately not enough to stop the losing streak of the Aces.

(courtesy: youtube/sports5)

PBA Highlights: Comeback Victory from Ricardo Ratliffe, Boost Star to Win Over TNT

May 10, 2017 – Ricardo Ratliffe made a comeback victory for Star, scoring 37 points and 22 boards as the Hotshots dominate a crawling start to defeat TNT KaTropa, 107-97, in the OPPO PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The triumphant return of Ratliffe, who replaced Tony Mitchell as Star’s reinforcement, had three blocks to bring Star (7-2) to its third straight winning streak and share the third place with Meralco Bolts.
In the start of the game, the TNT was all fired up and left a huge deficit for Star ending the first quarter with 35-19 in the score board. But the Hotshots pulled back against KaTropa as they convert points and seal the halftime lead 60-59.
Ratliffe and Lee completely turned things around where they lead the team by 10points, 77-67, as TNT was mutilate by the import, Donte Greene’s foul.
Paul Lee ended the game with 17 points, five boards and five assist.
Aldrech Ramos chipped 11 points, three rebounds and four assists while Mark Barroca also contributed in the team’s victory with 10 points and eight rebounds for Star as well.
Donte Greene from TNT KaTropa led the team with 29 points and 12 rebounds.

The scores:

STAR 107 – Ratliffe 37, Lee 17, Simon 12, Ramos 11, Barroca 10, Sangalang 7, Melton 6, Reavis 5, Dela Rosa 2, Abundo 0.

TNT 97 – Greene 29, Rosales 15, Williams 11, Reyes 10, De Ocampo 10, Tautuaa 6, Garcia 6, Hernandez 5, Carey 3, Tamsi 2, Sumalinog 0.

Quarterscores: 22-35, 60-59, 87-79, 107-97.
 

(courtesy: youtube/Sports5)

PBA Highlights: TNT Hands SMB its First Loss

Arwind Santos vs Donte Green (Photo courtesy of PBA Media Bureau)

San Miguel Beerman tasted their first loss in the conference after TNT KaTropa ended tha Beermen’s modest run with a 112-103 victory in the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Despite the absence of two of the league’s hottest superstars, Jayson Castro and June Mar Fajardo, TNT and San Miguel still managed to put up a highly entertaining match.
It was Donte Greene who gained 41 points and 21 rebounds to carry TNT (6-2) which became the first team this conference to defeat the San Miguel (5-1).

The scores:

TNT 112 – Greene 41, Williams 15, Fonacier 14, Garcia 12, Tautuaa 11, Carey 6, Reyes 5, Rosales 4, De Ocampo 4.

SAN MIGUEL 103 – Rhodes 43, Ross 17, Lassiter 17, Santos 11, Cabagnot 7, Espinas 6, De Ocampo 2, Heruela 0, Tubid 0.

Quarterscores: 27-16, 53-42, 79-70, 112-103.
 

(courtesy: youtube/Sports5)

Powcast Vlog: Mahindra Almost but not Quite Defeating Talk N Text

On the day of the Manila Clasico game, PBA fans were treated to a sumptuous appetizer between struggling Mahindra and Steady TNT. 
Powcast was present and saw first hand how the teams went back and forth in a match up that could change the momentum of the conference. 
Mahindra put up a good fight but fell short in the end. 
Check out the Powcast highlights!

Castro Led By Example as TNT Exploded in the 4th to Defeat Disgruntled NLEX

Jayson Castro showed that he is the best PG in Asia against NLEX
Jayson Castro showed that he is the best PG in Asia against NLEX

It is not how you start, it’s how you finish the game.
NLEX Road Warriors looked like they have found the road to a win early in the game and the path seemed so clear until they found a roadblock in the 4th quarter.
The Road Warriors finished the first quarter with an impressive 42 -22  and the scoring rampage went up to the end of the 3rd quarter.  One more quarter and NLEX Road Warriors can finally get the elusive win this conference.
But the TNT defense suddenly tightens in the fourth and the Road Warriors could not find a bucket. They were limited to only 12 points in the 4th while TNT was able to retain their steady ascent as they scored 30 points in the last 3 quarters that enabled them to come back and tie the game at the end of the 4th quarter at 113 all.
The momentum continued to shift to TNT and they were able to complete one of the biggest comebacks in recent years with the help of Jayson Castro who went to contribute 32 points, 11 assists including the critical one to RDO in the corner that sent the game to overtime.
Jayson Castro was chosen the best player of the game and has mentioned in tagalog that their coach said to do it piece by piece, that they should not give up and that he should show that he is fighting and that he leads by example for others to follow including the rookies.
TNT has won 3 games in a row while NLEX is still winless with 5 losses.
Scores:
TNT 126 – Castro 32, Greene 26, De Ocampo 22, Pogoy 20, Rosario 16, Williams 6, Fonacier 2, Carey 2, Rosales 0, Reyes 0, Tamsi 0.
NLEX 121 – Chism 35, Alas 19, Lastimosa 13, Tiongson 10, Camson 7, Khobuntin 7, Al-Hussaini 7, Anthony 6, Taulava 4, Rios 3, Guinto 3, J. Villanueva 2, Soyud 2, Baracael 2, Lanete 1.
Quarterscores: 22-42, 53-76, 83-101, 113-113, 126-121.

Video: Meralco Bolts Continues to Electrify, Triumphed Over TNT KaTropa

Meralco Bolts Continues to Electrify, Triump Against TNT KaTropa

Meralco Bolts looks really impressive at the start of the Commisioners Cup, they are now leading the standing at 3 wins and 0 loss. Coming into the Commissioners Cup they know that they needed a big man in the middle and they got just that in  Alex Stephenson.
The big import has dominated the game on both ends, scoring 20 points and grabbing 27 rebounds, aside from the great line that he is producing. He is also helping in keeping the lane and the inside clear with his towering defense in the middle.
Texters Import, 10 year veteran Lou Amundson scored 19 points and 18 rebounds.  He could potentially be replaced by another import after one more game.

The scores:
MERALCO 94 – Stepheson 20, Amer 17, Dillinger 17, Newsome 10, Hugnatan 10, Faundo 6, Daquioag 5, Hodge 5, Chua 3, Caram 1, Uyloan 0.
TNT 89 – Amundson 19, Pogoy 15, Reyes 11, Fonacier 9, Rosario 6, Tautuaa 6, Rosales 6, Carey 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, De Ocampo 3, Williams 3, Tamsi 2, Golla 0, Hernandez 0.
Quarterscores: 22-22, 46-50,74-68, 94-89.

TNT Katropa Official Roster 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup

The TNT KaTropa (also known as the TNT Tropang Texters and Tropang TNT) is a professional basketball team currently owned by Smart Communications, a subsidiary of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), playing in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) since 1990.
The franchise began in 1990 when Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PCPPI) acquired a PBA franchise. Under PCPPI, the franchise played under the names Pepsi and 7 Up. In 1996, the franchise came under the control of Pilipino Telephone Corporation (Piltel) and played under the name Mobiline. In 2001, the franchise was renamed Talk ‘N Text after the operations of Piltel was absorbed by Smart Communications.
The team is currently one of three PBA teams under the control of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan – the others are the Meralco Bolts and NLEX Road Warriors. To date, the franchise has won seven official PBA titles (and one special PBA tournament championship) and remains as one of the league’s powerhouses.

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Players Position
Carey, Harvey F
Castro, Willam Jason G
De Ocampo, Ranidel F
Fonacier, Larry G
Ganuelas-Rosser, Matt F
Golla, Frank C
Hernandez, Levi G
Pogoy, Roger F
Reyes, Ryan G
Rosales, Krismoir G
Rosario, Jeth Troy F
Seigle, Danny F
Tamsi, Al Francis G
Tautuaa, Moala C
Williams, Kelly F
Racela, Nash Head Coach

(youtube by: Basketball World; source: Wikipedia)

Dont Be Surprised! TNT Now Leads the Series With Three Wins to Two Against the Beermen

Photo Courtesy of PBA Media Bureau
A dominating Junmar Fajardo seems not enough to get the San Miguel Beermen the lead in the series. Being the top seed in the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round, the Beermen are off to a test as they go against the former top seed last season the TNT Katropa.
Kelly Williams who scored 8 of the last 12 points of the Katropa who scored 18 points in game 5 that helped out the squad in bagging their third win in the series to pull off an advantage against the Beermen.

Photo Courtesy of PBA Media Bureau
Jason Castro also contributed 18 points along side Yancy De Ocampo with the identical production. Junmar Fajardo has been limited to 13 points only in this showdown while Santos dominated the scoring department with 18 points but lacked support from his team mates aside from Cabagnot and Lassiter who scored 17 and 16 respectively.
The TNT Katropa will have a chance to take the finals spot on game 6 at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.

Meralco gets fourth win against sister team TNT Katropa

Photo Courtesy of PBA Media Bureau

After a disappointing loss in the Governors’ Cup Championship against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Meralco is out to prove their strength in the season opener conference as they get their fourth win against their sister franchise team TNT Katropa with the help of their rookie Ed Daquioag.

Daquioag led the Bolts against TNT after listing a total of 23 points as a result of his excellent shooting in this showdown with 4 boards and 2 steals to complete his excellent night as the game’s best player.

Chris Newsome who almost listed a triple double performance also helped out in anchoring a win against the last season’s top seed with 11 points, 10 boards and 8 assists. Meralco Bolts dominated the game ending the game with 11 points to get the win against the newly activated head coach of TNT, Nash Racela.

The scores:

MERALCO 98 – Daquioag 23, Al-Hussaini 14, Hugnatan 11, Newsome 11, Nabong 10, Amer 9, Hodge 9, Caram 6, Yeo 4, Grey 1, Faundo 0, Chua 0.

TNT 87 – Castro 23, Williams 19, De Ocampo 9, Pogoy 9, reyes 9, Tautuaa 6, Rosser 5, Rosario 4, Fonacier 3, Carey 0, Rosales 0.

Quarterscores: 26-23, 45-45, 75-69, 98-87
Best Player : Ed Daquioag with 23 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals

2016 PBA Offseason Grades: TNT KaTropa

It was just a month ago after the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel won their first championship in eight years and the PBA already opened it’s 42nd season. Let us examine how each team did in the offseason.

TNT KATROPA

Players in: Frank Golla

Players out: Dylan Ababou, Aaron Aban, Jai Reyes

Drafted players: Roger Pogoy, Levi Hernandez

GRADE: B

The TNT KaTropa will parade a new coach this season in Nash Racela, their long-time assistant head coach, as Jong Uichico was relieved in his coaching duty.

Aside from that, the TNT KaTropa didn’t do much in the offseason. They’ve only added RR Pogoy, a Gilas 5 member and key player of coach Nash Racela in the FEU Tamaraws that won the UAAP championship last season.

Pogoy had a great college career along with fellow Tamaraws, Mac Belo, Russell Escoto, Carl Bryan Cruz and Mike Tolomia, who were all drafted in the special draft conducted for Gilas 5 members.

They’ve also got another scoring option in former Arellano Chief, Levi Hernandez who is also an FBA MVP. Hernadez was the last player called in the 2016 PBA draft.

The TNT KaTropa have also shipped seldomly-used Dylan Ababou to Blackwater Elite for big man Frank Golla.

TEAM ROSTER 

Point Guards
Jason Castro
Kris Rosales
Ryan Reyes

Shooting Guards
Larry Fonacier
Levi Hernandez
Roger Pogoy

Small Forwards
Matt Ganuelas-Rosser
Alex Nuyles

Power Forwards
Kelly Williams
Ranide De Ocampo
Harvey Carey
Danny Seigle

Centers
Moala Tautuaa
Frank Golla
Troy Rosario

Head Coach: Nash Racela

Follow the writer on twitter @mykelblanco