Tuesday, March 28, 2006

PBA Philippine Cup Power Rankings

1. Coca-Cola (4-1) - Their loss last Sunday didn't diminish their top spot in the rankings although it may endanger them from losing the top spot since they lost convincingly to Talk N Text two days ago.
2. Purefoods (3-2) - After a 1-2 start, the Chunkee Giants have won two in a row by an average of 17.5 points.
3. San Miguel (3-2) - San Miguel has defeated Red Bull twice this conference, including a win Saturday in Urdaneta.
4. Red Bull (2-2) - The Fiesta Cup champions decimated Sta Lucia last Wednesday but blew a second half lead against the Beermen.
5. Alaska (3-3) - Mike Cortez has been playing superb for Alaska, including Friday's win against Talk N Text. But Sunday blowout defeat against Purefoods dropped them to fifth.
6. Talk N Text (2-3) - The Phone Pals have won 2 of 3 since starting the conference 0-2. Derrick Pumaren has made some adjustments in his rotation while rookie Mac Cardona has given solid contributions.
7. Air21 (2-3) - Ritualo sparked the Express' comeback win over the slumping Brgy Ginebra Friday evening.
8. Brgy. Ginebra (2-3) - After a 2-0 start, the Kings has been struggling. Off games by stars Mark Caguioa and Eric Menk plus an inconsistent Rommel Adducul has put them in eight place. Adding insult to this are the nagging injuries.
9. Sta Lucia (1-3) - The Realtors continue to ran out of gas in the fourth quarter after Wednesday's loss to Red Bull.

PBL Unity Cup Results

First Game
Magnolia def. Teletech 57-46

Second Game
Montana def. Granny Goose 66-58

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Talk N Text 100, Coca-Cola 82

Talk N Text got strong games by Jimmy Alapag, a perfect Harvey Carey, rookie Mark Cardona and veterans Vergel Meneses and Leo Avenido to hand the Coca-Cola Tigers its first loss 100-82 in the 2006 Gran Matador PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Harvey Carey equalled counterpart Ali Peek's performance two weeks ago by recording a perfect 8-for-8 shooting from the field. Alapag fired crucial triples in the second half to overcome a strong rally by the Tigers.

Cardona meanwhile scored in double-figure providing some defense and baskets from the inside while Meneses played his game so far in the early stages of his stint with the Phone Pals.

The Tigers got off to a slow start, trailing 20-7. But they managed to come back and reduced the deficit to 54-50 in the third period before the Phone Pals managed to dominate the final quarter, increasing the lead to as many as 20.

Talk N Text has now won their second game in three outings to move to 2-3 in the standings. Coke remains on top with 4-1, a game back at sister teams San Miguel and Purefoods.

The scores: (PBA.ph)

Talk n Text 100 – Alapag 20, Carey 17, Cardona 13, Avenido 11, Meneses 10, Taulava 10, Ferriols 8, Miller 7, Juinio 4, Villoria 0, Cantonjos 0.

Coca-Cola 82 – Peek 15, Abarrientos 13, Antonio 12, Reavis 10, Singson 8, Miranda 7, Arigo 7, Wainwright 4, Mamaril 2, Morano 2, Francisco 2.

Quarters: 26-13, 48-39, 75-64, 100-82.

Purefoods 91, Alaska 73

(PBA.ph) Marc Pingris poured in 15 points in the first to lead an inspired effort by the Purefoods Chunkee reserves and James Yap took over in the second half as the Giants beat the Alaska Aces 91-73 Sunday night in the Gran Matador Brandy-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-3 power forward did a little of everything on both ends as the Giants picked up their second straight win and pull abreast with the San Miguel Beermen (3-2) at second place behind leader Coca-Cola Tigers, who remain unbeaten in four games as of presstime.

The third overall pick in the 2004 Draft, Pingris was at his sharpest in the second quarter, scoring 11 of his 15 first half points in the period to spark the Giants’ breakaway.

Acquired from Air21 during the off season, the energetic banger scored all his second quarter points during a decisive 22-7 blast which propelled the Giants to a commanding 18-point advantage.

The Pozzorubio, Pangasinan native capped that terrific quarter with three rebounds, one assist, two steals and two blocks as the Giants closed the first half with a 46-34 lead.

“Mark started our rally in the first half and James (
Yap) got into a rhythm in the second half,” said Purefoods Chunkee head coach Ryan Gregorio, referring to the two key figures that propelled them to victory.

“Again our defense held up and we shot better from the field,” Gregorio added.

What Pingris started in the first half, James Yap continued in the second, firing 11 of his game-high 22 points in the third quarter to keep the Giants in control and the Aces at bay.

Kerby Raymundo had 14 points and Eugene Tejada had another stellar performance with 12 points as Purefoods Chunkee’s bench outscored
Alaska’s, 37-21.

“The good thing about this team is that it doesn’t need motivation. They are well motivated and it all started with the loss to Talk ‘N Text (in
Hong Kong),” Gregorio said. “That humiliation tickled our pride.”

Nic Belasco scored 21 points and had 13 rebounds to show the way for the Aces, who are now 0-3 against the Giants this season, the only team
Alaska hasn’t beaten dating back to the previous conference.

The Aces were only in the game in the first quarter that saw them trailing the Giants by three. But they faded in the next period the moment they encountered an offensive meltdown.
Alaska picked up its third loss in six games.

Against the Giants, the Aces shot just 38 percent (27-of-70) and was beaten in practically all key departments. Purefoods outrebounded
Alaska, 45-41, and earned a 16-9 edge in second chance points.

The Giants also gained a surprising 13-0 advantage on fastbreak points against the Aces, who also gave up 19 turnover points. (DBC)

The scores:

Purefoods 91 – Yap J. 22, Pingris 15, Raymundo 14, Tejada 12, Yap R. 8, Limpot 6, Castillo 6, Artadi 3, Yee 3, Billones 2, Gamboa 0, Evangelista 0.

Alaska 73 – Belasco 21, Hugnatan 12, Allado 11, dela Cruz 8, Cariaso 7, Cortez 5, Bajar 3, Thoss 2, Wilson 2, Laure 2.

Quarterscores: 21-18, 46-34, 70-54, 91-73.

Rain or Shine 70, Harbour Centre 64

Leo Austria made a succesful return on the PBL sidelines to lead the defending champion Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to a 70-64 victory over Harbour Centre in the second game of the 2006 PBL Unity Cup at the La Salle Greenhills Gym.

Austria got solid games from regulars from Marvin Ortiguerra and Junjun Cabatu as the Elasto Painters avoided a furious comeback by the Portmasters in the final minutes to secure their first win in the tournament.

Trailing 33-37 at the half, Rain or Shine got off on a hot start in the third quarter with seven unanswered points to take the lead for good 40-37 before taking a 45-41 lead heading into the final canto.

A strong start led to a Rain or Shine's biggest lead at 53-43 before the Portmasters made a comeback in the last minute, as they put Jojo Tangkay and Erwin Sta Maria on the bench after fouling out.

L.A. Tenorio's three with 2:44 left put the Portmasters behind only at 56-53. After a string of back and forth baskets, Ronjay Enrile's triple put Rain or Shine's lead at six at 63-57 with 41 ticks to go.

The finals seconds became a free-throw shooting exhibition for Rain or Shine despite the leading being reduced to 65-62 on Joseph Yeo's triple with 20 seconds remaining.

It was Austria's first win in the PBL since 2004, when he left the Welbest franchise to coach the now-defunct Shell Turbo Chargers in the PBA. The former PBA Rookie of Year made his return as coach as preparation for the team's entry in the pro league next season.

Toyota Otis 77, Hapee PCU 73

Fil-American Joe Devance scored a crucial three-point play while Boyet Bautista's offensive rebound sealed Toyota Otis' 77-73 victory over Hapee-PCU in continuing action of the 2006 PBL Unity Cup at the La Salle Greenhills Gym.

With the game deadlocked at 73-all, Devance scored on a post and drew the foul with 10.8 seconds left to give the Sparks a 75-73 advantage.

Devance missed the bonus free-throw but Bautista grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Mark Moreno, send the point guard to the line. He draining all of his free-throws to seal the game.

Toyota led 68-61 at the halfway point of the match, however, the Teeth Sparklers mounted a 9-2 run to tie the ballgame at 70-70. A three-pointer by Moreno put Hapee in the lead 73-70 with over the two minutes. Aaron Aban tied the match at 73-all on a three-pointer with a minute left.