Should players be added to the Gilas people? With less than 3 months left, will it help or hinder?
MANILA, Philippines - The Alaska Aces are streaking with help from two of its off-season acquisitions.
JVee Casio, who landed with Alaska in the blockbuster Tenorio trade, is showing that he can more than hold his own against the best point guards of the PBA.
Their top rookie, Calvin 'The Beast' Abueva has lived up to his monicker wreaking havoc and providing unpredictability in Alaska's usually calculated attack.
Read more on their efforts in the rundown below.
SanMig Coffee vs Barako Bull
SanMig Coffee got the win, 92-91, after a controversial non-call in the end-game as Rafi Reavis tapped out the ball while it was still on the rim. The Barako squad furiously reacted to the non-call saying it should have been a goaltending.
They would've won the game had the basket been awarded to them.
Commissioner Chito Salud explained at halftime of the next game that the last play was a good non-call since the PBA adopted FIBA rules on goaltending.
It was a tightly contested ball game especially in the final minutes of the 4th canto as Ronald Tubid and PJ Simon starred in a mini shootout. Tubid was on fire hitting 2 from downtown and feeding Villanueva down low to give his team the lead.
Best Player: Peter June Simon (15 its, 3 rebs, 2 asts)
'The Scoring Apostle' hit the final basket that would give SanMig Coffee the lead for good.
Ginebra vs Alaska
The Alaska Aces handed Ginebra San Miguel its 4th-straight loss. Rookie Calvin Abueva, and new acquisition JVee Casio led the way to give the aces an 87-69 victory.
Ginebra continued to struggle on offense and it did not help that Alaska was playing fantastic pick-and-roll defense -- one of Ginebra's go-to plays.
Best Player: JVee Casio (16 pts, 4/7 3PT FGs, 2 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls)
Casio has been playing well and has helped extend Alaska's winning streak to 4. He hit timely threes to keep Ginebra at bay.
SanMig Coffee vs Global Port
James Yap and Willie Miller, both 2-time winners of the MVP plum, figured in a shootout late in the game for a thrilling finish. Yap won the battle giving his team the lead for good with 40 seconds left to play.
Power forwards from both squads also played well as rookie Vic Manuel tallied a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds but he was outplayed by Marc Pingris who also tallied 17 points but grabbed 16 boards.
Best Player: James Yap (16 pts, 2 rebs, 1 ast)
Big game James stepped up late scoring 11 of his 16 points in the final quarter to give his team the win.
Barako vs Meralco
Meralco walloped the demoralized Barako Bull squad for a 99-86 victory. Meralco's top 3 scoring guards had a field day running rings around the big men of Barako.
Enrico Villanueva tallied a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds while Josh Urbiztondo and Doug Kramer added 14-points apiece but no one from the Energy Cola really got going to get them even close to striking distance against Meralco.
Best Player: Ronjay Buenafe (16 pts, 3/6 3PT FGs, 2 asts, 2 stls)
Buenafe is one of 6 players who scored at least 8 points for the Meralco Bolts who got the win through a balanced effort from its cagers.
Air 21 vs Petron
Express big men Mark Isip and Rob Reyes took advantage of a Petron team playing with only one true center in the lineup as Ildefonso and Fajardo nurses injuries. Air21 stunned the talent-ladden Boosters for a 97-76 win.
Arwind Santos provided another double-double effort with 15 points and 14 rebounds but his squad didn't look like they were interested in getting a victory.
Best Player: Mark Isip (22 pts, 7 rebs, 2 asts)
Isip got the better of former FEU teammate Arwind Santos. He was a force in the paint together with former Petron player Rob Reyes who tallied 17 points and 6 rebounds.
Alaska vs Talk 'N Text
JVee Casio waxed hot and shot his team to a come from behind 94-92 victory to deal league-leading Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters their first loss in the Philippine Cup. Rookie Calvin Abueva had another impressive showing. He was all over the court and the stat sheet tallying 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks.
It was another game tainted by officiating controversy as the referee who made an incorrect goaltending call against the Texters' Kelly Williams was suspended.
Best Player: JVee Casio (25 pts, 6/10 3PT FGs, 1 reb, 4 asts, 1 stl)
Casio caught fire late in the game scoring 12 of his 25 points including the go ahead basket to help the Aces extend their winning streak to 5.
RAPPLER'S ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
vs Ginebra (19 pts, 9 rebs, 3 asts, 1 stl)
vs Talk 'N Text (14 pts, 5 rebs, 4 asts, 5 stls, 2 blks)
The former NCAA MVP and 2012 PBA draft 2nd overall pick has been nothing short of spectacular captivating fans with his no-nonsense style of play and giving the Alaska Aces a new, unusual kind of weapon.
Vic Manuel vs San Mig Coffee (17 pts, 10 rebs, 1 blk)
Aldrech Ramos vs Barako Bull (10 pts, 2 rebs)
WHO TO WATCH OUT FOR
Ginebra San Miguel
Don't expect the Kings to keep losing with such a talented line-up. They are bound to figure out how to play with each other sooner or later.
Casio and Abueva
The Aces are on a high with their 5-game winning streak thanks to new acquisitions JVee Casio and Calvin Abueva, but how long can they keep it up?
We bet they can keep the streak going as long as there is no drop-off in the production of Casio and Abueva as well as Cyrus Baguio who has silently but consistently contributed to all of Alaska's victories.
NOTE ON OFFICIATING
"The game has become so fast and the players so athletic that there will be miscalls from time to time."
Above is a quote from the PBA Commissioner's office following the suspension of a referee who erred on a goaltending call in the game between Talk' N Text and Alaska.
While we agree that there will be errors here and there, it should not be at the cost of a victory. Let the players play, let their efforts decide the game.
The PBA should, as early as next conference, widen the scope of the plays it allows for replay review. Let technology help in the officiating process because simply suspending the official will not solve the problem. Changes are in order and for the league to continue its rise, these officiating issues should be eradicated.
It's no easy task running the premiere basketball league in the country but we remain hopeful that Commissioner Chito Salud will make the necessary adjustments to help keep the integrity of the league. - Rappler.com
Need a recap of the previous games? Read the first 4 weeks of our PBA wRap: