PBA wRap: Ginebra looks to get back on track after 5-game skid
MANILA, Philippines - Losing 5-straight is no fun, especially if you're Ginebra.
The crowd-favorite Ginebra San Miguel were regarded as one of the top teams coming into the season after key acquisitions in the off-season. They traded for premier point guard LA Tenorio and drafted athletic Fil-Ams Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen.
The team looked good after a 2-0 start but weaknesses started to show one after the other in their losing streak. Their lack of chemistry and size became more glaring as the games went on.
To address the size issue, the team traded away point guard Mike Cortez for young center Yousef Taha. Taha has yet to see action for the Kings.
Ginebra also relied on their veterans more in their latest victory against Global Port but hope that their young guns find their rhythm soon. More on the games in the rundown below.
The PBA kicked off the week with a rare triple-header, Sunday, November 4, 2012. However, only the first game provided enough thrills the entire day. Let's take a look at the games.
Barako vs Global Port
Barako Bull came away with a 95-94 victory in a tight contest against Global Port Batang Pier. Fiery guard Ronal Tubid scored on an uncontested layup following a scramble play to give Barako the win.
Global Port's Mark Yee came out with a surprise performance finishing with 20 points, 7 rebounds a steal.
Best Player: Ronald Tubid (19 pts, 5 rebs, 1 ast, 1 blk)
Barako coach Junel Baculi has identified Tubid as their main man urging 'The Saint' to 'take charge' in clutch situations.
Rain or Shine vs Meralco
Rain or Shine blew Meralco's fuse in a 106-81 victory. The Elasto Painters clamped down on defense and banked on a 3rd quarter run for the blow out win.
Mac Cardona led the bolts in scoring with 20 markers but he, along with scoring guards Sol Mercado and Ronjay Buenafe could not find their rhythm the entire game.
Best Player: Jireh Ibañes (23 pts, 2 rebs, 2 asts, 2 stls, 1 blk)
The reigning defensive player did more than just help disrupt Meralco's offense, he provided more than his fair share of offensive punch leading the painters in scoring with 23 points.
SanMig Coffee vs Ginebra
Ginebra suffered its fifth straight defeat in the hands of sister team SanMig Coffee, 78-68. Compounding Ginebra's woes was the ACL injury suffered by sophomore forward Dylan Ababou early in the first quarter. Ababou, who has been the most promising young player in the team, will be out for 6 to 8 months.
Coffee Mixers main man James Yap ran rings around Ginebra's rookies. SanMig also exposed the Kings' lack of size taking advantage of mismatches in the shaded area.
Best Player: Joe Devance (18 pts, 4/5 3PT FGs, 5 rebs, 1 ast, 1 blk)
The 6'7" Devance often found himself matched up with 6'0" Mark Caguioa, which he used in his favor. The 2007 first overall pick was also hot from the outside hitting 4 out of 5 three-pointers.
Other news: Needing a shakeup after its fifth-straight setback, Ginebra traded veteran point-guard Mike Cortez to Air21 for rookie center Yousef Taha.
Rain or Shine vs Alaska
Rain or Shine stepped up its play in the final quarter to steal a game from the streaking Alaska Aces, 101-93. The Painters outscored the Aces in the 4th quarter, 30-16, to get the win.
Until the 4th quarter, Alaska looked like it was going to keep it's winning streak alive thanks to usual suspects JVee Casio and Cyrus Baguio who scored 16 points apiece. Rookie Calvin Abueva struggled in the game scoring only 7 points and hauling down 6 rebounds.
Best Player: Jeff Chan (22 pts, 3/4 3PT FGs, 7 rebs, 1 stl)
The Sniper led the charge for Rain or Shine scoring 12 of his 22 points in the final canto to push his team to victory.
Talk 'N Text vs Petron
The Tropang Texters continued their strong play downing the undermanned Petron Blaze Boosters for a 92-82 win.
The Boosters played without 3 of its centers - JuneMar Fajardo, Danny Ildefonso, and Dorian Peña - who are all suffering from injuries.
Best Player: Larry Fonacier (21 pts, 6 rebs, 4asts)
The Babyface Assasin led Talk 'N Text's balance attack to retain their position as the top dogs in the tournament.
Air21 vs Barako Bull
Fresh off a trade with Ginebra, Air21, led by new acquisition Mike Cortez, got its 3rd win in the conference with a nail biter 86-85 victory over Barako Bull.
Barako Bull lost more than just the game. They also lost center Enrico Villanueva to ACL injury late in the game. Villanueva, who's averaging 14.11 points and 9 rebounds in the tourney will likely miss the rest of the season.
Best Player: Mike Cortez (24 pts, 6 rebs, 6 asts, 5 stls)
The 'Cool Cat', enjoying more playing time, showed up big in his first game reunited with his college coach Franz Pumaren. He fittingly capped his brilliant performance scoring the last 5 points for Air21 to give them the win.
Ginebra vs Global Port
Ginebra arrested its 5-game losing skid with a tight victory over cellar dweller Global Port, 81-79. The win also comes after the team traded away point guard Mike Cortez which paved the way for more playing time for 2009 MVP Jay-jay Helterbrand who played a key role in the win.
Gary David figured in a shootout with reigning MVP Mark Caguioa. He finished the game leading all scorers with 27 points but was denied the ball in the final possession and could not shoot his team to victory.
Best Player: Mark Caguioa (19 pts, 2 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls)
Caguioa, who recently joined social networking site Twitter, picked his spots and knocked down key baskets to help his team get the win. Point guards LA Tenorio and Jay-jay Helterbrand also made key plays in the 4th quarter to help snap Ginebra's losing skid.
SanMig Coffee vs Alaska
Alaska dropped its second game in a row and again failed to get the better of its former head coach Tim Cone as the SanMig Coffee mixers tie Rain or Shine in the standings with a 77-68 victory.
Baguio and Casio continued to play well for Alaska. Abueva had another modest showing finishing the game with just 8 points.
Best Player: Joe Devance (18 pts, 7 rebs, 2 asts)
Former Alaska member Joe Devance scattered 18 points for the 2nd consecutive game to help his team get the win.
Cliff Hodge vs Rain or Shine (9 pts, 14 rebs, 1 stl, 1 blk)
The 2012 4th overall draft pick struggled on offense but still fought valiantly against the Extra Rice brothers frontline of Rain or Shine hauling down 14 boards in the game.
The highly touted rookie class struggled last week. Alex Mallari did not see action in their last game even though Petron was playing with a depleted lineup. Yousef Taha, after providing quality minutes for Air21 also did not see action in his first outing for Ginebra.
Other Ginebra rookies Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen have struggled along with their squad. Global Port rookies Vic Manuel, Jason Deutchman, and AJ Mandani have provided good minutes but good not give enough to help their team to a victory.
We hate to see players down, even more to not see them in action for an entire season. This week we saw 2 major contributors go down with ACL injury and both will likely miss the rest of the season. We hope to see them back in the court together with the rest of the injured players in this list.
Dylan Ababou (Ginebra) - ACL
Allein Maliksi (Ginebra) - Sprained foot
Enrico Villanueva (Barako Bull) - ACL
JuneMar Fajardo (Petron) - Swollen scrotum
Danny Ildefonso (Petron) - Dislocated shoulder
Dorian Peña (Petron) - Knee injury
WHO TO WATCH OUT FOR
Mike Cortez vs Barako Bull (24 pts, 6 rebs, 6 asts, 5 stls)
Cortez will enjoy more playing minutes with Air21. He will provide the team with stability and we expect him to average around 15 points, around 3 rebounds and 5 assists with the Express.
Air21 may climb in the standings soon as they now have a more complete roster with a veteran point guard (Cortez), wing scorers (J. Wilson, Canaleta) and defensive enforcers in the paint (Baclao, Reyes)
Jay-jay Helterbrand vs Global Port (8 pts, 4 rebs, 6 asts)
The departure of Mike Cortez opens the door for more playing minutes for the 2009 PBA MVP. In the last game, he delivered key plays to help Ginebra get the win to prove that he is still one of the better point guards in the league.
Jay Washington vs Talk 'N Text (16 pts, 6 rebs, 1 ast)
Petron's center position got hit with an injury bug. All three of their top men in the middle are ailing and J-Wash will have to spend significant amount of time in the 5-spot. While we know he can do damage in the paint, the real test for Washington is manning the middle for Petron on the defensive end. - Rappler.com