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Fastbreak: Rookie Nuyles steps up, Mixers deal Ginebra 2nd loss

Enzo Flojo

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Rookie Alex Nuyles steps up as Rain or Shine downs GlobalPort, and San Mig Coffee out-rebounds Ginebra and deals the Kings its 2nd loss in the PH Cup

Photo by KC Cruz/PBA Images

Rain or Shine over GlobalPort, 98-87

The Best: Rookie Alex Nuyles was ultra-efficient in this game. The former King Falcon shot 6/12 from the field to finish with 16 points in just 23 minutes of action. He also grabbed 4 rebounds and had 2 assists and 2 steals. Nuyles started at small forward for the Elasto-Painters, who exploited the absence of GlobalPort’s ace playmaker, Sol Mercado. Prior to this game, Nuyles was averaging just around 4 points in 11 minutes per outing. This is his first double-digit scoring game of the season.

The Worst: With Mercado out of commission because of a foot injury, coach Richie Ticzon relied on RR Garcia, Rudy Lingganay, and LA Revilla to be his floor generals for this game. The trio combined for 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists. It was a respectable stat-line for the young PG troika, but it was still way off the production of Mercado, who ranks near the top of the player efficiency ladder. What those three guards didn’t do so well was shoot. They combined for 6/20 FG shooting.

All about balance: Once again, coach Yeng Guiao was able to rely on his deep roster for balanced production. Seven guys scored 8 or more points, and every single Painter played double-digit minutes. Save for Jireh Ibañes, everybody scored, too. This game is a stellar example of Rain or Shine’s penchant for having nobody really stand out. Instead, the Painters relied on production across the board, and it yielded their eighth win in eleven games.

San Mig Coffee over Ginebra, 83-79

The Best: Before then end of 2013, San Mig Coffee power forward Marc Pingris vowed that the fans should expect a different Mixers squad in the new year. They delivered on that promise in this game, and against no less than the league-leading Gin Kings! Led by Ping, James Yap, and Yancy De Ocampo, the Mixers outrebounded the taller Ginebra five, 62-39, and, consequently, nailed their fourth win of the season. SMC outworked Ginebra on the offensive glass, 25-9, which led to a 22-15 edge in second-chance points.

The Worst: Mark “The Spark” Caguioa was awful in this big game. The usually clutch superstar shot 0/7 from the field, ending up with a big fat egg after playing 16 minutes. Ginebra actually had a chance to win this game, even leading heading into the final canto, but they just couldn’t contain the Mixers’ frontline. Also, the Kings shot a miserable 55% from the line. As a team, Ginebra went 12/22 from the stripe, with Mac Baracael and Chris Ellis both going 0/2.

New Year, New Resove?: Interestingly enough, despite their slow start to the conference, the Mixers are now right smack in the middle of the standings. They are tied for fifth place with four other squads, and it will be very interesting to see if SMC can show even stronger resolve in the new year. With guys like PJ Simon, Yap and De Ocampo really stepping up in this game against Ginebra, I’m sure San Mig’s fans are expecting their heroes to rack up a few more wins before the end of the eliminations. –

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