Fastbreak: Veterans power GlobalPort, Aguilar saves Ginebra
The Best: GlobalPort's veterans did it again. Jay Washington and Sol Mercado combined to score 40 points in leading the Batang Pier to their third win in six starts. J-Wash also grabbed 13 rebounds and connected on two triples for coach Richie Ticzon, whose wards had to survive a late rally by the Painters. Mercado also did well, shooting 9/13 from 2-point range and dishing out 7 assists. (READ: Mercado, Washington ignite GlobalPort comeback vs Washington)
The Worst: Rain or Shine and GlobalPort turned the ball over 17 times each, but the Batang Pier were able to capitalize much better, scoring 17 points off those turnovers. The Painters, on the other hand, were able to score 6 points off GlobalPort's errors. To compound things, the Painters' missed 9 of its 29 free throws, with Ryan Araña continuing to struggle with his shot. The former DLSU sniper made just 3/7 FTs, while Big Beau Belga connected on just 1/3.
What's up, Bro?: Terrence "Bro" Romeo struggled for the second straight game, missing all six of his field goals. He ended up with just a solitary point in 23 minutes of play, though he did haul down 3 rebounds and hand out 4 assists. In contrast, fellow rookies RR Garcia and Justin Chua paired up for 25 markers. At least Romeo can take solace in the fact Nico Salva didn't play.
The Best: There's no bigger story here than the emergence of Japeth Aguilar. The Gilas Pilipinas mainstay delivered big time with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and SEVEN huge blocks, including a key rejection on Ranide De Ocampo in the endgame that iced the W for the Kings. Prior to that defensive gem, Aguilar hit the go-ahead triple, his second of the match, to pad the final score. Aguilar is currently averaging nearly 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks, registering three double-doubles already. Oh, and did I mention that he's shooting 75% from beyond the arc?
The Worst: The big difference in this game was outside shooting. Ginebra shot 10/25 (40%) from rainbow country, while TNT made good on just 6/22 (27%). Jimmy Alapag, RDO, and Larry Fonacier combined for 14 of those misses. Despite having the advantage on the glass (56-50), second-chance points (20-10), and points-off-turnovers (20-8), the Tropang Texters just couldn't put the Kings away. The result? TNT is now sitting in fourth place behind Petron, Ginebra, and ROS.
Wasted Production: Two of Aguilar's Gilas teammates, Jayson Castro and Larry Fonacier, exploded in this one. The Blur dropped 27 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds, while the Baby Face Assassin added 23 markers, 6 boards, and 3 dimes for TNT, which was hoping to cop solo second had they won. Coach Norman Black is certainly not happy with his team wasting the sublime production of Castro and Fonacier, but things won't get easier for the Texters as they square off against the Elasto Painters next. - Rappler.com