MANILA, Philippines - The PBA Philippine Cup elimination round comes to a close.
After 10 weeks of jam-packed hoops action, the Philippine Basketball Association wrapped up Season 38's All-Filipino Conference Sunday, December 9, 2012.
The young season saw the rise of new faces who proved they belong in the country's premier basketball league with their electrifying play.
Rookies Calvin Abueva, Cilff Hodge, JuneMar Fajardo, and Chris Ellis each gave their respective teams significant boosts and had their moments throughout the eliminations.
But the veterans did not get outplayed. Old reliables Jimmy Alapag, Mark Caguioa, and Arwind Santos stepped up when their teams needed to pull-off some wins. There were other stand out performances as well from a steady Sol Mercado to a re-emerging KG Canaleta.
There is strong anticipation for the playoffs and we will breakdown the match-ups for you so stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, let's look back at the last 8 games of the elimination round in the rundown below.
Barako Bull vs Ginebra
Barako snapped Ginebra's five-game winning streak thanks to the efforts of former GinKing Ronald Tubid who led Barako Bull in scoring with 18 points.
Ginebra played catch-up nearly all game long and could not find the target especially from beyond the arc where they made just 4 out of 18 attempts for a 22.2% clip.
Best Player: Roger Yap (14 pts, 5 asts, 2 rebs)
Yap was a key contributor in keeping Ginebra at bay. He knocked down the dagger three-pointer that killed any hopes of a comeback for the GinKings.
SanMig Coffee vs Rain or Shine
SanMig Coffee Mixers outlasted Rain or Shine in a heated contest for the second spot in the team standings, 93-92.
Jeff Chan paced the Elasto Painters with 21 points. Rain or Shine stayed toe-to-toe with the Mixers but didn't have enough in the tank to win the game.
Best Player: Peter June Simon (24 pts, 1 art)
Simon picked up the slack of star player James Yap who struggled on the floor scoring only 9 points.
Air21 vs Global Port
The Air21 Express ended the elimination round on a high note with a 113-92 victory over Global Port Batang Pier behind KG Canaleta's career game.
Global Port will have plenty of time to prepare and hopefully bounce back the next conference after a dismal showing so far in their debut season.
Best Player: Niño 'KG' Canaleta (41 pts, 6/9 3-PT FGs, 7 rebs)
With his team badly needing a win, Canaleta came up big for and for a personal best 41 points to go along with 7 rebounds. The 5-time slam dunk champ capped off his stellar performance by throwing down a dunk off a Cortez lob.
Alaska vs Petron
Alaska buckled down on defense to stun the Petron Blaze Boosters as they came back from a 21-point deficit, 79-71.
Petron was poised to win the game but struggled with their offense and was held down to only 6 points in the final quarter.
Best Player: Cyrus Baguio (20 pts, 5 rebs, 4 stls, 1 ast, 1 blk)
Baguio led the Alaska comeback. He starred in the Aces' climb from 21 points down and made his presence felt on both sides of the floor.
Rain or Shine vs Barako Bull
Rain or Shine ended Barako Bull's stint in the conference with a 116-101 victory to solidify their hold on the third spot in the team standings. The Elasto Painters drew big games from little-used Jonathan Uyloan and last season's Rookie of the Year Paul Lee who just got back from injury.
6 Barako Bull cagers scored in double figures with Danny Seigle leading the way with 21 points. Doug Kramer had another strong rebounding performance hauling down 13 boards to go with 15 points.
Best Player: Jonathan Uyloan (18 pts, 4 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls, 2 blks)
Uyloan, with instructions from coach Yeng Guiao who arrived late in the game due to traffic, started the game and gave a brilliant performance making his presence felt both on offense and on defense.
SanMig Coffee vs GlobalPort
SanMig Coffee clinched the second spot in the team standings and twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals after beating Global Port, 107-96.
Global Port Batang Pier, already eliminated from the tournament, made the Mixers earn the win. 5 players finished in double-figures led by Gary David (22 pts) and Rabeh Al-Hussaini.
Best Player: Peter June Simon (27 pts, 6 rebs, 2 asts, 2 stls)
"The Scoring Apostle" had another stellar game helping make up for another lackluster performance by struggling James Yap who is suffering from an ankle injury.
Meralco vs SanMig Coffee
In a game whose only bearing is the quarterfinals seeding, the Meralco Bolts outplayed SanMig Coffee, 87-77, to set up a match against the Alaska Aces in the next round.
The Mixers played without star player James Yap as coach Tim Cone opted to rest the 2-time MVP in preparation for the playoffs.
Best Player: Reynel Hugnatan (15 pts, 9 rebs, 1 blk)
Hugnatan, who is not really a scorer, stepped up in their final elimination game. Mac Cardona also tallied 15 points with 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
Talk ' N Text vs Ginebra
It was playoff atmosphere as Talk 'N Text held down Ginebra to just 7 points in the final period to end the elimination round on a winning note, 87-80.
Ginebra was comfortably ahead but failed to convert baskets in the end-game to notch one more win. They will face Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals.
Best Player: Ali Peek (16 pts, 18 rebs, 3 blks, 1 ast)
When the game started to get physical, especially down low, Peek flexed his muscles in the paint and helped his team out-rebound Ginebra in the final quarter.
RAPPLER'S TOP ROOKIE OF THE ELIMINATION ROUND
Calvin Abueva (14.6 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.9 bpg)
No other rookie made as much of an impact during the elimination round than Calvin 'The Beast' Abueva.
More than the numbers, Abueva's demeanor on the hardwood has given Alaska a new identity in the post-Tim Cone era. If he keeps up this level of play throughout the 2013 season, he could be a runaway Rookie of the Year winner.
WHO TO WATCH OUT FOR?