San Mig Coffee shocks Ginebra
by Waylon Galvez
Games Wednesday (Araneta Coliseum)
5:45 p.m. – Air21 vs Talk ’N Text
8 p.m. – Barako Bull vs Petron
Manila, Philippines – Rain or Shine took advantage of a Sol Mercado-less Globalport to hack out a vengeful 98-87 win and boost its bid for one of two twice-to-beat incentives in the 2014 PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.
Almost everybody contributed to ROS’ victory but it was Alex Nuyles who shone brightest.
A rookie with a heart of a veteran, Nuyles collected 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and the same number of steals in just 23 minutes of action to lead the assault for the Painters.
Rain or Shine’s victory, however, was overshadowed by San Mig Coffee’s gutsy 83-79 win over Ginebra San Miguel in the nightcap.
The Mixers squandered a huge 18-point lead in the first half but stood firmly in the face of Ginebra’s comeback to notch their fourth win against seven defeats that kept its playoff bids alive.
With the win, San Mig Coffee tied Globalport, Meralco, Alaska and Barako Bull for 5th to 9th places in the 10-team tournament. The last two placers after the elims will be automatically eliminated.
Ginebra, despite the setback, remained on top with a 9-2 record, but it put to naught the 26-point effort of Japeth Aguilar.
The Kings were 13 points down entering the third quarter but ended up on top, 66-65, going into the last 12 minutes – thanks to a huge 3-point shot by Jayjay Helterbrand. Ginebra’s Twin Towers –Aguilar and Greg Slaughter also starred in that furious rally.
Mark Barroca led three other San Mig players in double figures with 16 points, six assists and three steals.
The victory was Rain or Shine’s fourth consecutive since handing the previously unbeaten Petron Blaze its first loss this conference – via a 99-95 overtime decision last Dec. 21.
And for that, ROS improved its record to 8-3 – just half game behind the Boosters (8-2).
The win likewise enabled Rain or Shine to avenge its 90-88 defeat to Globalport the first time they clashed last Dec. 8, where Mercado and Jay Washington each scored 20 points.
Mercado, however, missed the rematch due to a swollen Achilles (foot injury).
“It’s really a win we wanted badly because we lost to this team the first time we played them,” said Painters’ coach Yeng Guiao, who said the win could had been doubly sweet had Mercado played.
“It would have been a more satisfying win for us if Sol was playing. We prepared our game plan defending on him. He created problems for us, kaya medyo nagulat kami na wala siya. At the same time it was a lucky break,” added Guiao.
“We’re trying to win as many games, and keep ourselves alive for the top two. We’ll see what happens with three games to go,” said Guiao as his team will still face defending three-time champion Talk ‘n Text on Saturday, Meralco on Jan. 15 and Air21 on Jan.18.
RAIN OR SHINE 98 – Nuyles 16, Cruz 12, Tang 12, Chan 11, Tiu 10, Lee 9, Arana 8, Belga 5, Rodriguez 5, Norwood 5, Almazan 3, Quinahan 2, Ibanes 0.
GLOBALPORT 87 – Washington 26, Salva 11, Romeo 10, Garcia 9, Hayes 7, Chua 5, Yee 4, Menk 4, Nabong 4, Salvador 3, Lingganay 2, Revilla 2, Ponferrada 0.
Quarters: 22-20, 46-38, 80-67, 98-87
SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 83 – Barroca 16, Simon 15, Pingris 12, Yap 12, De Ocampo 9, Reavis 8, Devance 7, Sangalang 4, Mallari 0, Melton 0.
GINEBRA 79 – Aguilar 26, Slaughter 14, Tenorio 13, Baracael 12, Ellis 9, Monfort 3, Reyes 2, Ababou 0, Helterbrand 0, Urbiztondo 0, Caguioa 0.
Quarters: 25-15, 48-35, 65-66, 83-79