by John Paul Marquez

Newly dressed Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel and Global Port Batang Pier took the first showdown in the opener of the 38th season of Philippine Basketball Association.

The long wait is over for the basketball fans, as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) opened its 38th season yesterday.

Ginebra took the first win to open the 1st conference (Philippine Cup) against the Global Port (former Powerade Tigers), 110-90, after the opening ceremony at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Jones Cup Most Valuable Player awardee, Gilas 2.0 player and newly installed Ginebra player LA Tenorio led the way for the Ginebra as he tallied only two points but got nine boards and 10 feeds.

  "I’m not a scorer talaga, gusto ko maging happy ang teammatesko,” Tenorio stated.

Rudy Lingganay of the Batang Pier seized the first point of the season but Ginebra blasted off with an 8-2 run; Lingganay scored the first 12 points of the Batang Pier including the two money shots to cut down the lead for the Ginebra 14-12. Ginebra stayed on top at the end of the frist, 26-20.

Ginebra rookies no.6 pick Chris Ellis accumulated for his 13 points in his PBA career while no. 8 pick Keith Jensen collected 14 points. Ginebra ruined the second quarter as they enter the dug-out with a massive lead, 55-39.

Late in the final canto, the Batang Pier made a rally after the three free-throws of the two-time MVP and newly Lina Francise player Willie Miller with 26 points. Batang Pier dropped an 11-0 unanswered points including the two get away of rookie AJ Mandani (13 points) and the transition three of Gary David (nine points) to cut down the lead, 94-86.

David. who has been struggling from the field by dominating the board Ginebra fins their way to stay on top, and got multiple possession plus a Rico Maiehofer offensive boards and an and-one play to bring back the deficit within double digit. With 3:01 left Tenorio gets a steal after the ball landed on his face and a getaway pass to Mark Cagiuoa, who also contributed 18 points for the Ginebra. A MVP alley-oop connection from Tenorio to Caguioa sealed the day.

Ginebra, got their first win in the season while Global Port will find their selves for the upcoming days. PBA will continue on Wednesday as the Ube Republic Air 21 Express will take on against Barako Bull Energy Cola in the first game while Petron Blaze Booster will try their best to get their first victory under the new head coach Olsen Racela against the newly Governor’s Cup Champion Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.


by Deliza Maye Fernandez

Stunning Muses, hyperactive players and wild crowd— this is how the 38th season of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) All-Filipino Cup opened yesterday.

PBA Commissioner, Chito Salud, proudly presented the achievements of the PBA in the last seasons accomplishing the 22% increase in live attendance and the profit they made every game including the on-tours.

Salud demanded for a game that is tough but filled with sportsmanship, a great game but aware of responsibility and a game that will mark not through the harsh action but through good defense and offense.

Ten teams had been officially named as their muses floats on the court:  Anne Curtis for San Mig Coffee Mixers which is formerly the B-Meg Llamados; Alice Dixon of TalkNtxt Tropang texters; Isabelle Daza of Petron Blaze Boosters; Sophie Albert of Meralco Bolts; Stephany Stefanowits of Air21 Express; Ciane Xavier of Barako Bull; Sam Pinto of Global Port which is formerly known as the Powerade Tigers; Rizzini Alexis Gomez of Alaska Aces; Camille Guevarra of Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and Georgina Wilson of Barangay Ginebra Kings.

The opening game had been set for Barangay Ginebra Kings against the Global Port Batang Pier.


by John Paul Marquez

“We Dare to Dream”, and now, it's really a dream come true for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters who shined in the recent PBA Governors Cup, winning their first title in franchise history since entering the league in 2006 from Welcoat, after killing the hopes of B-Meg Llamados, 83-76, in their sudden-death Game 7 last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

                 After the buzzer sounds Rain or Shine won the PBA Governors Cup title behind Best Import awardee Jamelle Cornley who dished 20 markers and 14 boards. They came out from a 3-1 advantage but B-Meg recovered by winning two straight games, sending the series into the deciding game. Yet, B-Meg was not able to continue their streak as they ended up losing on last night's game.

                      Jeff Chan of RoS, who was sizzling hot in the first quarter, sank a couple of three pointers for a total of 16 points for him, bouncing on his last game’s output. Chan, hailed as the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) for averaging 11.6 points and three rebounds a game, is also the Most Improved awardee.

                      RoS ended up the quarter ahead 35-22. Early fragrant foul was called to James Yap and Chito Jaime in 11:53 start of second. After that incident, B-Meg made a rally as they dropped 9-0 bomb to take down the lead 35-31 courtesy of James Yap who’s got 23 points in that game but Chan made an answer with his three taking the deficit again 38-31. Llamados Import Marcus Blakely soar high for a lay-up and a foul to even the game at 48 but off the bench Jervy Cruz’s buzzer beater putback made his team on top in the half, 50-48.

               B-Meg regained the lead in the opening of the third quarter, 51-50 but RoS grabbed back the lead after Gabe Norwood’s trey sank a 13-2 run. B-Meg’s energizer Marc Pingris commits his 5th foul in the game in 2:33 mark before the quarter ends. The Llamados received another black-eye after Blakely charged for his 5th foul as well, with only 5:6 seconds left. RoS in front, 68-64.

                     Early in the fourth quarter Marcus Blakely took his last game in the series after he hooked his final foul with 8:30 remaining, walking with 15 points and 16 rebounds. Despite of losing their import, Big Game James Yap carried his team with a three and Raffy Reavis sending a putback to keep them alive in the game, 76-73. The Elasto Painters seemed worried when their main guy Jamelle Cornley downed on the floor for some knee problem but got up immediately to make sure that his team will win the crown. Plenty of misses for B-Meg, from Yap, De Ocampo and Reavis after PJ Simon’s steal and a lay-up, 82-76, still trailing, they never scored again.

                    RoS, even without their franchise player Rookie of the Year Paul Lee who suffered an injury in his shoulder in game 2, still delivered the very important game of the series.

                     For the last six years they were always at the bottom of the standing. They are always the underdog until in this series, but now they are the ones who survived the challenges from the toughest teams in the league. Rain or Shine Head Coach Yeng Guiao won his 6th title (all with import), 1st for the RoS.

                     August 19 will be the Rookie Draft, where in Junmar Fajardo, Chris Tiu, Calvin Abueva, Cliff Hodge, Chris Ellis, Dave Marcello, Alex Mallari, Aldrich Ramos, and a lot of rookie applicants will try their luck in the big league. The 38th season will start on September 30.

by John Paul Marquez

B-Meg Llamados forced the sudden death game on Sunday as they escaped Rain or Shine Elasto Painters with a convincing victory, 97-81, in the PBA Governors Cup Finals last August 3, 2012 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

               James Yap once again led the campaign of B-Meg, building 20 points with nine rebounds, almost a double-double performance for him. B-Meg rained with seven rainbow shots to outlast the E-Painters. B-Meg led by as much as 24 points but E-Painters never let their hopes gone after TY Tang shot to cut the lead to just seven (63-70) in the final canto. But PJ Simon (16 points) and Jonas Villanueva (11 points) helped their team dropping a 22-5 blast as they ride the last sentence of the game. 

                     Import Marcus Blakely also joined the must-win-game for them, bidding for 19 points and 15 boards.

              RoS import Jamelle Cornley with 14 points was not able to help his team enough to march on their first championship.

                 Momentum now shifted to Llamados as they go to Game 7. RoS wanted to make history as they try to get their first championship, while B-Meg wanted the same thing, desiring to make history too, for grabbing their back-to-back championship after they captured the last championship crown against Talk n’ Text in the PBA Commissioners Cup, and being the first team since 1991 to come back from a 3-1 deficit in finals.

                The do-or-die Game 7 will be on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. This will be the last game of the conference and the 37th season of PBA. 


by John Paul Marquez

James Yap nailed a conference high 30 points to escort B-Meg Llamados in a crucial victory against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 91-81, to take Game 5, still trailing 3-2, and keeping their championship hopes alive, last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in the Finals showdown in the current PBA Governors Cup Finals.

                Even without Marc Pingris, the Llamados were able to win the game, B-Meg dropping a 7-2 run. Yap called for fragrant foul after he landed a punch to Jireh Ybanez with 2:54 left, as well as Ybanez, but RoS able to chopped down the lead ending the first quarter 18-19. James Yap was still working hard on his offensive side hitting a buzzer beater three to accompany his team, 44-41 lead after the first half. Yap accumulated a total of 18 points in the first half.

                    Llamados Import Marcus Blakely also put a show with his total of 24 points. In the third canto Llamados continued to broaden their lead after PJ Simon trey 59-51. Physicality continued on both side as Beau Belga of RoS ejected in the playing court after he blocked hard Blakely. Belga commmited his second technical foul while Blakely was also called for a t-foul for taunting. They ended up the quarter 70-61.

                   RoS import Jamelle Cornley tallied for 25 markers but it’s not enough to support his team until they collapsed in the final canto. RoS knight in shining armor in game 4 Gabe Norwood's presence was not felt in the last game for he’s got nothing. The same with their hot shot Jeff Chan who dished for only 12 points.

              RoS still has two chances for the title but they have to have a gun that can fire on the next game to grab their championship crown.

                 Before the game started NBA Champion Miami Heat’s Fil-Am Head Coach Erik Spoelstra presented his Larry ‘O Brien to the crowd, and after the game, he went to the bench of the Llamados to congratulate them.

                     The next game will be on August 3 at the same venue. Llamados will try to push a sudden death game while the RoS wants to end the season as early as they can.


by John Paul Marquez

Rain or Shine Elasto Painters will try to make a history after routing B-Meg Llamados in their 4th game, 94-89, and taking a commanding series 3-1 in their quest for the trophy in PBA Governors Cup Finals, last July 29 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

                     Best Import Jamelle Cornley once again serge for the team after putting 23 points, 14 boards and five dishes to led RoS toa commanding series. Gabe Norwood also contributed on his team after chipping for 18 points including the crucial three in the last part of the game to keep their hopes alive. Off the bench Ronjay Buenafe also made a name in this team after contributing 13 points to help his team up.

                    The first quarter was dominated by the Llamados, ending the quarter 28-11 but in the second quarter RoS backed up and made a strong come back before going to the huddle 47-45. Yap and the Llamados had a lot of opportunity to come back after a triple by James Yap 75-74 who tallied a conference high of 25 points but the Elasto Painters never let the Llamados to come back in the game.

                   Llamados import Marcus Blakely with 22 points, missed a crucial two charities with 8.1 seconds left that leads to the fall of Llamados.

                   Pingris of B-Meg and Arana of Elasto Painters went to cross the boundary after Arana hits Pingris with the elbow that’s why Pingris hits Arana with his head.

                    The next game might be a close out for the Elasto Painters and they desire to make history with this game. On the other side, B-Meg should keep their emotion not to lead them to stay away in the game. The Llamados needs to win three consecutive games to get a rare back-to-back title after getting the Commissioners Cup title last conference. Only one team in the history of PBA was able to bounce back in a 3-1 deficit in the Finals and that is their rival Brgy. Ginebra Kings in 1991 after beating Shell.


by John Paul Marquez

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters once again takes on the lead as they hammered B-Meg Llamados, 93-84, in the PBA Governors Cup Finals, July 27 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

                     After Paul Lee’s shoulder injury in the last game, RoS faithfully wished for a good luck. Import Jamelle Cornley once again lead the RoS tallying for 25 points, 15 rebounds and six dishes. Jireh Ybanez of RoS started their rally but B-Meg answers him back making an 11-point deficit to put them on top but the RoS revive by putting 15-3 run to end the first half 40-38.

                        Continuing their rally as they extended their lead to 2-1, hot shot Jeff Chan connected with a two rainbow shots for a total of 18 points from him (all scored in second half) and Ryan Arana as well attached for another two three's. In the last canto Elasto Painters continued to make a deficit to B-Meg. B-Meg Coach Tim Cone decided to pull-out Import Marcus Blakely, PJ Simon, Marc Pingris and James Yap in the game with less than five minutes left and putting up Jonas Villanueva, Mark Barroca on the floor. Llamados sees some light as Jonas Villanueva hits a three with under 30 seconds left to put down the lead to seven but time is not on their side as the RoS wasted a lot of time and not letting the Llamados to score again.

                        Jonas Villanueva led the Llamados with 18 markers but it was not enough to carry the Llamados to a victory. RoS are hoping to win the next two games in the series to take their very first crown in the big league on their initial finals appearance while B-Meg wanted to stay alive in the series to make it a best-of-three series.

                     Game four will be on Sunday after the Leo’s award ceremonies at the same venue. James Yap of B-Meg will be a contender for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) while Rain or Shine’s franchise player Paul Lee is the number one candidate for the Rookie of the Year Award (ROY). 


by John Paul Marquez

After a disappointing loss in Game 1, B-Meg Llamados recovered with a win in game 2 against the championship rival Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 85-80 in the PBA Governors Cup Finals last July 25 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

                       James Yap lifted the Llamados dishing 24 points including the turnaround shot that sealed the game, 82-78, with 15.6 seconds left. Import Macus Blakely also contributed for the Llamados as he butted in 26 points, 16 rebounds and three monster blocks. The E-Painters made a rally in the third knotting a 74-all with 5:25 left. With under a minute left Best Import of the Conference Jamelle Cornley made things possible for the E-Painters as he drew two free-throw shots, 78-80, but James Yap sealed the deal after hitting the turnaround jump and never let the E-Painters to get some breathing room.

                        The E-Painters tasted a double-black eye when their second overall rookie guard Paul Lee reinjured his shoulder after he tries to get the ball to the hands of PJ Simon. He immediately lied on the floor with 2:22 left. He is carried out off the court on a stretcher and the crowd gave him a round of applause as well as the B-Meg Bench and even Coach Tim Cone.

                         Before the game started, Mark “The Spark” Caguioa of Brgy. Ginebra Kings got his second straight "Best Player of the Conference" award, receiving three overall, after collecting 1,121 points in the conference. RoS rookie Paul Lee came out second with 694 points, followed by B-Meg’s very own Marc Pingris with 586 as well as his teammate two time MVP James Yap with 537 and Gary David with 528 total points. On the other hand Rain or Shine’s Import Jamelle Cornley won the "Best Import of the Conference" after garnering 1033 points and his counterpart Marcus Blakely falls in second place with 886.

                           The game 3 of the finals will be on July 28 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 


by John Paul Marquez

Surprising the crowds, the underdog Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (RoS) clinched game 1 of their finals showdown against the crowd darling B-Meg Llamados, 91-80, in the PBA Governors Cup Finals, last July 22 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

                      Even without a Finals experience, the young E-painters still managed to get a victory. Import Jamelle Cornley erupted with 25 points to lead the way for the E-painters. Both team shows physicality as Jay-R Quinahan (RoS) and Marc Pingris (BMeg) both called for the technical foul in the first quarter. The Lee-thal weapon Paul Lee (RoS) butted 3-points in final 10 seconds of the first quarter to put them up, 18-16. He also added 14 points, four rebounds and three assists. B-Meg fought back after a two 3’s of Marc Barroca and a buzzer beater three for Jonas Villanueva, 39-35.

                        E-Painters surged a rally after James Yap (BMeg) misses his two attempts, 9-2. B-Meg import Marcus Blakely hooked his fifth personal foul with 3:45 mark of the third canto with this RoS continued to put pain on the B-Meg after Cornley scored with 0.3 of a seconds left, 66-59. Gabe Norwood of RoS stretches their lead to 10 after his two-hand slam and B-Meg Coach Tim Cone ejected in the game with 7:23 left after throwing a monoblock chair in the playing court. And RoS never looked back and took on the driver’s seat.

                         It has been six years since the Rain or Shine joined the big league in 2006 carrying the Welcoat Dragons name. This is the first time that they will enter the Finals, while B-Meg marks their 23rd Finals appearance and they are hoping for a back-to-back title after they won the Commissioners Cup last conference.

                            The next game will be held at the same venue, July 25.