Fastbreak: Texters survive the Aces, David outduels Canaleta
Talk N Text over Alaska, 121-118 (OT)
The Best: I guess Machine Gun Kelly really is back, huh? Kelly Williams registered his best game of the season so far, dropping an impressive double-double -- 18 points and 10 rebounds on 8/10 FG shooting -- as the Tropang Texters remained in a tie for third place in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup standings. Prior to this game, the former MVP averaged just 6 points and 7 rebounds per outing. It was his first double-double of the season.
The Worst: It's really tough to find anything glaringly wrong with what Alaska did in this game. I mean, the Aces shot close to 50 percent from the field, they outrebounded TNT, and they had more steals and blocks. Their bigs played superb, their guards weren't too shabby, and Calvin Abueva filled the stat-sheet. Perhaps if I were to nitpick though, I'd say Alaska turned the ball over a little too much (18 times with three guys netting 3 or more TOs) and they had a little too many people in foul trouble (four guys with 4 fouls or more).
Ryan Reyes is back, too!: Ryan Reyes returned to action with aplomb! Prior to this match, Reyes had been nursing a re-injured hamstring, and, coincidentally, his last game was also against the Aces. He did really well here, nailing two triples and shooting 7/10 from the field overall on his way to 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in 27 minutes of play. The former Gilas Pilipinas candidate hardly showed any signs of being slowed down, so it seems like TNT will be a much tougher outfit moving forward.
Meralco over Air 21, 92-88 (OT)
The Best: In a duel pitting two of the league's streakiest shooters, Gary David and his Meralco Bolts outlasted KG Cañaleta and his Air 21 Express. David, buoyed by 7 points in overtime, led Meralco to only its fourth win in eleven games. "El Granada" dropped in a season-high 34 points on 13/26 FG shooting, including 4 treys, as his club moved up to a triple-tie for sixth place. The Gilas Pilipinas sniper also added 6 boards, 2 steals, and 1 block to his tally.
The Worst: Cañaleta came alive in the final 74 seconds of regulation, hitting a string of three-pointers that forced the extra period and reminded Meralco of its previous meltdown against the Ginebra Gin Kings. Air 21 wasn't able to capitalize though, and they fell to their ninth defeat. Once again, playmaking was an issue for coach Franz Pumaren's crew, which recorded fewer assists and more turnovers than their foes. This time, Wynne Arboleda started for Air 21, but he ended up with just 2 points on 1/5 FG shooting and 1 assist in 33 minutes. By the game's end, it was Joseph Yeo doing much of the playmaking, but he did turn the ball over 4 times.
This Danny ain't done yet: Not by a long-shot it seems. Former San Miguel bulwark Danny Ildefonso was signed by the Meralco Bolts out of free agency last week, and boy, has he proved to be a wondrous pick-up. The Pangasinan native, who recently turned 37, shot 6/7 from the field on his way to 14 points on top of 6 rebounds, 5 assist, and 1 steal. Despite his advanced age, he was very efficient in all of his 29 minutes of action off the bench. I mean, Ildefonso was so effective that starting center Rabeh Al-Hussaini played just 9 minutes. It sure looks like Ildefonso feels he has something to prove, and the rest of the PBA's big men better get ready. -Rappler.com