Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Caguioa sneaks Ginebra past Petron

Caguioa sneaks Ginebra past Petron
by rick olivares photo by brosi gonzales

December 2, 2011
Smart Araneta Coliseum

Trying to recover fading glory, Barangay Ginebra showed they still have some fight in them when they threw a haymaker Petron Blaze’s way, absorbed a counter to the jaw, before they sneaked in one last jab to take the win.

Mark Caguioa drilled a huge jumper after a huge pick (and an offensive rebound) by Rico Villanueva on Denok Miranda for an 89-86 lead with 40 seconds left to play. The Blaze Boosters called time and on their next offensive, Villanueva was caught in no man’s land when he found himself atop the three-point arc guarding Alex Cabagnot.

Cabagnot had rifled in five of six attempts from long distance and as he scored five points in the fourth period and 25 overall up to that point, it was obvious that the play was called for him. The Petron guard drove towards the middle, faked the Ginebra center off his high tops and drained the equalizer, 89-all, with 11 seconds left in the shot clock.

It was Ginebra’s turn to call time with 27.1 seconds left. The Kings set a two-man high screen for Caguioa to claim the ball from point guard Mike Cortez. After the Kings’ go-to-player received the rock with Cabagnot on him, he drove right and looked to use the screens for him. Petron’s defense shifted and Caguioa spotted teammate Willy Wilson going in for a potential offensive board. With no defender in sight, Caguioa zipped a bullet to Wilson who was wide open underneath the basket. Petron’s Joseph Yeo tried to block the shot but was whistled for a foul off an and-one, 91-89 Ginebra.

With 3.9 seconds left in the match, Danny Ildefonso found himself atop the arc with the ball and his teammates unable to collect a pass. The veteran center threw up a meek shot that was well short of the mark and the Kings escaped with a win that gave them a 6-5 record that’s good for seventh place despite being tied with Barako Bull with a game at hand.

Petron, fell from the first to second place with a 9-4 record as Talk ‘N Text at 8-3 reclaimed the top spot without having played the Alaska Aces, their final assignment of the elimination round.

The Blaze Boosters’ head coach Ato Agustin lamented the non-call of a traveling violation of Ginebra’s Ronald Tubid at the 1:52 mark of the fourth period. Tubid earlier rebounded a missed drive by Yeo. As the Boosters surrounded him, Tubid signaled for a timeout but the referees were unable to see it. The Kings’ forward, who scored 16 points in the match, was finally awarded the time out but not before he had taken two extra steps.

Ginebra grabbed two extra possessions when Wilson and Villanueva hauled down offensive rebounds after misses by Cortez and Caguioa. The Kings consumed 54 seconds off the game clock before Caguioa hit that long jumper.

Although the two squads battled through two deadlocks and five lead changes, Petron briefly regained the lead after Danny Ildefonso hit a turnaround baseline jumper on Villanueva for a 61-60 lead with 4:38 left in the third period. Ronald Tubid restored the lead for the Kings after he knocked down a triple in Ginebra’s ensuing offensive. It was a lead they would not relinquish.

The Kings also benefitted from a late fourth quarter 10-point lead at the 8:33 mark of the fourth quarter when JC Intal scored on a putback of his own miss. It was sufficient enough cushion for the crowd favorites as Petron launched a last ditch rally that culminated with Cabagnot’s game-tying trey.

Caguioa was sensational all game long as he topscored for his side with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists with zero turnovers in 34 minutes of play.

Ginebra 91Caguioa 22, Tubid 16, Villanueva 14, Cortez 12, Intal 8, Wilson W. 6, Mamaril 6, Canaleta 5, Labagala 2, Wilson J. 0.

Petron Blaze 89Cabagnot 28, Santos 14, Miranda 14, Reyes 11, Ildefonso 8, Yeo 7, Tugade 7, Doruelo 0, Agustin 0, Baclao 0, Sharma 0.

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