Sydmanâ€™s Side Effect: MAGNOLIA vs TALK N TEXT
December 3, 2007 by Sydrick Salazar
Last Sundayâ€™s Magnolia versus Talk N Text match is my early favorite if there is a match of the season award. If you didnâ€™t see the game, I guess you just have to imagine Derick Pumarenâ€™s face when he watched helplessly in the bench when his team squandered a big 24-point lead.
Play-by-play? Nah, itâ€™s too late for that. A match analysis thoughâ€¦
Early in the game, it seems like Renren Ritualo will have a 30-point outing. Firing at all cylinders, he scorched the TNT basket as they ended the quarter with a 28 to 17 lead. We should also mention Yancy de Ocampoâ€™s brilliant play as this is the first time he would play without thinking of Asi Taulava taking away his spot.
Then the rest of the Pals went on a tear. New Phone Pal Ali Peek scored 6 points in the second quarter with Don Allado, Mac Cardona, and Jay Washington helping him for a commanding 24-point lead at the end of the first half. The game was so one-sided that Siot Tanquingcen gave Jonas Villanueva, Willy Wilson, and Chris Calaguio playing time. Usually these guys are played because they give additional spunk with their hustle and sudden breakout performance. This time though, Siot fielded them in because he was seriously disappointed on his starters.
Halftime. While Siot Tanquingcen tormented his players with verbal bashing, Pumaren was praising his team. A game ago, Magnolia handed the Purefoods Giants its worse beating in the conference. Talk N Text meanwhile, is suffering a 2-game skid. This was the prime instigator of the Taulava-Peek trade. This was the perfect wake-up call to the confidence that they lost.
No one knows what happened to the Magnolia dugout but something morphed. In the second half, the Masters started with Lordy Tugade (the teamâ€™s lone bright spot that half), Danny Ildefonso, LA Tenorio, Enrico Villanueva, and then-scoreless Dondon Hontiveros. Seriously, these men delivered, slowly taking out the TNT lead inch-by-inch. At first the Phone Pals thwarted any run the Masters dished out but with Ildefonso and Hontiveros scoring at will, the Pals are reeling.
There was even a moment there where it looked like a San Miguel team of old as Hontiveros stole the ball, passing it to Racela and giving it to a streaking Ildefonso for a runaway jam.
Amidst the lead change was the impressive play of LA Tenorio. He has been struggling as of late. The shoot-first quarterback hailing from Ateneo has had his playing time reduced by old hand Olsen Racela and rookie Villanueva at the start of the conference. Nowadays he has been getting the majority of minutes but in this game he played nearly the entire second half dishing out big assists to the Magnolia scorers and defending against Jimmy Alapag and Donbel Belano.
The battle of the trash-talking point guards is really something. Alapag is seriously pissed at Tenorio as the latter began getting fouls on him. There was a moment midway in the third when crossing the halfcourt Alapag shoved Tenorio with a mean streak. Tenorio literally found himself meters from where he was at!
The third quarter ended with the lead reduced to 14, 59 to 73.
In the final salvo Dondon Hontiveros continued his scoring barrage. Danny Seigle and Lordy Tugade also made a tear. But it was the Ateneo trio of Villanueva, Tenorio, and Wesley Gonzales who figured prominently in the quarter. Ritualo and Cardona were reduced to spectators as they found themselves having limited touches and fumbling of shots.
Even the bench is telling a story. Samigue Eman, Calaguio, Wilson, Jonas Villanueva, and Gabby Espinas were jumping in glee for their teammates while the Phone Pals bench watched haplessly in their seats.
SERIOUSLY ITâ€™S LIKE THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COURT!
They were also getting the rebounds and forcing the rest of the Pals to go for low-percentage shots. This prompted Alapag to strike with his triple bombs. However, Alapag was in a quandary as he has been playing with five fouls thanks to Tenorio. Alapag must hate Tenorio for flexing his weak-ass muscles every time he scores a great penetration move. Enrico Villanueva was blocking every shot possible. Gonzales, the odd man out in the mix, scored just a point but alongside Hontiveros, created an awesome offensive black hole that effectively shackled the slashers of the Phone Pals.
Finally, the Masters got close and eventually led, and this prompted Washington, Alapag, and Yancy to step up. Hontiveros was still lighting things up and his 26 points, all in the second half will be made sure to not be put into waste. The Pals grow restless. They look like they are playing to not extend the lead but to just have a lead at the final minutes. Every right thing they did in the first half seemed lost in the second.
After forcing a great defensive play, the Masters got the ball with 2.1 ticks remaining. If this goes into overtime, the Masters will still be riding the momentum that has already left the Phone Pals. When I saw Dondon inbounding, I thought it was a wrong move since he was the hot hand but I guess the Pals forgot about the depth the Masters.
Weâ€™ve all been saying on how selfish is Magnolia when it comes to talent distribution in the league and this game was no exception. Hontiveros get the ball to the court, moments later the ball found itself to the Alaminos Assassin. A shot later, BOOM!
Magnolia wins 96 to 93!
Post script: It seems I should be NOT talking smack on the PBA website. The game stats have yet to be inserted to the page which makes my POWER TEN missing a game! So from now on, I will be quiet.