Purefoods versus Alaska in the 2009-10 PBA Philippine Cup!

The zone defense makes you do things you don’t really want to do.

For example, not attacking the basket and FALL IN LOVE WITH THE THREE POINT SHOT!!!

San Miguel joins Ginebra and Talk N Text as those that fell in love shooting beyond the arc and NEVER made the finals of the 2009-10 PBA Philippine Cup.

At the start of the season, Purefoods pushed a lot of trades that sent two of their “prodigal sons” back in the fold. Paul Artadi fled to Ginebra after getting “hell” treatment from Ryan Gregorio for his inability to knock outside shots. Marc Pingris was sent away so that Enrico Villanueva can fill the need of the Giants to have a wide body in the inside after Romel Adducul was sidelined because of cancer. The team got two rookies – the best in the batch Rico Maierhofer (because Japeth Aguilar joined the Smart-Gilas roster) and Chris Timberlake. Gregorio had to also unload Richard Yee, Celino Cruz and Villanueva (the last two were instrumental for the Giants to claim Rafi Reavis). The better version of Artadi and the more seasoned version of Pingris were amongst the notables in Purefoods’ rise.

Say what you want about Ryan Gregorio, but the defense he put in to destroy San Miguel is genius! Making San Miguel lose three straight is a feat itself. The scary thing about SMB is that you don’t know who’ll erupt. Their bench can play like their starters. When Arwind Santos and Jay Washington needs to rest, Danny Seigle and Danny Ildefonso enter. Unlike Ginebra in the Alaska series though, Purefoods wanted to get the Beermen to fear them. Again, I give props to the awesome defense Purefoods gave SMB. Reavis, Pingris, Maierhofer, and Roger Yap flourished in this system while their main guns Kerby Raymundo and James Yap were gracious enough to not hog the field goals for themselves. While Don Allado, PJ Simon, KG Canaleta and Artadi hardly played and hardly became a factor in the SMB series, I expect these three to have a say on things for the Aces.

Speaking of which, Alaska has had a very lazy preseason. The major difference of this lineup was seldom used newb Mike Burtscher. While they have acquired Samigue Eman, he is barred to play for the team until the Fiesta Cup. However, their non-transformation heralded a long winning streak. While they after they suffered their first loss, things started to go downhill, they bounced back to claim the last outright semis spot. Willie Miller was superb in their opening games but his points are currently lackluster and inconsistent. However, Miller this season is happily playing his role as decoy, and letting his teammates share the limelight. Sonny Thoss was the bar none MVP of the Ginebra series because he was unstoppable in the shaded area. Mucho accolades also goes to Tony dela Cruz, Reynel Hugnatan and Joe Devance for anchoring the team’s scoring with Miller’s scoring absence. However, LA Tenorio is the team’s stabilizer. Unlike his other Ateneo teammates, Flying LA has certainly found a home in Tim Cone’s turf. He is scoring, orchestrating, and defending the ball as if he is a ten-year pro. The bench mob of the Aces might be inferior, but you need to be wary of Hugnatan, John Ferriols, Mark Borboran, Larry Fonacier, and Jeff Cariaso because all I can say is that the bench of Alaska is underrated.

So matchup-wise, I’ll say Alaska is more organized than Purefoods. Tim Cone has a unit very familiar to each other and you know they are organized because not anyone can adapt to his system. Alaska also has a great defense despite the fact that they aren’t that big. In terms of starting fives, the Aces have five players that normally play around 30 minutes per game. However, the Giants have intensity. While Alaska solved Ginebra’s run and gun game, Artadi, Pingris, Simon, Canaleta, and Maierhofer are all thrillseekers at Ryan Gregorio’s disposal. The fact that Purefoods’ bench is deeper than the Aces is another plus point for the “blue” boys. Their zone defense is suffocating and after Thoss, there is no other big to properly contain Kerby and Reavis. How Gregorio would use Maierhofer is also something to ponder upon.

I want to say more but I just got constraints...

I just got lazy.


I won’t say which outduels what but I sense that Alaska will prevail in this matchup at 6 games.

Until then, GAME OVER!


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