Caguioa leads Ginebra to big win over Talk ‘N Text

Updated 18 March 2013
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Caguioa leads Ginebra to big win over Talk ‘N Text

Mark Caguioa didn’t stay more than 10 minutes in the Philippine Sportswriters Association awards night on Saturday where he needed to pick up a very important trophy.
It seemed like he came and went to the Manila Hotel Ballroom, claiming he needed to rest to get ready for a big game against Talk ‘N Text the next night.
Caguioa seemed to have rested well, for he played his biggest game in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations last night and anchored Barangay Ginebra’s finest performance here in bringing down Talk ‘N Text, 107-100, in front of more than 16,000 fans at the Araneta Coliseum.
The reigning MVP, who was also named as the PSA’s pro cager of 2012, scored 13 of his total in the third period and had four clutch points in the payoff frame as Ginebra won back-to-back games for the first time to improve to 3-5.
It was the first loss in the last three games for the Tropang Texters in a 4-4 card as Talk ‘N Text yielded the most points to a foe against the Gin Kings.
“I just told the players to play defense, I didn’t ask them to win,” Barangay Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua told reporters. “I just told them to never give up and we can get this. What we did on defense confused them.”
The loss was also the first for Talk ‘N Text since import Donnell Harvey came back to replace the ineffective Keith Benson and the Texters — after just eight games here —have now lost as many games as they did when they won the Philippine Cup this season.
Talk ‘N Text was the second straight powerhouse that Ginebra took down, with the Gin Kings also scoring an upset against San Mig Coffee last Friday.
“Being 3-5, we have to keep on winning (in the race to the playoffs),” Chua said. “At least we’re out of the cellar. The players are just proving that we can still win, bringing down those two powerhouses.”
Import Vernon Macklin scored 24 points and was an intimidating presence inside the paint and LA Tenorio finished with 20, engaging Talk ‘N Text point guard and former MVP Jimmy Alapag in an interesting offensive battle.
Alapag wound up with 23 points, shooting 13 in the fourth period as he tried gallantly to bring the Texters to victory almost by himself.
The last of Alapag’s five triples came at the 1:27 mark that had the Texters coming within 102-98, but Larry Fonacier, who finished with 16 points, took an ill-advised trey attempt in their next offensive and effectively doomed the Texters.
That Fonacier miscue eventually allowed Macklin to complete a three-point play off Ranidel De Ocampo with 35.4 ticks to go, sealing Talk ‘N Text’s loss.
The exciting Ginebra victory took all of the luster away from Alaska’s 93-85 domination of Globalport earlier in the night.
Alaska got 26 points and 18 rebounds from import Robert Dozier and double figures in scoring from two locals as the Aces didn’t show signs of missing star guard JV Casio and improved their league-leading record to 7-2.
Globalport took a sixth straight tumble and because of Ginebra and Air21 both winning their last two games, the Batang Pier are all alone in the cellar with a 2-7 card, needing to sweep their final five games to have a shot at advancing.
Former two-time MVP Willie Miller led the Batang Pier with 22 points and Gary David added 20, but Globalport trailed big early because import Walter Sharpe was hobbled with four personal fouls just 15 minutes into the game.
Sharpe would finish with just two points and five rebounds in 20 minutes.


Poor use of local talent, bad auction decisions have cost Royal Challengers Bangalore dear in IPL

Updated 21 May 2018
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Poor use of local talent, bad auction decisions have cost Royal Challengers Bangalore dear in IPL

  • 2018 debacle – eight losses in 14 games – follows on the heels of a 2017 season where they won just three matches
  • Bangalore, both in terms of recruitment and on-field execution, were well off the pace in this year's IPL

The city of Bangalore can now boast of two extremely popular sports teams.
The football team, Bengaluru FC, has only been in existence since 2013. But that half-decade has been enough for them to become a beacon for Indian football, a role model of professionalism — the previous absence of which contributed so much to the slide down the world rankings from the 1970s.
The cricket team, in contrast, has epitomised the worst of Indian sport, with its ‘chalta hai (it works)’ attitude.
That would seem excessive criticism of a franchise that has reached three finals in 11 seasons (losing them all), but if you scratch beneath the surface, it is always individual brilliance rather than a robust team ethos that has been responsible for the team’s crests.
The 2018 debacle – eight losses in 14 games – follows on the heels of a 2017 season where they won just three matches. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have finished sixth or worse in three of the five seasons where Daniel Vettori has been coach.
Qualifying for the playoffs in 2015, and reaching the final a year later on the back of Virat Kohli’s 973 runs, was largely down to the triumvirate of Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle being in such formidable touch.
The captain too cannot be exempt from blame. But this season, there were extenuating circumstances.
While the auction was going on in Bangalore in January, Kohli’s full focus was trained on a Wanderers Test that he was determined to win.
When asked a question about the IPL after the match was won, he brushed it off with a curt answer of “Sir, please don’t ask me such things now.”
Bangalore’s auction missteps were cruelly apparent on Saturday evening, as two Karnataka players combined to knock them out.
Shreyas Gopal and Krishnappa Gowtham have never worn RCB colors. It cost Rajasthan Royals 62 million rupees ($910,000) to sign Gowtham, but Gopal came at his base price of two million rupees.
The spin web they spun – 6 for 23 in six overs – illustrated Bangalore’s inability to make best use of local talent. Three of the Indian spinners RCB signed – Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar and Murugan Ashwin – for a combined cost of 64 million rupees ended up bowling 31 overs across the season.
Of course, you cannot be too parochial when it comes to professional sport. The National Football League’s two greatest quarterbacks – Joe Montana and Tom Brady – both crossed the width of a continent to script their legends.
Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles were not born within a goal kick of Hackney or Islington. And Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona certainly were not all about the boys from La Masia.
But in Bangalore’s case, despite Karnataka having enjoyed some excellent seasons in domestic cricket this decade, there has been a marked reluctance to pick the players for RCB. Even those that did play and shine, like KL Rahul, who made 397 runs for them in 2016, were not retained.
Instead, RCB’s third retention card in 2018 was spent on Sarfaraz Khan, who finished the season with 51 runs. Rahul already has 652.
Vettori succeeded Ray Jennings in January 2014, the man who had taken them to two finals in 2009 and 2011.
A year later, when Kohli was handed the Test reins by India, Jennings told The Indian Express how Kohli had been instrumental in him losing his job.
“People generally don’t like being questioned and pointed out their shortcomings, but I knew what I did was for his, and the team’s, well-being,” he said. “But as a captain, he has the right to work with the people he is comfortable with and I have no complaints.”
Gary Kirsten, who took India to the No.1 ranking in Tests and helped win a World Cup in 2011, joined RCB this season as mentor and batting coach.
In the T20 format, Kirsten has a wretched record. India failed to make it out of the Super Eights at the World T20 in both 2009 and 2010, and his two seasons with the Delhi Daredevils were nothing short of a disaster.
Vettori’s attempt to spread his wings with Middlesex last summer saw him finish with a 5-7 win-loss record.
The successful teams long ago realized that T20 is a separate sport, where success depends on good scouting and use of analytics.
Pedigree in the longer forms is no guarantee for success in T20, where the name of the game is tactical innovation.
Bangalore, both in terms of recruitment and on-field execution, are well off the pace.