Sports anchor and ESPN5.com writer Chuck Araneta gives his two cents on the PBA Governors' Cup, covering the period of October 15 to 21.
Game of the week
The TNT KaTropa was so close to finally getting a measure of revenge against the San Miguel Beermen, the squad that had eliminated them in every conference so far this season. It was an 11-point lead with 8:45 remaining, and the KaTropa were in prime position to take care of business and grab their fourth straight victory.
Unfortunately, it didn't work that way. The Beermen roared back with a 19-4 run, swinging the momentum. To make things worse, TNT lost Roger Pogoy to an ankle injury which gave Beermen import Kevin Murphy even more breathing room down the stretch.
The result was a 107-96 victory that had everyone in Calasiao, Pangasinan buzzing about San Miguel's firepower. The Beermen have been struggling all conference without June Mar Fajardo but this game reminded us why San Miguel is not an ordinary team.
Top performance of the week by a local
It was a toss-up between Chris Tiu (23 points, four 3-pointers, two assists against NorthPort) and Ronald Tubid (16 points, five 3-pointers, five rebounds, two assists against Rain or Shine) this week. But for shock value and the out-of-nowhere angle, Tubid has to be the guy.
Not a lot has gone well for Columbian Dyip this conference. They started out 0-9 and with a 20-game losing streak that stretched to their winless Governors' Cup campaign last season. However, one of the most bizarre subplots this season has been their mastery of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. In the first two conferences this season, the Dyip has always had their number. And that continued on with a 100-84 win on Friday.
Tubid made a huge impact in support of talented duo Jerramy King and Rashawn McCarthy. Tubid showed he can still connect with timely 3-pointers and "kalawit" rebounds. He reminded everyone why he's one of the PBA's most entertaining players. We need to enjoy him while we can.
Top performance of the week by an import
We haven't been talking enough about Alaska import Mike Harris, but we might have to after his great week of basketball.
In wins against Columbian and Blackwater Harris averaged 41 points on 60.7 percent shooting and 23 rebounds.
The point total is not a typo. He finished with 44 against Columbian, then followed that up with a 38-point outing, highlighted by a booming 3-pointer plus a foul that put away the Elite.
There's nothing flashy about his game, and he's been playing together with locals like Chris Banchero and Vic Manuel who have produced great performances. That's why it's so shocking when you look at the scoreboard and see Harris already with a 20-20 game. He's been unstoppable.
Wright leads Dyip to first win of Governors' Cup
The Columbian Dyip finally got their first win of the conference, 100-84, snapping Rain or Shine's two-game winning streak, and in the process, completing a season sweep of the Elasto Painters.
Disappointment of the week
Things were looking up for the Elasto Painters after their easy 120-98 win over the NorthPort Batang Pier. They picked up their second after an impressive performance on the road against Barangay Ginebra, and had a chance to rack up some wins against cellar dwellers Columbian and Meralco.
Perhaps due to fatigue from a brutal schedule, and the absence of key players in Raymond Almazan and Beau Belga, the Elasto Painters suffered back-to-back losses. Rain or Shine's are all but out of playoff contention.
If they had taken care of business against Columbian and Meralco, they would have climbed to 4-2 and would have been in great position to finish in the top four. Instead, at 2-6 they're fighting just to stay alive. The upcoming schedule is unforgiving -- Eugene Phelps and the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Wednesday, then the San Miguel Beermen on Saturday.
Cliff Hodge's double-double leads Bolts over Rain or Shine
The Meralco Bolts kept their playoff hopes alive after beating the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 91-82, for a third straight win.
Must-see for this week
The stakes are high for this edition of Manila Classico. The Magnolia Hotshots and Barangay Ginebra are currently on top at 7-2 and a win could cement their spot in the top four with a twice-to-beat advantage. Both teams are coming off losses and would like some momentum heading into the playoffs.
The matchups between these two squads haven't always had the same kind of build-up. But Ginebra and Magnolia have been great the entire conference.