FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
Published on November 19, 2011

THE triangle offense of B-Meg is already fully understood and working while the rebuilding program of Barangay Ginebra is now underway. 

Under this backdrop, the Llamados and the Kings continue their drive to the top when they collide at 5:30 pm Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

 Focal points of the match are Rico Maierhofer and rookie Allein Maliksi who were recently acquired by the Kings following a three-team trade.

Ginebra sent Yancy de Ocampo and its 2012 second round pick to B-Meg for Maierhofer and then shipped Jimbo Aquino and its 2013 first round pick to Barako Bull for Maliksi last Wednesday. 

Coach Bethune “Siot” Tanquingcen has been itching to infuse young blood into what he described as an “aging team” in order to be able to run with the other younger ballclubs. 

In recent matches, he had started out with a youthful five and had his veterans coming off the bench. But it was still evident that the young ones of the Kings aren’t ready to take over yet. 

Tanquingcen said he is pleased with his two new acquisitions but “they will have to work hard in order to earn their minutes on the hardcourt.” 

Maierhofer, the 2009 Rookie of the Year awardee, came off a knee surgery that had sidelined him for most part of last season. 

Upon his return, the former La Salle slotman experienced diminished playing time under new head coach Tim Cone who had moved over from Alaska replacing Jorge Gallent. 

The transfer to Ginebra would guaratee Maierhofer an increase in minutes because the Kings are missing the services of an injured Eric Menk and Billy Mamaril, who was given time off to be with an ailing wife. Maierhofer will be splitting time with Enrico Villanueva and rookie Reil Cervantes.

Maliksi, the Most Valuable Player of the PBA D-league Foundation Cup, had a splendid start with Barako Bull but was stymied when he suffered an injury in a game against new franchise 

He was sidelined from thereon. It is doubtful whether he’ll get extended minutes as he will yet have to feel his way into the Kings’ fold. 

The essentials will remain the same for Barangay Ginebra which will lean on Mark Caguioa, who is now accustomed to his off-the-bench role. 

His backcourt partner, Jay-Jay Helterbrand, is slowly but surely getting back that old form. Caguioa will lock horns with two-time MVP James Yap, who was recently named Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week following a 24-point performance in the Llamados’ 92-89 double overtime victory against Alaska. 

B-Meg is actually peaking at the right time, having won its last three outings in order to improve to 5-4. Prior to repeating over the Aces, the Llamados booked wins over (76-65) and Meralco (95-89). 

Barangay Ginebra has a 4-4 slate and is coming off a 92-79 victory over in their out-of-town game in Tubod, Lanao del Norte two Saturdays ago. 

Yap is supported by Joe Devance, Kerby Raymundo and Marc Pingris. Additionally, the Llamados have been getting a big lift from rookie point guard Andy Mark Barroca who sizzled for 22 points against the Aces. 

Should B-Meg prevail, the Llamados will join the Meralco Bolts (6-4) in fourth spot. (BP)


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