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The 8 Biggest Surprises Of The 2015 PBA Governors' Cup (So Far)
The tournament has unloaded a few shockers!
by Voltaire Lozada | Jun 23, 2015
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In case you blinked, it’s almost the end of the elimination round of the PBA’s last conference of the 2014-2015 Season. Like MJ, time flies in b-ball.

To say that the ongoing 2015 Governors' Cup is surprising is a major understatement. The conference has been nothing short of unpredictablefrom team standings to individual performances, you'll see something that will make you say, "Wait, whut?"

And like the just-concluded NBA Finals and LeBron's historic (but ultimately futile) performance, this conference has been really fun to watch. A big thanks to the shockers that are spicing up the festivities, like the ones below.


TALK 'N TEXT'S WOES

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Talk 'N Text took home the Commissioners' Cup crown so it's a bit unexpected to see them lounging near the bottom of the standings. With a ho-hum 5-6 win-loss record, the Tropang Texters are in danger of missing the playoffs. They're currently sitting on the eighth spot (out of the twelve teams), barely holding on to the last playoffs seat; bad news in a conference where the bottom four teams will be cut. Quite shocking for a team that's been synonymous to winning for the last few seasons.


WHAT'S THE MATTER, GREGZILLA?

Fan favorite Barangay Ginebra hired their 10,000th head coach (Frankie Lim) in a span of two years, shook up their roster once again, and yet could only show four wins after ten outings. While their import Orlando Johnson has been a double-double machine, one of their main guys hasn’t seen much action in the Governors' Cup.

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Greg Slaughter didn't get to play in the first half of the conference due to an ankle injury and has only been able to suit up in their last few games. As a result, the seven-footer has been churning out stats well below the figures he normally produces: 9.4 points and 6.8 rebounds compared to his 15-10 stat-line last season.

Continue reading below ↓


BARAKO BULL'S ENERGIZED START

Everyone’s favorite trade partner actually started the Governors' Cup on a really high note, winning six of their first seven games for the best start in franchise history. In the first four weeks of the conference, four Barako Bull Energy players won the Player of the Week award (JC Intal, Joseph Yeo, RR Garcia, and Dylan Ababou). It also helped that their import, the muscular 7'2" man-mountain Liam McMorrow, is averaging a 20-20. Impressive for a team known more for being on the losing end of lopsided trades than being on top of the standings.

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However, it looks like Barako Bull is back to its old ways. The team has lost its last four games, including a pair of lopsided losses to Ginebra and Purefoods Star. At 6-5, they'll still make it to the quarterfinals, but without a twice-to-beat advantage (given to the top four teams) that once looked like a sure thing.


YEO GOT IT!

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There are people who sulk after being traded, and then there’s Joseph Yeo. After being shipped off in the offseason by Barangay Ginebra, Yeo is posting career-best numbers of 13.64 ppg, 3.1 rpg, and 4.8 apg in his first conference with Barako Bull. His production hasn’t been this solid since his days in Sta. Lucia! Yes, yes, Yeo, indeed!


KIA'S EARLY ROLL

Nobody was giving Kia a chance when they entered the league. After all, they seem to have botched the expansion draft and used their first-ever draft pick on Manny Pacquiao. However, they immediately quashed the notion that they won’t win any games by winning their very first, against fellow newcomer Blackwater Elite (which went on to finish winless in this season's Philippine Cup).

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Early this conference, they actually touted a 3-1 record, and looking like a legit team. However, they would only win one of their next six games, and are looking like they will miss their chance for the team’s first quarterfinals appearance. With Purefoods and Rain Or Shine winning their last respective games, Kia needs to win their game against Meralco (who’s also not in the clear yet) and hope that NLEX beats Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday (June 24).

Continue reading below ↓


(NOT SO) HOTSHOTS

The Purefoods franchise has enjoyed quite a bit of success with Coach Tim Cone at the helm. Of course, by "a bit" we meant winning five championships, including four straight from 2013 to 2014. Entering the 2014-2015 season, they changed their name to Purefoods Star Hotshots but ironically, they’ve been anything but "hot." They failed to overcome a twice-to-beat disadvantage against the Meralco Bolts in the Philippine Cup and failed to advance past the semifinals against Talk 'N Text in the Commissioners' Cup.

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In the early part of this conference, Purefoods lost four straight games and actually carried a 3-5 record in the middle of it. They've since won their last two games and, at 5-5, has booked a ride to the quarterfinals. Still, we can't help but feel a little bit surprised with the team's rather sluggish performance, considering this is their last chance to defend a championship from last year's epic Grand Slam run.


A BEER-Y GOOD RUN

After winning the Philippine Cup, the San Miguel Beermen failed to advance past the elimination round in the Commissioners' Cup. The Governors' Cup didn’t start off like a dream either–they dropped their first two games to Kia and Meralco. However, they showed that consistency could help a team gel well together.

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They finally have a head coach (Leo Austria) who looks like he's in control of the team, and they stuck with the import they played with last conference in Arizona Reid. They managed to win eight straight games and, although they lost their last game to Alaska, it still looks like they're the team to beat. After years of being one of the best teams "on paper," the Beermen are finally playing to their potential.


GLOBALPORT'S BOOST

Continue reading below ↓

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Globalport Batang Pier probably has the most exciting backcourt duo in the league in Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle. As if that wasn’t enough, they decided to add another explosive guard in their lineup in Asian import Omar Krayem. The sweet-shooting Palestinian plays alongside the two locals in Coach Pido Jarencio's three-guard lineup, which has so far led them to a 6-4 record, good for fourth in the league. Not bad for a team not exactly known for placing high on the standings. Much like the Golden State Warriors, Globalport is enjoying success by playing small ball. Let's see if their success will carry over to the next round.

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