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    Four players, no one younger than 36, have become unlikely X factors in Ginebra-Meralco finals

    Oct 16, 2016
    Jimmy Alapag, Reynel Hugnatan, Jayjay Helterbrand, and Mark Caguioa have inspired catchy memes bearing 'Splash Titos' with their heads-up play in this PBA Finals.

    IT has been a pretty evenly matched PBA Governors’ Cup Finals series so far between Barangay Ginebra and Meralco, with the first four games decided by an average of merely 3.5 points.

    But despite hardly giving an inch to each other, the Gin Kings and Bolts have had their respective advantages that they have leaned on in a riveting best-of-seven series that is tied at 2-2.

    Let’s break down their respective averages in their wins to find out.

    Ginebra averages in wins in Games Two and Four:

    85 points

    82.5 points allowed

    43.7 percent shooting, including 32.4 percent from deep

    44.2 percent allowed, 35.1 percent from deep

    45.5 rebounds, 42.5 boards allowed

    15.5 assists

    13.5 turnovers

    Eight steals

    Two blocks

    17 fouls

    Meralco averages in wins in Games One and Three:

    110.5 points

    106 points allowed

    45.7 percent shooting, including 40 percent from deep

    46.6 percent allowed, 26.7 percent from deep

    51.5 rebounds, 53 boards allowed

    22 assists

    11 turnovers

    One steal

    1.5 blocks

    23 fouls

    It seems the slower the pace that leads to lower scoring, the better it is for the Gin Kings, who didn’t even reach the 90-point plateau in their victories, meaning they have also turned to their defense to grind out wins.

    The Bolts, on the other hand, thrive on a faster-paced game as they have normed over 110 points in their wins.

    Curiously, both teams, in their wins, have won despite their opponents shooting better than they do.

    The Bolts have also came out victorious despite getting slightly outrebounded in their wins.

    Interestingly, the Gin Kings, the No. 1 team in assists this conference with a norm of over 25 going into the series, have prevailed despite averaging almost 10 less assists so far this series, while the Bolts have kept spreading the wealth in their wins.

    Continue reading below ↓

    Finally, both team’s veterans have emerged as the unlikely X factors who have been the barometers of their success.

    For Ginebra, it’s the 'Fast and Furious.' Mark Caguioa, 36, averaged nine points on 50-percent shooting, four boards, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 block in 19.6 minutes in the team's two wins. And although he had 14 points in their Game One loss, Caguioa was held scoreless in their other loss.  

    Jayjay Helterbrand, who just turned 40, put up a perfect game in Game Four where he had 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting, while not committing a turnover and foul in 10 minutes

    Jimmy Alapag, who will be 39 in December, has been a difference for the Bolts, averaging 15.5 points on 58.8-percent shooting, 4.5 assists, and four boards in 25.7 minutes in their wins; and 1.5 points on 50-percent shooting, 4.5 assists, one board in 14.7 minutes in their defeats. He also played no more than eight minutes due to tightness on his leg in Game Four, which the Bolts lost.

    Hugnatan, who will be 38 on November 3, has also been an indicator of their success, norming 16 points on 39.3-percent shooting, eight boards, and two assists in 38.7 minutes in wins; and seven points on 40-percent shooting, 4.5 boards, and four assists in 29.2 minutes in losses.

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    Jimmy Alapag, Reynel Hugnatan, Jayjay Helterbrand, and Mark Caguioa have inspired catchy memes bearing 'Splash Titos' with their heads-up play in this PBA Finals.
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