ALASKA stood its ground in the face of a Gary David-led Globalport fightback to escape with a 93-92 win on Friday night and end its PBA Commissioner’s Cup elimination-round campaign on a high note at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Robert Dozier blocked a layup by David in the game's final offensive play to preserve the win that gave the Uytengsu franchise a league-best 11-3 record - the best for the team in the post-Tim Cone era.
Their 11th win of the conference also matched the Uytengsu franchise's win total all of last season, when it went 11-24 under Trillo and former coach Joel Banal.
However, Trillo, who took over from Cone during the Governors’ Cup last season, was not entirely happy with the win after seeing the Aces nearly squander a 12-point lead during the game's final three-and-a-half minutes.
“I'll take that win because a win is a win. But we had stretches where we had turnovers. The focus was questionable today. But I’ll take it,” said Trillo.
"The hardest games are when you play last-placed teams because there’s so much pressure,” he added.
By clinching the top seeding, the Aces guaranteed themselves of a twice-to-beat advantage in their quarterfinal matchup against the No. 8 seed.
The Batang Pier fell to 2-11 overall after their 10th straight loss this conference, equalling the same winless stretch they had to finish the Philippine Cup eliminations.
Globalport led by 15 points late in the third period and fell behind by 12 in the final quarter. The Batang Pier made one final stand behind David, who scored nine of his game-high 29 points in the endgame.
Dozier led Alaska with 18 points and eight rebounds, while rookie Calvin Abueva and guard RJ Jazul added 17 and 14, respectively as they carried the scoring brunt in the absence of Sonny Thoss and Cyrus Baguio.
Alaska 93 - Dozier 18, Abueva 17, Jazul 14, Casio 11, Hontiveros 11, Espinas 8, Dela Cruz 8, Belasco 4, Ramos 2, Reyes 0, Eman 0, Laure 0
Globalport 92 - David 29, Morgan 17, Lingganay 8, Belencion 7, Juntilla 7, Aljamal 7, Aguilar 5, Miller 5, Salvador 4, Deutchman 3, Mandani 0, Yee 0
Quarterscores: 22-18, 45-46, 66-72, 93-92