IT was the playoffs and the opponent had a complete roster this time, but the result was the same.
Alaska Milk outplayed San Mig Super Coffee for the second consecutive night, scoring an 86-77 victory on Monday night to draw first blood in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal series at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
After outclassing a depleted Mixers side, 85-66, in the last game of the elimination round on Sunday, the Aces banked on a back-breaking run in the payoff period to move a win away from advancing to the semifinals.
“I thought we did a good job taking them out of their flow,” said Aces coach Luigi Trillo, whose team scored 14 unanswered points, behind JV Casio, Sonny Thoss, import Rob Dozier, and Cyrus Baguio, to take the fight out of the Mixers.
The defending champion Aces also sustained their late-conference streak, extending their winning run to six games while threatening to put an end to San Mig's quest for a third successive league championship.
Up by just three, 72-69, the Aces’ cushion ballooned to 15, 84-69, after the late breakaway that also saw Alaska hold the Mixers scoreless for almost six minutes.
After Joe Devance converted a three-point play with 7:59 in the fourth, San Mig’s next basket came with 2:01 to go, when James Yap made a floater.
The Mixers mounted a rally, but couldn’t come closer than seven points.
Dozier registered 24 points, 15 boards, three blocks, two steals, and one assist, while Baguio added 14 markers, including eight in the final frame.
Alaska (86) – Dozier 24, Baguio 14, Abueva 12, Thoss 12, Espinas 9, Casio 8, Jazul 6, Hontiveros 1, Reyes 0, Dela Cruz 0, Manuel 0
San Mig (77) – Mays 18, Barroza 17, Yap 12, Simon 10, Devance 9, Melton 7, Pingris 4, Mallari 0, Sangalang 0, Reavis 0
Quarterscores: 19-18, 37-39, 62-61, 86-77