ALASKA'S tenacious defense defused a furious second-half rally by Barangay Ginebra as it pulled off a 102-93 victory to grab the top spot and a twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Robert Dozier posted another solid 20-20 performance, finishing the game with a game-high 28 points and 20 rebounds. The lanky but hard-working Alaska import also held Barangay Ginebra import Vernon Macklin to just five points during the final period.
But what’s more important was the way Alaska held Barangay Ginebra to just three field goals in the final six minutes of the match that allowed the Aces to book their 10th win in 13 starts.
“Medyo kinapos sila (Gin Kings). Billy (Mamaril) could have changed that team and Mark Caguioa also. I know that without them, LA (Tenorio) came to play, but we valued the possessions and somehow, we survived the run,” Alaska coach Luigi Trillo said.
The Aces held a 14-point edge at the half, which the Gin Kings quickly razed during a fiery 16-0 run to start the third period.
Ginebra managed to keep the game close from thereon, even tying the game at 86-all at the halfway mark of the final period on a step-back three-pointer by LA Tenorio.
The Aces, however, went to work from there, collecting big baskets from Dondon Hontiveros, Dozier and even rookie forward Calvin Abueva that snapped the Gin Kings’ six-game winning run.
The Gin Kings dropped into a tie for joint fourth place with the San Mig Coffee Mixers at 7-6. The loss also dashed Ginebra’s hopes for one of the top two spots entering the playoffs.
Macklin led the way with with 27 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists, while Tenorio added 19 and Mac Baracael 16 points for the Kings, who were without injured Caguioa for the fourth straight game.
Alaska 102 - Dozier 28, Baguio 12, Espinas 12, Abueva 11, Hontiveros 10, Casio 8, Thoss 8, Dela Cruz 6, Jazul 4, Ramos 2
Barangay Ginebra 93 - Macklin 27, Tenorio 19, Baracael 16, Labagala 8, Raymundo 8, Hatfield 7, Espiritu 3, Ellis 2, Helterbrand 2, Taha 1, Jensen 0, Maierhofer 0, Wilson 0
Quarterscores: 30-18, 55-41, 71-69, 102-93