HENRY Walker and Calvin Abueva took turns attacking Ginebra's defense in the second half in a 79-66 victory that formalized Alaska's entry into the PBA Governors Cup playoffs on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Walker pumped in 10 of his 16 points in the second half to lead the Aces while Abueva scored 12 of his 14 over the same stretch when Alaska fought off a furious Ginebra fightback from a 14-point deficit.
Ginebra even took the lead briefly at 44-42 on a basket by Mark Caguioa before Abueva and Walker touched off a 36-13 exchange that enabled Alaska to re-establish control all the way to the final buzzer.
"I appreciate my players' energy. Credit to Ginebra sa second half, ang ganda ng run nila but am really proud of my guys, they came back on their own," said Alaska coach Alex Compton.
Alaska’s fourth win in eight starts complete the playoff cast in the season-ending conference since it eliminated Meralco, turning the Bolts' game against fellow also-ran GlobalPort on Saturday into a no-bearing contest.
Ginebra dropped into a three-way tie for third to fifth spots with their 5-3 record and needs to beat Talk ‘N Text on Sunday to nail down one of the Top Four berths in the playoffs and a twice-to-beat incentive.
Alaska 79 - Walker 16, Abueva 14, Espinas 13, Casio 8, Thoss 8, Manuel 8, Baguio 6, Jazul 5, Hontiveros 1, Reyes 0, Belasco 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Ginebra 66 - Mason 21, Caguioa 10, Slaughter 7, Baracael 6, Aguilar 6, Tenorio 4, Urbiztondo 3, Knuttel 2, Ababou 2, Helterbrand 2, Mamaril 2, Ellis 1, Monfort 0.
Quarterscores: 20-11, 36-25, 55-51, 79-66