Greg Slaughter of Ginebra (dark) vs Rob Dozier Jr. of Alaska (light). PBA Image by Nuki Sabio
MANILA, Philippines -- With an injured foot, Josh Powell called it a night just four minutes into the second quarter, and the entire Barangay Ginebra team suffered.
Alaska Milk pummeled the Powell-less Ginebra side, hacking out an 83-73 victory to seize solo third place in the PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night.
Rob Dozier asserted himself versus Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar, and the Alaska locals got going with their efficient import as the Aces assured themselves of at least a spot in the best-of-three quarterfinals with a fourth straight win and fifth in eight games in all.
Alaska gets a playoff shot at a twice-to-beat bonus in the Final Eight if it wins its last game against San Mig Coffee coupled by a loss by San Miguel Beer versus Air21.
Meanwhile, Ginebra slid to eighth place with a 3-5 win-loss mark.
Earlier in the day, Globalport nailed a first win in its last game in the conference as the Batang Pier nipped the Barako Bull Energy Cola, 98-96.
Alex Cabagnot drained a big trey then buried two free throws in the closing seconds as the Batang Pier avoided a complete endgame meltdown and thus tagged the Energy Cola along in an early exit in the mid-season tourney.
Making the Final Eight cast are Talk 'N Text, San Miguel Beer, San Mig Coffee, Alaska, Meralco, Rain or Shine, Air21 and Ginebra. Left to be determined is the quarterfinal pairings.
“At least we have a happy ending,” said Globalport coach Pido Jarencio. “Our game improved at least in our last two games. That’s something positive that we want to bring over to next conference.”
“They (the Gin Kings) didn’t give up. But obviously, they’re very different without Powell,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo in their own victory.
“At the same time, I want to commend our boys. We got a big lead when Powell was still there. I thought we did a good job in the first half,” Trillo also said.
Powell complained of an aching foot.
There were reports, though, that Powell has got call from the Houston Rockets.
Dozier piled up 22 points and 16 rebounds while Jvee Casio and Dondon Hontiveros contributed 13 and 10 markers, respectively, for the Aces who erected an 18-point spread right in the first half and utterly dominated the Kings to the finish.
Barako Bull made a stirring comeback from a 21-point deficit only to turn the ball over in its last two possessions, thus, blowing the game and the chance for a playoff shot at the last quarters slot.
The Energy Cola tied the count at 93-all with 59 ticks left on a top-of-the-key three-pointer by JC Intal.
A missed jumper by Evan Brock in the next play gave Barako a chance to pull ahead, but Ronjay Buenafe threw the ball away on an errant pass to Josh Dollard.
Globalport pounced on that Barako error with Cabagnot swishing in a gliding three-pointer to make it 96-93 with 10 seconds left.
Then Barako committed another grievous error with Intal fumbling a side-court inbound.