Alaska's Calvin Abueva outwits Ginebra's defenders. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Alaska secured a ticket to the quarterfinals by pounding Barangay Ginebra’s defense for a 79-66 win in the PBA Governors’ Cup Friday.
The Aces foiled the Gin Kings' bid of getting an outright twice-to-beat bonus by yanking Ginebra to a triple-tie for third spot with Rain or Shine and Air21.
The win also improved Alaska’s record to 4-4 and dislodged Meralco from the final eight teams which will advance to the playoffs.
“I appreciate my players’ energy,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton in the PBA website, referring to the way they survived the Kings' rally in the third quarter.
“Credit to Ginebra sa second half, ang ganda ng run nila. But I am really proud of my guys. They came back on their own, Ang ganda ng bounce-back namin. My players didn’t give up.”
Henry Walker and Calvin Abueva did most of the damage against Ginebra by leading the Aces’ balanced attack.
Walker poured in 10 of his 16 points in the second half, while Abueva had 12 of his 14 markers in the last two quarters.
Alaska also effectively defended several Ginebra’s key players, including Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio, who were all prevented from scoring double digits.
Slaughter settled for 7 points, while Aguilar and Tenorio were limited to 6 and 4, respectively.
After staring at a 13-point deficit, Ginebra got back at the Aces in the third quarter by securing a 44-42 lead.
But Walker and Abueva led Alaska to a 72-57 advantage in the decisive fourth period and enabled the Aces to win back-to-back games for the first time in the tournament.
Rest may have been a factor in the game as Alaska came off a week-long break since beating San Mig Coffee. Ginebra, on the other hand, figured in an intense victory over San Miguel Beer last Wednesday.
“Sa tingin ko, medyo pagod na sila. It was an intense night last Wednesday,” said Compton. “The longer rest we had showed today.”
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