Alaska's JV Casio fires from the 3-point line. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA - Alaska downed crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra in a highly emotional match on Wednesday night and clinched the remaining ticket to the PBA Governors' Cup semifinals.
Armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, the Aces secured a 92-81 win over the Gin Kings, who found themselves without an import in the third quarter.
Ginebra was in full force against Alaska, 21-14, when the Kings’ import Zacchaeus Mason sustained a knee injury while defending the ball from Nic Belasco in the second quarter.
Mason returned to the hardcourt in the third period but his pain was so intense that he did not finish the quarter.
With the Kings going all-Filipino, the Aces seized the opportunity and led by as much as 54-38 midway the third canto.
Ginebra fought hard and was able to pull within 77-81 in the payoff period. But JVee Casio and Dodon Hontiveros connected on a pair of 3-pointers to hold the Kings at bay, 84-77.
Casio led Alaska with 15 points. Five other Aces came up with double-digit outputs to make up for Henry Walker’s off-night.
Hontiveros, Gaby Espinas, and Calvin Abueva had 12 points each, while Sonny Thoss added 11. Walker, who figured in a near-fistfight with LA Tenorio, settled for 7 points.
Japeth Aguilar topscored for Ginebra with 18 points.
Alaska’s win completed the Governors’ Cup semifinals cast with Talk ‘N Text, San Mig Coffee, and Rain or Shine winning the first 3 tickets to the final 4.
The Aces will battle the Elasto Painters in the next round, while the Tropang Texters will square off against the Coffee Mixers in the other semis pairing.
Alaska 92 - Casio 15, Espinas 12, Hontiveros 12, Abueva 12, Manuel 12, Thoss 11, Walker 7, Jazul 7, Dela Cruz 2, Baguio 2, Belasco 0.
Ginebra 81 - Aguilar 18, Slaughter 16, Baracael 10, Ababou 10, Helterbrand 7, Caguioa 7, Tenorio 6, Mamaril 3, Mason 2, Reyes 2, Ellis 0, Monfort 0.
Quarterscores: 14-21, 39-33, 64-54, 92-81