Alaska pounces on hobbled Ginebra to book final four date with Rain or Shine · Wednesday, June 18, 2014 · 10:11 pm

PBA/Nuki Sabio
PBA/Nuki Sabio

The Alaska Aces knocked out Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 92-81, on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum to advance to the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup semifinals against Rain or Shine.

With the win, the Aces advanced past the quarterfinals stage of a PBA tournament for the first time since they won the Commissioner’s Cup last season.

The Aces weathered a hot start from the Gin Kings in the first quarter before taking advantage of an injury to Ginebra import Zaccheus Mason.

Ginebra, which had to win twice to beat Alaska in the series, began the game on fire, scoring the first nine points.

The Gin Kings were still up, 21-14, early in the second period when disaster struck as Mason’s right knee buckled on a drive. The hulking Ginebra reinforcement crumpled to the floor and had to be helped back to the locker room.

With Ginebra hobbled, Alaska took advantage, outscoring Ginebra, 25-12, in the second quarter to take a 39-33 cushion at halftime.

Mason tried to play to start the third period, but soon had to be taken out. With him out for good, Alaska opened up its biggest lead, 54-38, midway through the third period.

Showing “Never Say Die” spirit, the Gin Kings fought back, chipping away at the lead. Ginebra came all the way to within four points, 81-77, after two free throws from Japeth Aguilar.

The Gin Kings seemed to have the Aces on the ropes, but JVee Casio hit a bailout three-pointer at the shotclock buzzer to give Alaska more breathing room, 84-77, with 3:11 remaining.

The Aces followed that up with a defensive stop and another three-pointer from Dondon Hontiveros that pushed the lead back to 10, 87-77.

Alaska held on the rest of the way to book its fourth straight win since an embarrassing 51-point defeat at the hands of the Elasto Painters two weeks ago.

The scores:

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


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