MANILA, Philippines — It started with a 14-0 run, then Alaska just kept pushing the lead and ended up stunning crowd darling Ginebra, 87-70, in game one of their best-of-five finals in the 2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday.
The Aces came out firing and made sure they sustain the intensity, which held the Kings to an all-time lowest first quarter output in history in front of 19,687 fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With the thought of Ginebra’s “never say die” identity on the Aces’ minds at halftime, Alaska went on a quick 8-0 blast in just the first minute of the third to stretch the lead, 54-24 — the biggest of the game.
“I thought we did a good job on the second half on focusing on the game” said head coach Luigi Trillo, who is a first-timer in the PBA finals.
“We need to play to our identity. They’re run-and-gun and they get energy from the crowd. We gave them six points in the 1st quarter, that’s our identity, defense,”
Import Vernon Macklin was held by the Aces to just 16 points and 14 rebounds while Tenorio to 14 points — just five in the first three quarters.
Robert Dozier got the better of the import match up, particularly on cleaning up the glass, hauling down just three less boards of Macklin’s total — in the first quarter alone. He finished with 14 points and 22 rebounds.
The Aces’ second unit came up big with RJ Jazul finishing with a team-best 15 points, Abueva with 10, along with JVee Casio and Cyrus Baguio.
It was a frustrating first three quarters for Ginebra, which didn’t have the rim on its side — going 9-for-45 after two, then 19-of-68 after three.
But they came alive with just under three minutes to play, trimming what used to be a 30-point lead to just 11, 68-79, after a reverse layup plus the bonus by Tenorio.
The Kings, though, were just a step too late as Dozier scored the next four points to put the Aces ahead by a safe 14 anew with a minute and half to play.