Latest Stories

Abueva, Baguio help Aces boot out Bolts


JAY-R Reyes of Meralco (right) and Tony dela Cruz of Alaska battle for the rebound in last night’s match. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

STARTING out hot and reaching boiling point near the end, Alaska Milk didn’t take any chances and ripped Meralco, 88-70, for a 2-0 sweep of the Bolts at Smart Araneta Coliseum and a Final Four seat in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Rookie Calvin Abueva was the Aces’ energizer, and the veteran Cyrus Baguio the team’s biggest finisher as Alaska booked a semifinal appearance for the first time since the Aces won the 2010 Fiesta Cup with Diamon Simpson in tow.

And that means a best-of-seven clash with powerhouse defending champion Talk ‘N Text starting Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

This is also the first time that the Aces have gone this deep in a tournament ever since the multi-titled Tim Cone orphaned the squad a year after that Fiesta Cup conquest.

“I don’t want to take anything away from us, but Meralco was a tired team,” Alaska coach Luigi Trillo told reporters after recording his personal milestone. Trillo had won just three games in his first conference, last season’s Governors’ Cup.

“It’s a dream come true for me,” continued the young mentor, Alaska’s second head coach after Cone left with Joel Banal being the first. “If you’re facing a coaching staff like (what) Meralco (has), I never expected that it would be like this.”

JV Casio was also splendid, canning all of his 17 points in the first three periods as the Aces took leads of as many as 17 to keep the Bolts at bay all night. Casio also issued a team-high eight assists and had five rebounds.

The Aces opened up with a 22-7 lead in the first seven minutes and never looked back, playing with complete command against a Meralco side that took a semifinal tumble for the fourth time in the last seven conferences.

Mark Cardona paced the Bolts, but the unorthodox scorer was never really able to assert himself offensively. Sol Mercado finished with 15 points despite playing hurt.

“They had three games in five days,” Trillo said of the Bolts. “I really feel that they lacked the energy and if they were 100%, I doubt if we could have played with the control that we had (tonight).

“But you have to take advantage of your opportunities.”

Abueva, the second overall choice in the Draft, was all over the floor, his fierce determination to be part of practically every play showing as he finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and three monster blocks.

Baguio, meanwhile, was the go-to-guy every time the Bolts tried to creep closer.

“Maybe it was because we really wanted to make the semifinals,” the soft-spoken Baguio said in Filipino when asked of the solid effort the entire team came up with. “Our efforts have been repaid.

“Before the start of the conference, our goal has really been to make the championship,” added the creative slasher out of University of Santo Tomas, when asked if he liked their chances against the “three-peat-seeking” Tropang Texters.

The game was intense right from the beginning, with play being stopped several times due to scuffles involving several personalities, including Baguio and Abueva, who got entangled with Cliff Hodge several times.

Rain or Shine, the reigning Governors’ Cup champion, was still playing Barangay Ginebra at press time, with the Elasto Painters also seeking a sweep to advance opposite No. 2 San Mig Coffee.

The scores:

First Game

ALASKA 88—Abueva 18, Baguio 18, Casio 17, Espinas 13, Jazul 8, Baracael 6, Hontiveros 5, Thoss 3, Dela Cruz 0, Belasco 0.

MERALCO 70—Cardona 18, Mercado 15, Hodge 11, Hugnatan 9, Ross 6, Salvacion 6, Reyes 4, Buenafe 1, Bulawan 0, Sharma 0.

Quarters: 26-16, 44-34, 70-55, 88-70

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Alaska Aces , Basketball , Calvin Abueva , Cyrus Baguio , Meralco Bolts , PBA , PBA Philippine Cup

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Luisita beneficiaries take over renters
  • 5 years of hard work pay off for top UP grad
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • A brand for life
  • Wear a rainbow on your wrist
  • Wearing Kate Moss
  • Sail into summer
  • Life lessons from the Ultimate Warrior
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Foreign funds flowed out in Q1, says BSP
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • Marketplace