Calvin Abueva notched a double-double as Alaska defeated Talk ‘N Text, 100-88, Friday night in a highly physical Game 2 of their best-of-seven semifinals series in the 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Abueva bullied his way to 20 points and 14 rebounds to help the Aces tie the series at 1-1.
“Talk ‘N Text came out in the first half and they were able to impose their will on us; in the second half it was more of our tempo, more grind-it-out, more defense, we established Sonny in the post and we went to the different mismatches,” said Alaska head coach Luigi Trillo.
JVee Casio and Cyrus Baguio also played a key game.
Casio sizzled in the second quarter, where Alaska erased a 13-point deficit while Baguio sank timely baskets in the fourth quarter to fend off the Tropang Texters comeback-attempt.
The first overall pick in the 2011 Draft scored 14 of his team-high 22 points in the second period while Baguio shot 10 of his 18 points in the final frame.
The Texters found themselves still within striking distance, down by just eight, 88-96, with 1:35 left.
Baguio, though, got Alaska’s back down the stretch, hitting big shots that kept TNT at bay. He scored 10 straight points in three minutes, including back to back treys that put the Aces up, 99-88.
Talk ‘N Text, which won, 66-65, in Game 1, came out firing in the first half to lead, 43-30, in the second quarter before Casio caught fire with three straight triples to pull Alaska back.
The Aces took the lead for good, 54-52, on a go-ahead trey by its star guard at the 9:28 mark of the third quarter.
Jared Dillinger topscored with 26 points while Kelly Williams added 13.
Ranidel de Ocampo was hobbled by foul trouble and finished with just 10 points. He fouled out with still 5:37 left after picking up two quick fouls drawn by Abueva.