With its back-up point guards stepping up, Alaska dominated Globalport, 93-85, last night to reclaim top spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces showed no signs of missing the injured JV Casio as the unheralded rookie Raffy Reyes and RJ Jazul took turns in quarterbacking Alaska, which rose to 7-2 with the win while dealing the Batang Pier a tournament-worst sixth straight loss.
Globalport was actually doomed as early as the second quarter when import Walter Sharpe, a legitimate scoring machine in the Chinese pro league, picked up his fourth foul on a lousy defensive play on Gabby Espinas.
He would go on to finish with just two points and five rebounds in 20 minutes before fouling out with 4:23 remaining when he gave up a foul on Calvin Abueva, who completed the three-point play that made it 85-75.
Barangay Ginebra chalked up its first winning streak by bringing down a second straight powerhouse in Talk ‘N Text later in the night, 107-100, behind Mark Caguioa’s 28 points and a sustained defensive effort.
Caguioa’s biggest production this conference allowed Ginebra to score the most points against Talk ‘N Text so far and rise to 3-5 overall while dealing the Tropang Texters a fourth loss in eight games.
“I just told the players to play defense, I didn’t ask them to win,” coach Alfrancis Chua said.
Import Vernon Macklin had 24 points and LA Tenorio finished with 20 against former MVP Jimmy Alapag, who had 13 fourth-quarter points and tried desperately to bring Talk ‘N Text back to life.
Robert Dozier had his way in the paint with Sharpe seeing action sporadically, finishing with 26 points and 18 rebounds.
Abueva produced his finest offensive showing in the last four Alaska games with 15 points and seven boards.
Willie Miller, the former two-time MVP, paced the Batang Pier with 22 points, 14 of them coming in the fourth quarter when Globalport managed to prune down what had been a 16-point second quarter deficit to 72-76.
Globalport clawed to within that four-point deficit on a spectacular drive by Miller off three defenders only to see the Aces come right back.
The loss was the seventh overall for Globalport, whose first import, Justin Williams, won the Slam Dunk title for San Miguel Beer in the Asean Basketball League in Saigon on Saturday (See related story on A32).
Casio has a patella injury in the left knee that could sideline him for the next two weeks.
ALASKA 93—Dozier 26, Abueva 15, Baguio 10, Reyes 8, Espinas 8, Jazul 7, Thoss 6, Hontiveros 5, Ramos 4, Dela Cruz 4.
GLOBALPORT 85—Miller 22, David 20, Mercado 13, Aguilar 8, Yee 7, Aljamal 4, Antonio 4, Mandani 3, Sharpe 2, Adducul 2, Juntilla 0, Salvador 0.
Quarters: 22-13, 48-36, 71-61, 93-85
GINEBRA 107—Caguioa 28, Macklin 24, Tenorio 20, Ellis 7, Raymundo 7, Labagala 6, Mamaril 6, Hatfield 6, Baracael 3, Jensen 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT 100—Harvey 23, Alapag 23, Castro 16, Fonacier 16, De Ocampo 11, Williams 4, Dillinger 3, Al-Hussaini 2, Carey 2, Raymundo 0, Aban 0.
Quarters: 26-24, 51-50, 78-77, 107-100