San Mig Coffee survives Alaska; Aces putting the game under protest

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Alaska’s Rob Dozier towers over San Mig Coffee’s Yancy De Ocampo, Marc Pingris, Denzel Bowles and PJ Simon. PBA Images/Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines—Head coach Tim Cone held his breath as Cyrus Baguio—uncontested—uncorked a three-pointer from the right wing with the game on the line.

Fortunately for San Mig Coffee, Baguio’s shot rimmed out as the Mixers survived Alaska, 84-83, Saturday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“Cyrus hitting the shot in the end, I thought that was it,” Cone said in a sigh of relief. “I thought that was going to be the game winner.”

But instead, San Mig Coffee pulled out its eighth straight win over Alaska under Cone’s watch.

“Well it doesn’t get any exciting than that on a Saturday night… it was a great battle between two teams that played desperate (to win). They did because they want to keep the first place and they wanted to break the streak against us,” added Cone.

It appeared Cone’s winning run on his former team was about to end after prized rookie Calvin Abueva, who unleashed 20 of his career-high 27 points in the second half to go along with 11 rebounds and two blocks, completed a three-point play off a foul from Rafi Reavis that put the Aces on top, 83-82, with 44.4 ticks left.

Marc Pingris, who went on bruising battle with Abueva inside, answered back for the Mixers, who upped their mark to 5-5, on the low block with a power move inside over the rookie to give his team the lead, 84-83, with under 30 seconds left.

Alaska had another crack at the basket and a chance to retake the lead with Abueva drawing a shooting foul on Pingris with 12 seconds remaining.

But the game would end in controversial fashion with referee Jess Ferrer blowing the whistle and call a double lane violation just before Abueva, who missed his first freebie and made the second before it got waved off, attempted his second charity.

The game would have gone into overtime had Abueva’s second free throw was counted but instead the Aces, who battled back from 10 points down with 3:50 left, took their third loss in 10 games.

“The call was made before the shot and in a game like this there are some calls you don’t make. I mean it just decided the outcome of the game right there,” said an irate Alaska coach Luigi Trillo. “The thing is you have to wait for the shot to happen then you make the call, it’s a free throw so why make the call? Why blow the whistle before the shot?”

“It’s just hard. We came back from 10 points down, I hope commissioner can see that and we’re looking for justice tonight,” Trillo added. “We’re looking for justice for that. I think they tried to file a protest. We earned the right to play into overtime.”

Denzel Bowles led the way for the Mixers with 30 points, 23 rebounds, five assists and two blocks while Mark Barroca had half of his 16 points in the fourth period.

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  • Drillon Recto

    Does Trillo knows his basketball or what? The lane violation, to remind him in case he forgot, is called when players enter the paint before the free throw is released. It doesn’t matter whether the call was made before or after the shot was made. It can be called as soon as the shooter completed the motion to shoot the free.

  • http://twitter.com/bgcorg Bienvenido de Castro

    Some officiating need to be revisited: Baguio fell down without a call being made; underneath the basket Dozier had apparently been fouled and no call was made. Thus, even if, and in addition to, a call being made before Abueva made the shot, is ruled ok (?!?), officials should be up and about in the game, not be carried out by the euphoria of the protagonists. They are referees, umpires and table officials, not players or the crowd.

  • dragon

    siguro ma-tatalo yun protesta kasi naka 2 attempt pa sila for the winning shot, kaya lang sablay pareho.yun call na sinasabi nag jump ball naman, alaska pa makakuha.judgement call yun violation,sila na ang nag sabi na before the shot was made bago pumito ang ref.

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