Jazul, Abueva move Alaska past San Mig Coffee closer to PBA finals tripBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — RJ Jazul gave Alaska a timely boost in overtime just as Calvin Abueva continued to work and lift the Aces past San Mig Coffee in overtime, 89-82, in game three of the 2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals Wednesday.
After missing what could’ve been the game-clincher as the buzzer expired, Jazul more than made up for it in overtime by uncorking six straight points in the first and half minute.
“RJ has been huge. He has been great for us,” said head coach Luigi Trillo of Jazul, who completed a three-point play then nailed a triple to put the Aces up 86-80.
Abueva, whose effort on the court has been invaluable for Alaska, punctuated the win with a one-handed slam off a defensive stop by Cyrus Baguio with 36.7 seconds left.
The hardworking forward finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a block while Baguio added 13 points and four dimes.
The Aces are now a victory away from their first finals appearance since they last won the 2010 Fiesta Conference under Tim Cone.
Cone and Mixers were up by as many as 16 points on a triple by Mark Barroca late in the first half — when San Mig Coffee’s fluid ball movement caused problems for Alaska.
But the Aces managed to match the Mixers’ effort in the first half and turned things around.
“I thought we didn’t do a good job in the first half. I give them credit, they were spot on defensively. I’m glad the guys responded,” said Trillo.
Denzel Bowles led San Mig Coffee with 19 points, but only had three in the entire second half including overtime. Mark Barroca and Marc Pingris each had 15.
“We made defensive mistakes and we lost our focus early in overtime,” said Cone.
ALASKA 89 — Abueva 24, Baguio 13, Casio 12, Dozier 11, Thoss 11, Jazul 6, Belasco 5, Hontiveros 3, Espinas 2, Dela Cruz 2.
SAN MIG COFFEE 82 — Bowles 19, Barroca 15, Pingris 15, Mallari 7, Devance 7, Yap 7, Simon 6, Najorda 2, Reavis 2, De Ocampo 2.
Quarters: 13-19, 32-45, 54-59, 80-80, 89-82