Alaska knocks out defending champs | Inquirer Sports

Alaska knocks out defending champs

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 11:03 PM April 22, 2016



ALASKA completed the Final Four cast in the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup, marching on in grand style Friday night after blowing Tropang TNT off the floor and ending the Texters’ reign in a harrowing way.

The Aces broke away in the second period and never looked back, posting a 99-81 victory to win a second straight game in the series and close out the Texters, 2-1, at Smart Araneta Coliseum.


Alaska thus sealed a semifinal clash with No. 2 seed Meralco.


Calvin Abueva came off the bench and import Rob Dozier inflicted heavy damage on the Texters, as the two combined for 38 points and 20 rebounds before the Alaska defense took over.

Alaska doubled up on the Texters in the second quarter and broke loose from a 21-all game at the end of the first, and TNT never came close to making a game out of it again after lagging behind by twin digits near the end of the half.

The Alaska-Meralco series starts Monday and, like the San Miguel Beer-Rain or Shine match-up that will open the day before also at the Big Dome in Cubao, will be a best-of-five affair.

“I am just so proud of my team’s defense,” Alaska coach Alex Compton, whose wish of limiting the Texters to 81 points—like what they did in Game 2—was granted. “I know the brain power of those TNT coaches [in adjusting to the situation].”

“As a coach, nothing’s ever perfect,” he went on. “But there’s nothing more I can ask for.”

Abueva scored seven of his total in the second period and Dozier had six, boosting the Aces to the breakaway and to yet another semifinal appearance that gave them a shot to keep their string of championship appearances alive.


It certainly was the worst time for the Texters to not be at their best, making an unceremonious exit after making a run at the top of the standings with a five-game winning streak in the elimination round.

Ranidel de Ocampo and Jason Castro, for years the backbone of the TNT game, struggled big-time. The duo was also made to come off the bench but finished with a combined 14 points on 5-of-18 shooting from the floor.

The scores:

ALASKA 99—Dozier 20, Abueva 18, Menk 10, Baguio 8, Dela Cruz 8, Exciminiano 8, Hontiveros 8, Thoss 8, Jazul 7, Baclao 4, Banchero 0.

TROPANG TNT 81—Simon 20, Fonacier 19, Rosario 13, De Ocampo 8, Castro 6, Reyes R. 5, Tautuaa 4, Carey 2, Rosser 2, Williams 2, Ababou 0.

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Quarters: 21-21, 53-37, 77-57, 99-81

TAGS: Alaska Aces, PBA, Semifinals, TNT

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