Aces stretch Finals series, smother Painters | Inquirer Sports

Aces stretch Finals series, smother Painters

/ 07:21 PM May 15, 2016

Tristan Tamayo/

Tristan Tamayo/

Still alive.

Alaska lived to fight another day, turning back Rain or Shine, 86-78, in Game 5 of their 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals series on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.


Eyeing a miracle of their own, the Aces pulled one game back to narrow the gap to, 3-2, behind Calvin Abueva.


Abueva, the newly-minted Best Player of the Conference, took matters into his own hands as he showed the way down the stretch. He hit a floater to give Alaska a 74-69 lead the followed it up with back-to-back hits within the last two minutes clinch the game, 84-76.

Abueva finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks to keep his team in the running as the Aces are now halfway from pulling off a comeback from 0-3 down.

“It was another proud game for me and our guys,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton.

Also providing Alaska a lift in those crucial five minutes were Rob Dozier, who added 14 markers and eight boards, and RJ Jazul, who went 7-of-8 from the free throw line to end up with 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists.

Dondon Hontiveros added 12 markers on 3-of-6 shooting from threes, while Cyrus Baguio added 11 points.

Despite the Aces’ drawing a balanced effort on offense, it was their defense that really came through, limiting the hot-shooting Rain or Shine to its lowest output in the last four conferences at 78 points, a big drop from its 105.3 point average in this series, and a paltry 6-of-30 shooting from beyond the arc.


“It makes me proud of my guys, the way they played defense. I wished we had played like that in Games 1 to 3, I wish we had played like that earlier,” said Compton. “We have got to defend, we talked about that they will come out tougher. We have to make strong plays. We made a bunch of plays in the end. Our rotation defense was there. The last two games, we kind looked like a different team than the first three games. I just want us to play that way. It makes me proud to play that way.”

Game 6 is on Wednesday, still at the Big Dome, where the Aces can force a winner-take-all Game 7.

“I’m hardheaded. We just have to do it right. If they beat us when we do it right, then so be it. I expect Rain or Shine in the next two days to make adjustments,” said Compton.

Jeff Chan carried the Elasto Painters with 17 points, but was contained to just four points in the second half. Paul Lee added 16 points in the defeat.

The scores:

ALASKA 86 – Abueva 20, Dozier 14, Jazul 13, Hontiveros 12, Baguio 11, Banchero 6, Racal 5, Baclao 2, Thoss 2, Dela Rosa 1.

RAIN OR SHINE 78 – Chan 17, Lee 16, Quinahan 9, Cruz 8, Ponferada 8, Henderson Niles 6, Norwood 5, Belga 4, Almazan 2, Ibanes 2, Ahanmisi 1, Tiu 0.

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Quarters: 15-19, 37-40, 56-57, 86-78

TAGS: 2016 Commissioner's Cup, Alaska Aces, Game 5, PBA, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, ROS

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