Aces down Boosters; Gin Kings score
MANILA—Tired, star-struck and without its leading local scorer, Alaska still found a way to get past Petron Blaze, 88-81, in the semifinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Jason Forte energized the Aces, scoring a career-high 36 points that went with 16 rebounds as he plugged every conceivable hole in the Alaska game to lead his squad to a sixth win in 10 outings.
Barangay Ginebra pulled ahead of the Aces at 6-3 after a thorough 99-79 whipping of sister team B-Meg later in the night.
Mark Caguioa scored 33 points – his highest scoring game in the last three seasons – while import Donald Sloan had 26 points and 13 rebounds, missing a triple double by just one assist.
James Yap led the Llamados with 19 points and import Myron Allen hobbled out of the floor after just 17 points in 29 minutes as B-Meg took its fifth loss in 10 outings.
Bonbon Custodio scored 11, Tony Dela Cruz chipped in with 10 and Brandon Cablay had seven of his nine in the fourth period as the Aces hardly missed the injured Cyrus Baguio and the usual contributions from Sonny Thoss and LA Tenorio.
“Our two stars, Sonny and LA, were tired from last night (playing in the NBA-PBA exhibition),” Alaska coach Tim Cone explained. “It was such an emotional high for them to play that game, and we were missing Cyrus. It was really a tough game for us.
“Jason (Forte) stepped up for those guys and people stepped up in places of the stars, and that’s what teams are all about,” he added. “I’m really proud of our guys.”
Anthony Grundy scored 15 of his 22 points in the first half for Petron, which took a 44-37 lead at halftime and remained in command after the third period with a 65-60 lead.
But the Aces held the Boosters to 16 fourth-quarter points by shackling Grundy to just four, Alex Cabagnot to just a triple and keeping Arwind Santos scoreless.
Thoss, who started at center for the PBA Selection that battled Kobe Bryant and Co. Saturday night, had just six points and 11 rebounds, while Tenorio couldn’t buy a basket until the final 2:49 mark of the third period.
“I guess I’m just tired, because it was our (with Thoss) third straight game,” Tenorio said.
Grundy finished with 22 points for the Boosters, while Rabeh Al-Hussaini had 16. Cabagnot was good for 10 markers and Santos had just six on 3-of-12 shooting.
ALASKA 88—Forte 36, Custodio 11, Dela Cruz 10, Cablay 9, Gonzales 7, Thoss 6, Tenorio 4, Reyes 3, Eman 2, Borboran 0.
PETRON 81—Grundy 22, Al-Hussaini 16, Cabagnot 10, Salvacion 7, Duncil 6, Santos 6, Pennisi 5, Miranda 5, Ildefonso 2, Yeo 2.
Quarters: 17-21, 37-44, 60-65, 88-81
GINEBRA 99—Caguioa 33, Sloan 26, Wilson W. 10, Wilson J. 7, Intal 6, Tubid 6, Mamaril 6, Helterbrand 5, Labagala 0, Canaleta 0, Cortez 0, Menk 0.
B-MEG 79—Yap J. 19, Allen 17, Pingris 13, Devance 11, Yap R. 6, Urbiztondo 5, Simon 4, Allado 4, Gaco 0, Fernandez 0, Reavis 0.
Quarters: 18-23, 49-37, 74-58, 99-79
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