2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Roundup: Game 1

The Alaska Aces didn’t waste any time at all.

They went on a 14-0 start and cruised on until the endgame to defeat the crowd-favorite Ginebra Gin Kings, 87-70, in Game One of the 2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.

It was an unexpected start to a game and a series billed by many PBA observers to bring back memories of the classic 90s rivalry between the two storied franchises.

There wasn’t anything storied about the way Ginebra started, however, as the Aces just shot the lights out in the first quarter, outscoring the Kings, 28-6. Eight different players scored for Alaska in that period, while only Vernon Macklin, Mac Baracael, and Chris Ellis scored for Ginebra, with Macklin the only one making field goals.

Alaska continued to dominate the Kings all the way till the middle of the fourth quarter, when Ginebra’s starters actually mounted a last ditch 17-6 rally to trim the deficit to just 11, 79-68, with less than three minutes left. Alaska, however, came through to score 8 of the game’s last 9 points and peg the final score.

Alaska is now just two wins away from its maiden title in the post-Tim Cone era, while the Gin Kings need to recover after this unqualified blowout.

Calvin Abueva and the Aces quiet the crowd as
they ran the Kings out of the Big Dome in Game 1.

Game Recaps:
ALASKA over GINEBRA, 87-70
The Alaska Aces unleashed a knockout punch in the first quarter and cruised the rest of the way to take Game One of the Commissioner’s Cup finals, 87-70, over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Alaska finished the opening period with a 28-6 advantage, making life miserable for the usually high-scoring Ginebra offense.

“We need to play to our identity. I think we set the tone,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo. “That’s our identity: defense.”

Import Robert Dozier anchored the stingy defense, grabbing 22 rebounds for Alaska, which drew balanced scoring with seven players posting at least nine points, led by RJ Jazul with 16.

The Aces limited the touches of explosive Ginebra import Vernon Macklin, who had 16 points on just nine attempts from the field.

“I thought we did a fairly good job on Vernon. I thought we were able to control him. You can’t stop him, but I thought we did a good job controlling him,” said Trillo.

Alaska also hounded Ginebra court general LA Tenorio to 4-of-16 shooting, leaving Gin Kings coach Alfrancis Chua looking for answers in the first half. The ponytailed coach dug deep into his bench, fielding in recovering guard Mark Caguioa as well as little-used players Elmer Espiritu, Rico Maierhofer, and Rob Labagala to look for a spark.

Tenorio tried to rally Ginebra in the fourth quarter, helping the Gin Kings cut the deficit to just 11 points, 79-68, with a three-point play with less than three minutes left.

But steady shooting from Sonny Thoss helped Alaska pull out the victory in the best-of-five series.

“It’s a short series, five games,” said Trillo. “They have tired warriors right now. It puts a lot of pressure on them.”

Trillo, however, cautioned about getting too confident with the lopsided win.

“We know better. We need to take care of this,” he said. “It’s not gonna happen again. They’re gonna elevate, energize their team.”

ALA 87 - Jazul 16, Dozier 14, Thoss 12, Abueva 10, Casio 10, Baguio 10, Espinas 9, Dela Cruz 4, Hontiveros 2, Belasco 0.
GIN 70 - Macklin 16, Tenorio 14, Raymundo 9, Helterbrand 7, Espiritu 6, Labagala 4, Urbiztondo 4, Maierhofer 4, Mamaril 2, Caguioa 2, Ellis 1, Baracael 1, Wilson 0, Hatfield 0.
QS: 28-6, 46-24, 67-48, 87-70

The Aces got the big jump on Ginebra with an opening 14-0 salvo.

RJ Jazul (L) gave Jayjay Helterbrand (R) a tough time all night.

The Ginebra Kings have a lot of introspection to do
before Game 2.

Rob Dozier came up big with 14 points and 22 rebounds.
Catch the entire game on our YouTube channel!

Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from InterAKTV. (Writing credit to Rey Joble)

Images: Images are from InterAKTV and the PBA. (Photo credit to Paolo Papa and Paul Ryan Tan) 
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