2013 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Roundup: Game 2

And just like that, Alaska is one away from its first title in three years, and, perhaps more importantly, first in the post-Time Cone era. And, man, despite the focus being put squarely on nouveau villain Calvin Abueva, the Gatas Republik have many heroes to thank for its 2-0 series lead.

The Alaska Aces hold a commanding 2-0 series
lead over the Ginebra Gin Kings.

I am rooting for Alaska here, and one big reason why is I love how Rob Dozier is just coolly outplaying Vernon Macklin in the series. Dozier, a true workhorse who doesn't look for his own offense, has been nothing short of magical. In Game 2, he scored 15 points and, more importantly, grabbed 20 rebounds and limited V-Mack to just 8 markers.

I can only imagine how frustrating this must be for Ginebra and its throngs of fans. Another game, another blowout, another loss. The Gin Kings just can't seem to solve the Alaska riddle. They are now 0-4 against the Aces this conference, losing by an average of 13.8 points. Should we even have a Game 3?

The thing is coach Luigi Trillo has a lot of Aces up his sleeve. I mean, he must feel pretty good right now. He has maybe the most consistent import in the conference, his team is just a win away from its first title in three years, and his locals, oh man, they have been nothing short of amazing. In this game, Sonny Thoss, Calvin Abueva, Cyrus Baguio, Dondon Hontiveros, and JV Casio all scored 13 or more points. Wow. What's the quintessential Alaska jingle again?

Wala pa ring tatalo...

Game Recaps:
ALASKA over GINEBRA, 104-90
The Alaska Aces took Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s best punch before unleashing its own body blow in the second quarter to pull off 104-90 decision in Game Two of the Commissioner’s Cup finals Friday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Alaska took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series, moving one win away from the 14th PBA championship in franchise history.

Unlike in the first game that saw them concede a 22-point deficit in the first quarter, the Gin Kings battled the Aces from the very start, trailing by just two points after the opening period, 25-23.

“We had to weather that first quarter storm,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo. “We knew they were gonna come out with a lot of energy.”

But Alaska turned things up a notch in the second quarter, and Ginebra seemed to lose its poise as things got heated. The Aces outscored the Gin Kings, 29-14, in the second period and nursed that advantage for the rest of the game.

Ginebra made a late run in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to just eight points, 94-86, on a three-pointer by Mac Baracael. But Alaska quickly answered back with a three-point play from Sonny Thoss to put the game out of reach with 49.8 seconds left in the game.

Alaska once again drew balanced scoring from its troops, with seven players scoring at least 13 points, led by Thoss’ 16. Import Robert Dozier was once again a major presence on the defensive end, pulling down 20 rebounds and blocking three shots apart from scoring 15 points.

LA Tenorio tried to carry the fight for Ginebra, nearly posting a triple-double with 16 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists. But Alaska held the former Ace to another miserable shooting night, as Tenorio shot just 6-of-19 (31.5 percent) from the field.

“He’s their life,” said Trillo.

The Aces were once again able to contain explosive Ginebra import Vernon Macklin, who scored eight points on just six shot attempts from the field.

“You can’t stop Macklin one-on-one,” said Trillo. “You’ve got to wear down Macklin collectively.”

Alaska has a chance to close out the series in Game Three on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

ALA 104 – Thoss 16, Dozier 15, Abueva 15, Baguio 15, Hontiveros 15, Casio 13, Espinas 8, Jazul 4, Belasco 3, Dela Cruz 0.
GIN 90 – Helterbrand 17, Tenorio 16, Baracael 11, Raymundo 10, Macklin 8, Ellis 8, Labgala 5, Urbiztondo 5, Mamaril 4, Hatfield 4, Caguioa 2, Maierhofer 0.
QS: 25-23, 54-37, 74-56, 104-90

Not even Jayjay Helterbrand's strong showing
could tow Ginebra to a win.

Things get testy between LA Tenorio (L) and Nic Belasco (M).

RJ Jazul and the rest of the Alaska locals
have been stepping up.

Sonny Thoss had another solid showing
for the Aces.

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 Paul Ryan Tan) 
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