2014 PBA Commish Cup: Alaska bounces back even as TNT tags its second win!

Rob Dozier showed up to play against GlobalPort as the Aces leveled their win-loss total, while the Tropang Texters leaned on the late contributions of Richard Howell to repulse the pesky Air 21 Express in last night’s PBA action.

In the opener, Alaska outplayed GlobalPort in the fourth quarter to win, 93-77. There were signs of life from the Alaska Aces’ local crew last night, as RJ Jazul and Gabby Espinas each scored 18 points to help lead coach Luigi Trillo’s squad to its maiden win in the Commish Cup. Jazul hit 4 of his 5 triples in the first half to spearhead an early charge for the defending conference champs. He finished with 14 markers after the first 24 minutes. He went checked in the second half, however, and that’s when Espinas shone, hitting some key shots to help Alaska drown out the pesky Batang Pier. The former PCU Dolphin added 6 rebounds and 1 assist to his tally while also making all but one of his field goal attempts.

I get the feeling that as every game goes by, we’ll all witness just how butt-awful it was for the Batang Pier to trade away Sol Mercado for Alex Cabagnot. In this game, Cabaggie coughed the ball up 3 times and shot just 5/11 from the floor. He contributed to GlobalPort’s 15 TOs, while the Aces committed just 9. Cabagnot is not a bad point guard by any stretch of the imagination, but, at least so far, he hasn’t really been able to show that he’s a prime fit for GlobalPort. The adjustment period for the team (new PG, new coach, new import) is bound to end someday, but that day might come too late.

BullDozier: Rob Dozier seemed like he was having another anemic outing after scoring only 10 points in the first three periods, but he more than made up for it by dropping 15 markers on the Batang Pier in the final frame. Dozier scored 9 of Alaska’s first 13 points in the fourth quarter, which basically opened the floodgates and enabled the Aces to pull away and earn their first win unmolested. Last year’s Commish Cup Best Import also pulled down 15 rebounds while dishing out 5 dimes in an impressive all-around performance.

Rob Dozier goes up for a slam against Justin Chua.

In the nightcap, Talk N Text outlasted Air 21, 95-91.

How well did Richard Howell do (sorry, I couldn’t resist it)? He bucked foul trouble in the first half to register a game-high 29 points on top 0f 12 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block as the Tropang Texters won their second game of the conference. Howell, the youngest import of the lot, continued to be an impressive inside force for TNT, scoring two key undergoal stabs in the final minute to ward off the stiff challenge posed by the Express. The NC State alum continued to shoot well from the floor, making 11/21 FGs and also 7/10 FTs.

As I’ve said in our import lowdown for this conference, Herve Lamizana isn’t really built to score heavily. His main job in his stints abroad consisted of cleaning the glass and, more importantly, erasing shots. He did both of those well here, grabbing a game-high 15 boards while also swatting 7 TNT attempts. This was offset, however, by his atrocious field goal shooting — just 4/16 from the floor, including 0/3 from rainbow country. It’s a good thing Asi Taulava turned back time again with a herculean 23-point, 11-rebound double-double or the Texters would’ve probably blown this game wide open.

Gilas Represent!: A day after finding out that Greg Slaughter and Marcio Lassiter backed out from the Gilas Pilipinas national pool, Gilas mainstays Jayson Castro, Jimmy Alapag, and Ranidel De Ocampo didn’t seem fazed or distracted one bit. Castro drilled in 22 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, while his perennial backcourt-mate, Jimmy Alapag pumped in 14 points, 12 in the payoff period, on 4/7 shooting. RDO also did well after his rousing performance this past Wednesday. The former St. Francis of Assisi cager reeled in 12 points, 5 boards, 2 assists, and 2 blocked shots. 

Game Recaps:


The Alaska Aces banked on import Robert Dozier’s scoring and a strong defensive effort as they dominated the fourth quarter to defeat GlobalPort, 93-77, in their PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup clash Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Dozier scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, including nine unanswered to open the period, and the Alaska defense held their opponents to just one point through the first nine minutes of the final canto as the Aces turned a tight contest into a rout.

Alaska won the fourth period 28-10.

The Alaska import finished with 25 points, 15 rebounds and four assists to lead the Aces while Gabby Espinas and RJ Jazul each finished with 18.

Alaska started hot, jumping out to a 23-15 lead after the first period. They hung onto the lead, 42-39, entering the halftime break with Jazul leading the way with 14 points, including four three-pointers, in the first half.

But GlobalPort turned things around in the third behind a strong effort from Jay Washington, who scored 12 points in the opening minutes of the quarter.

GlobalPort reinforcement Evan Brock and Mark Macapagal, who found his range from beyond the arc, took over the scoring duties at that point as the Batang Pier led, 67-65, at the end of three periods.

But Dozier scored the first 13 Alaska points in a 15-1 run that swung the game back in the Aces’ favor, 80-68.

Dozier scored every which way in as he chipped in nine unanswered points to open the fourth quarter. The import hit a jumper, completed a three-point play and knocked down a pair of free throws before finishing a dunk in transition.

Brock finally gave the Batang Pier its first points of the fourth with a split from the line at 5:24 mark of the period.

But Dozier went four-for-four on two trips to the free throw line and Gabby Espinas offered some help with a basket down low as Alaska led by 12 points, 80-68, with 3:06 remaining.

After Terrence Romeo hit a three-pointer, it was Dozier again with the answer for Alaska before Espinas added a basket down low and Jazul split from the line to make it an 85-71 lead for the Aces.

Scoring then picked up in the final minute but it was all over at that point.

Brock finished with 21 points while Washington had 14 for the Batang Pier, who fell to 0-2.

ALA 93 – Dozier 25, Jazul 18, Espinas 18, Casio 11, Baguio 7, Thoss 6, Hontiveros 4, Dela Cruz 2, Abueva 2.
GLO 77 – Brock 21, Washington 14, Cabagnot 12, Romeo 11, Macapagal 8, Chua 5, Yee 3, Garcia 3, Nabong 0, Hayes 0, Salva 0, Salvador 0, Custodio 0.
QS: 23-15, 42-39, 65-67, 93-77.

RJ Jazul caught fire for the Alaska Aces last night.

I don't think the GlobalPort Batang Pier are happy that they're
wearing flag football jerseys to a basketball game.

TALK N TEXT over AIR 21, 95-91

Talk ‘N Text got a huge second-half lift from import Richard Howell as the Tropang Texters defeated Air 21, 95-91, to stay unbeaten in two contests in the PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Despite struggling with some foul trouble in the first half, Howell scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and hit two clutch baskets in the fourth as the reinforcement helped Talk ‘N Text take the early lead in the standings with a 2-0 record.

Talk ‘N Text’s guard combo of Jayson Castro and Jimmy Alapag also stepped up big in this game. Castro finished with 22 points while Alapag scored 12 of his 14 points in a tight fourth quarter.

Talk ‘N Text got the jump on Air 21, riding an 11-2 run to take an early eight-point lead, 17-9, which they would maintain until the end of the first period, 27-20.

But Howell, who scored 10 points in the first period, ran into foul trouble in the second, and it was Castro’s turn to carry the load as Talk ‘N Text tried to hold off Air 21.

They led, 43-38, at the half with Castro scoring 15 of his 22 points over the first two quarters.

In the third, the Express showed signs of life, tying the game, 49-all, on a basket from Joseph Yeo that capped a 7-0 blast.

But the Talk ‘N Text duo of Howell and Castro would score the next two baskets and the Tropang Texters would enter the fourth leading, 66-62.

Howell and KG Canaleta attempted to give Talk ‘N Text some breathing room, 70-62, at the start of the fourth quarter.

Air 21, though, would refuse to go away quietly, tying the game at 74-apiece after nine unanswered points from Yeo, import Herve Lamizana, Asi Taulava and Simon Atkins.

Veterans Alapag and Taulava carried their respective teams in the next few minutes, with Alapag scoring the next eight Talk ‘N Text points while Taulava scored six of Air 21’s next nine points.

Alapag and Taulava, who finished with a team-high 23 points, each scored 12 points in the fourth quarter.

The biggest shots, though, came from the Talk ‘N Text import.

Howell twice restored Talk ‘N Text’s lead to four points in the final minute.

He first wrestled away a rebound off his own miss in transition to score on a put-back that made it 91-87 with just 55 seconds remaining.

After his Air 21 counterpart hit two free throws on the other end, Howell again came up with a big play, as he finished on a series of passes that found him open for a layup inside as Talk ‘N Text led, 93-89, with 22 seconds left on the clock.

The Tropang Texters took care of a couple of free throws to seal the win.

Ranidel De Ocampo also finished in double figures with 12 points, while Harvey Carey chipped in with eight points and nine rebounds.

Lamizana posted an impressive line of 18 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and seven blocks but struggled with his shot, finishing with a 4-for-16 shooting clip, as the Express dropped to 1-1.

Taulava finished with a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds.

TNT 95 – Howell 29, Castro 22, Alapag 14, De Ocampo 12, Carey 8, Williams 4, Reyes Ry. 3, Canaleta 2, Fonacier 1, Reyes Ro. 0, Aban 0, Baclao 0.
A21 91 – Taulava 23, Lamizana 18, Borboran 10, Atkins 10, Yeo 9, Villanueva 7, Cardona 6, Manuel 4, Matias 2, Camson 2, Poligrates 0, Burtscher 0, Sharma 0.
QS: 27-20, 43-38, 66-62, 95-91.

Herve Lamizana might not last long in the PBA
after another lackluster outing.

Jimmy Alapag cruises to the hole as Joseph Yeo looks on.

Richard Howell puts the ball on the floor as he
tries to outmaneuver Asi Taulava.

Recap by Rey Joble/InterAKTV.

Images by Pranz Kaeno Billones/Sports 5.

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