2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Quarterfinals: Meralco and Alaska both one win away from the semis!

The Meralco Bolts and Alaska Aces recorded separate wins in last night’s PBA action in the Commish Cup quarterfinals!

Calvin Abueva (L) and Gary David (R) both stepped up for their
respective clubs at the start of the 2014 Commish Cup quarterfinals.

In the opener, Meralco outlasted Rain or Shine, 94-91. It looks like the Bolts are primed to transform from a middling club to a primetime squad. Import Darnell Jackson came through with two key jumpers in the endgame while Cliff Hodge stepped up with a critical defensive stop as Meralco won Game 1 against the third-seeded Elasto-Painters. Coach Ryan Gregorio’s wards can eliminate Rain or Shine and move to the semifinals with another W on Wednesday. Jackson totaled 30 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal to lead the Bolts.

The Painters were in a good position to take this, but their shots just didn’t fall in the dying seconds. Jeff Chan bricked in the waning moments, while Paul Lee got blocked as ROS saw themselves get pushed to the brink of elimination. Compounding their woes was their bad free throw shooting. The Painters shot just 13/21 from the line, with big men Wayne Chism and Raymond Almazan accounting for 7 of those misses. 

Pakitang Gilas: Gilas Pilipinas pool stalwarts Gary David and Jared Dillinger unloaded big games here. El Granada hit 4 triples on his way to a conference-high 27 points. He also added 4 assists and 3 rebounds.  Dillinger, for his part, also contributed heavily. The Fil-American shot 7/12 form the field to score 15 markers on top of 3 boards and 3 dimes. He has been on a tear lately, having scored double-figures in his last six games. If the Bolts want to close out the Painters tomorrow, then Dillinger must maintain this level of productivity.

In the nightcap, Alaska overcame San Mig Super Coffee, 86-77. I love how Rob Dozier continues to flash fine form for the Aces. The reigning Best Import unloaded 24 points and 15 rebounds against the Mixers here, putting Alaska in a great position to finish off this series on Wednesday and advance to the semifinals. Dozier shot 8/15 from the floor, including 2 treys. He also added a pair of steals and three huge blocks to underscore his sterling effort. 

In contrast, SMC import James Mays struggled here, making just 6 of his 14 field goals for a final tally of 18 points. He did get 11 boards, but this was offset by his missing 5 of 11 attempts from the free throw line. After missing the Mixers’ previous game against the Aces two nights ago, Mays was expected to be fresh in this encounter, but, instead, he left SMC fans wanting. The power forward duo of Marc Pingris and Ian Sangalang also struggled, combining to shoot 2/10 from the field for a total of only 4 markers.  

Beasting and feasting: Cyrus Baguio, Calvin Abueva, and Sonny Thoss have all been inconsistent this conference, but all three came through for coach Luigi Trillo in this match. Baguio nailed 3 treys on his way to 14 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal, while Thoss shot 6/8 from the field to finish with a dozen markers, 5 boards, and a blocked shot. For his part, Calvin “The Beast” Abueva had a rare good game, scoring 12 points while also hauling down 8 rebounds, handing out 2 dimes, blocking 2 shots, and getting 1 steal. 

Game recaps by Rey Joble/InterAKTV:


Meralco import Darnell Jackson nailed two clutch jumpers in the final minute to lift the Bolts to a 94-91 win over Rain or Shine in Game One of their PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals series on Monday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“He bailed us out with those two big, big shots,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.

The fifth seed Bolts are one step away from making the semifinals when the two teams meet again for Game Two on Wednesday.

The Elasto Painters, playing with less than 24 hours of rest following a tough overtime win on Sunday over Ginebra, showed tremendous fighting heart, surging early in the game before taking control in the final period.

But Meralco held the Elasto Painters scoreless in the final minute and a half, with Jackson nailing the go-ahead jumper for a 92-91 edge with under sixty seconds remaining.

Rain or Shine failed to score in the ensuing possession after a bad miss from slumping Jeff Chan.

The Elasto Painters foiled Jackson’s inside attempt, but Meralco recovered the offensive rebound. That allowed the Bolts to set up Jackson for a long jumper that hit nothing but net with 10.2 seconds remaining.

Paul Lee had a chance to tie the game, but his final three-point attempt was blocked by Cliff Hodge.

Jackson finished with 30 points, while Gary David added 22 of his 27 in the second half to spark Meralco.

MER 94 – Jackson 30, David 27, Dillinger 15, Hodge 9, Wilson 5, Timberlake 4, Hugnatan 4, Ildefonso 0, Sena 0.
ROS 91 – Chism 27, Lee 15, Arana 10, Tiu 10, Almazan 9, Chan 8, Norwood 8, Nuyles 2, Rodriguez 2, Belga 0, Cruz 0, Tang 0, Teng 0.
QS: 21-19, 40-44, 69-71, 94-91

Darnell Jackson's late game Js helped Meralco outlast Rain or Shine.

Gary David waxed hot from long range for the Bolts.

Paul Lee finds the going tough against the Bolts' interior D.


The Alaska Aces used a late charge to turn back the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers, 86-77, in Game One of their PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals series on Monday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“We did a good job taking them out of their flow,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo, whose team has not allowed more than 78 points during their win streak.

The tournament’s defending champions, who won their sixth straight game, can wrap up the series in Wednesday’s Game Two.

It was a tight affair for most of the game with the Mixers coming to within one point, 70-69, on a three-point play from Joe Devance early in the fourth quarter.

But Sonny Thoss and Jayvee Casio scored 11 points in a backbreaking 14-0 run for Alaska that took the starch out of the Mixers.

San Mig Coffee tried to rally back by scoring the next eight points of the game to come to within seven, 84-77. But it was too little, too late for the Mixers, who are in danger of missing the semifinals for the first time since the 2012 Philippine Cup.

Despite the advantage, Trillo was quick to caution that the series was far from over.

“1-0 is huge, it’s not a guarantee, but it puts you in a good situation. It takes two to knock them out,” said Trillo.

ALA 86 – Dozier 24, Baguio 14, Abueva 12, Thoss 12, Espinas 9, Casio 8, Jazul 6, Hontiveros 1, Reyes 0, Dela Cruz 0, Manuel 0.
SMC 77 – Mays 18, Barroca 17, Yap 12, Simon 10, Devance 9, Melton 7, Pingris 4, Mallari 0, Sangalang 0, Reavis 0.
QS: 19-18, 37-39, 62-61, 86-77

Calvin Abueva goes up strong against Rafi Reavis.

Marc Pingris tries to go reverse against the Alaska defense.

Rob Dozier takes it to the rack against James Mays.

Images by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5.

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