#PBA2015 Commish Cup Roundup: March 17, 2015

The race to the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals got more interesting after wins from Alaska and Purefoods Star last night. The Hotshots zoomed to the top spot after beating Barako Bull, while Alaska stayed alive after an impressive OT win over Meralco.

Game recap (adapted from Interkasyon):

Box scores.
The Purefoods Star Hotshots, behind a big third quarter from monster import Denzel Bowles, put themselves in good position to contend for a top-two spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs after disposing of Barako Bull, 103-96, on Tuesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Bowles scored 34 points – 21 of those in a dominant third quarter – and grabbed 17 rebounds to send the Hotshots into solo second place with a 7-3 record.

The game was tied at the half, but Purefoods built a double-digit advantage behind the stellar play of Bowles in the third before weathering a late fourth quarter run from Barako Bull in the endgame.

Joe Devance posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Allein Maliksi added 13 markers on 6-for-8 shooting off the bench.

Purefoods moved ahead of idle Talk ‘N Text and Rain or Shine in the standings after the victory, while Barako Bull dropped down to 4-6.

The top two teams after the elimination round will hold a twice-to-beat advantage in their respective match-ups in the eight-team quarterfinals. 

Line of the Game: Denzel Bowles (PUR) - 34pts, 17rebs, 2asts, 2blks, 1stl, 12/24 FGs.

Allein Maliksi had an impressive performance against the Energy last night.

Mrs. Intal is all smiles while watching the hubby.

Denzel Bowles has been on a tear since coming over from China.

JC Intal pulls up for a J as Barako Bull drops further in the standings.

Box scores.
The Alaska Aces were pushed to two extra periods but managed to hang tough as they defeated erstwhile league-leader Meralco, 108-103, to jump right back into contention for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs on Tuesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Needing to play All-Filipino in the second overtime with their import fouling out, Alaska leaned on Sonny Thoss and Calvin Abueva, who made some big plays. Dondon Hontiveros sealed the win with some steady free throw shooting as the Aces pulled off the crucial win.

Damion James finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds before picking up a sixth foul with 47 seconds left in the first extra period, while Abueva had 18 points and 9 rebounds in the victory.

Four other Aces – all of them off the bench – reached double-figures, with Chris Banchero leading the way with 13. Hontiveros and Cyrus Baguio each had 12, while Vic Manuel added 11.

With the win, Alaska (4-5) drew level with three other teams in a tie for the sixth to ninth places, with one of those squads falling out of the playoff race at the end of the elimination round.

Meralco (6-3), which entered the game as the No. 1 team in the standings, fell behind Purefoods (7-3).

Sonny Thoss, who finished with eight points, scored half of his output in the second overtime. He bannered the Alaska’s offense early, hitting twice in the post.

Josh Davis paced the losing side with a superb line of 34 points and 17 rebounds, while Jared Dillinger and John Wilson added 15 and 13 markers respectively. Cliff Hodge also did well with 9 points and 13 boards.

Line of the Game: Josh Davis (MER) - 34pts, 17rebs, 4asts, 2stls.

Cliff Hodge goes up to challenge Calvin Abueva's D.

Despite fouling out, Damion James was able to help Alaska stay in quarterfinal contention.

Vic Manuel and Reynel Hugnatan jostle for rebound positioning.

Images by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports5.

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