Alaska eliminates Ginebra, 114-108; books 1st PBA semis spot

MANILA, Philippines – The Alaska Aces survived Ginebra’s 3-Quarter domination behind the Muscle Man and Cebuano Hotshot’s hot hands. The Aces have formally eliminated the Gin Kings, 114 -108, on Friday, June 26 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.

Vic Manuel fakes and pumps against Greg Slaughter
Vic Manuel fakes and pumps against Greg Slaughter | Photo:
“We’re taking one game at a time.” These are the short but meaningful words that Ginebra Coach Frankie Lim uttered before their do-or-die game against the top-seeded Alaska Aces.

Gins’ eventual hero versus NLEX last Wednesday, Japeth Aguilar opened the game with a clear steal and a majestic baseline jumper off transition.

Romeo Travis, Lebron James’ high school teammate and Alaska’s current reinforcement along with Sonny Thoss repeatedly fired back to impose an 11-2 scoring run.

LA Tenorio, one of Ginebra’s seasoned veterans was too eager to bring back his team’s long lost glory exploded early in the first quarter with 7 points together with journey-man Sol Mercado’s hot and steady shooting who had 10 early markers regained the lead and closed the opening salvo with a tight margin 31-27.

Both imports started the second quarter on their respective benches and let the locals play. Calvin Abueva and RJ Jazul took advantage of Ginebra’s small line-up and tied the score 32 apiece.

Alarmed in Alaska’s abrupt scoring run, Coach Lim brought Orlando Johnson and his Asian import Jiwan Kim back who pocketed quick 6 points to keep their distance from the Aces.

Rejuvenated Ginebra Kings who were once dependents of their prolific American import Orlando Johnson played as a solid team in this do-or-die game. All Gin-starters scored equally led by the “Sol Train” who was unstoppable in driving to the basket. Mercado had 14 after 24 minutes of quality basketball.

Greg Slaughter who was impact less during their previous games played well in the first two quarters. The 6’11” Gregzilla was crushing the boards offensively and defensively and turning garbage into gold to help Barangay Ginebra close the half with an 8-point, 53-45 lead.

Prior to this game, another do-or-die game happened between Purefoods Star Hotshots and play-offs-first-timers Globalport Batang Pier who have the twice-to-beat advantage. “Mr. Everything” Marcus Blakely of Purefoods unleashed 23 points to keep their conference alive and blew out Globalport, 126-73. James Yap had his second career slam dunk on the third quarter. Yap’s first dunk happened during his first PBA game in 2004 and apparently his first 2 PBA points against Coca Cola Tigers.

Early this morning, the NBA had its annual Draft where Kentucky U ace player Karl Anthony Towns was selected first over-all by Minnesota Timberwolves. Our very own Ray Ray Parks failed to make it this year after joining five NBA open team work outs before the draft proper. On a brighter note, Parks was invited by the Dallas Mavericks to play in the summer league as per his agent, Charlie Dy. This can be Ray Ray’s break to get into NBA and follow Jordan Clarkson of LA Lakers if he’ll play well and impress Mavs’ coaching staff.

Ginebra’s Twin Towers Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter combined their efforts and ran away with 16-point lead few minutes after the opening inbound of the penultimate quarter. Sol Mercado was still hot entering into the 3rd with an immaculate 3 for 3 in the rainbow territory.

Heated action erupted between Orlando Johnson and Calvin Abueva in the 3:38 mark of the third period. LA Tenorio intervened and was caught pushing Abueva and sending him to the floor. The referees reviewed the incident and called Technical fouls on Calvin Abueva, Orlando Johnson, LA Tenorio and Coach Frankie Lim all for second motion.

Romeo Travis and Don Don Hontiveros took charge of their team’s scoring chores and were able to trim the lead to just 4 points, 72-69 with 2 more minutes remaining in the third. Hontiveros rang the bell with a ring less trey to overcome a 16-point deficit and grab the lead after 3 quarters.

Vic “The Muscle Man” Manuel muscled and owned the shaded lane in the final period. Manuel continuously dropped short hooks and bank shots in front of Greg Slaughter and Dave Marcelo. With Manuel’s 11-point contribution, the Aces were totally back in control of the game 95-85 midway of the fourth.

Aside from pounding Ginebra Centers, Vic Manuel looked like a legit 7-footer by boxing out and out rebounding Ginebra bigmen in the last 12 minutes of the ball game. On the other side of the front court, Romeo Travis was shooting well with Japeth Aguilar in front of him. Travis had a game high of 29 points, slightly outscoring his counterpart Orlando Johnson who had 25 points.

Vic Manuel won the Best Player of the Game with 14 points and 7 rebounds.

With this win, the Alaska Aces will comfortably advance to the semifinals while waiting for Purefoods – Globalport winner.


1st Game
Purefoods 126 - Blakely 23, Barroca 16, Mallari 15, Yap 15, Melton 14, Taha 8, Simon 8, Maliksi 7, Devance 6, Alvarez 3, Gaco 3, Pingris 3, Pennisi 3, Allado 2, Reavis 0.

Globalport 73 - Romeo 18, Famous 16, Caperal 8, Semerad 5, Miranda 5, Krayem 4, Pringle 4, Isip 4, Pinto 2, Hayes 2, Jensen 2, Mamaril 2, Buenafe 1, Taha 0, Kramer 0, Ponferrada 0.

2nd Game
Alaska 114 – Travis 29, Manuel 14, Thoss 14, Hontiveros 13, Baguio 10, Banchero 9, Abueva 8, Casio 7, Dela Rosa 5, Jazul 3, Exciminiano 2, Menk 0, Baclao 0

Ginebra – Johnson 28, Mercado 21, Slaughter 19, Aguilar 15, Tenorio 14, Kim 5, Baracael 4, Marcelo 2, Monfort 0, Brondial 0, Pena 0

- D' Waterboy, TheSummitExpress

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