(UPDATED) Like what their most famous jingle says, “Wala pa ring tatalo sa Alaska!”
Coming through with another series of big blows in the stretch, the Aces completed a sweet sweep of the embattled Barangay Ginebra Kings Sunday night via a masterful 104-80 victory to clinch the PBA Commissioner’s Cup before a sellout crowd at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Saving their best for last, the Aces uncorked a decisive 24-2 windup that proved more than enough to turn a tight game into a romp en route to seizing the franchise’s 14th overall league title and the first since the 2010 Fiesta Conference.
Proving he truly deserves the Best Import award, ever-efficient Rob Dozier was the Aces’ pillar of strength anew with game highs of 27 points and 20 rebounds but it was his local teammates who finished the job in style.
Eventual Finals MVP Sonny Thoss, heady playmaker JVee Casio and superb rookie Calvin Abueva took turns during that blinding pull-away from a slim 80-78 lead, finally putting away the
Blog Posts by Chris Lagunzad
Kings simply outclassedBy Chris Lagunzad | Yahoo! PH Sports – 15 hours ago
(UPDATED) Like what their most famous jingle says, “Wala pa ring tatalo sa Alaska!”Read More »from Aces complete sweep, bag Commissioner's Cup crown
- Chris Lagunzad | Yahoo! PH Sports – Fri, May 17, 2013 10:18 PM PHT
(UPDATE) Alaska has no intention of giving Barangay Ginebra any chance to survive.
With veterans Dondon Hontiveros and Sonny Thoss coming up big in the stretch, the Aces re-asserted their domination over the Gin Kings, 104-90, Friday night to move on the threshold of hoisting the PBA Commissioners Cup title at the packed MOA Arena in Pasay City.
After essaying a masterful 87-70 win in the opener last Wednesday, Alaska got a big lift from their two battle-scarred cagers in the face of Ginebra’s strong push in the fourth canto, with Hontiveros delivering four triples, including three straight, and Thoss banging in seven big points, highlighted by a game-clinching three-point play.
Those notable exploits enabled the Aces to take a commanding 2-to-nothing lead and the chance to wield the big broom in Game 3 on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Proving he still has a lot of ammunition left in his 35-year-old artillery, Hontiveros finished with 15 points, 12 of those from beyond the arc inRead More »from Two down, one to go for Alaska
- Chris Lagunzad | Yahoo! PH Sports – Wed, May 15, 2013 10:25 PM PHT
(UPDATED) Total domination.
Alaska had Barangay Ginebra all figured out in a masterful Game 1 performance at the start of the PBA Commissioners Cup Finals Wednesday night.
Using a scorching first-quarter blitz as a springboard, the Aces essayed a masterful 87-70 victory over the slow-starting Gin Kings to take the opener of their best-of-five titular showdown at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
RELATED: A shot of gin or a glass of milk?
Fresh from dethroning San Mig Coffee in four games in the semifinals, Alaska immediately asserted its dreaded suffocating defense and jumped the gun on Ginebra with a jarring 14-to-nothing start to eke out the one-sided win and virtually silenced the pre-dominantly pro-Gin Kings crowd of 19,678.
The Aces, who last won a crown in 2010 in the Fiesta Conference, gun for a 2-0 lead on Friday at the MOA Arena.
The Main Man: Even when he’s not he’s scoring, Dozier can still make his presence felt.Read More »from Alaska holds all the aces in Game 1 rout
Arguably the frontrunner for this conference’s Best Import plum, the
- Chris Lagunzad | Yahoo! PH Sports – Sun, May 12, 2013 8:44 PM PHT
Working behind gutsy playmaker LA Tenorio in the stretch, the Gin Kings turned back hard-fighting Talk ‘N Text 111-103 in their do-or-die Game 5 semifinal battle Sunday night to earn a return trip to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals in front off another electrifying Smart-Araneta Coliseum crowd.
The spitfirish Tenorio led the Kings with 28 big points, with import Vernon Macklin backing him up with 22 as Ginebra, up by 20 at the break, survived a furious second-half charge by Talk ‘N Text that saw the Texters creep to within six points twice.
After opening the mid-season tourney with four straight losses, the Kings have found their groove and sustained their amazing run behind their “never-say-die” attitude, enough to survive its fourth do-or-die game and forge a titanic clash with top-seeded Alaska, which dethroned San Mig Coffee last Saturday.
Ranked seventh in the playoffs, the Gin Kings overhauled a twice-to-beat disadvantage against Read More »from Ginebra drubs TNT, sets finals date with Alaska
- Chris Lagunzad | Yahoo! PH Sports – Sat, May 11, 2013 10:15 PM PHT
The Alaska Aces can finally say they have exorcised the ghost of former coach Tim Cone.Read More »from Aces finish off Coffee Mixers, barge into finals
The Aces came through with another superb second-half onslaught to dethrone Cone’s San Mig Coffee Mixers, 83-78, in a highly-entertaining Game 4 of their semifinals showdown and clinch the first finals seat in the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
Erratic and sloppy in the first half, Alaska settled down after the break, dropping a big 26-point counterattack in the third before prized rookie Calvin Abueva and import Robert Dozier finished the job in the payoff canto.
ALSO READ: Ginebra forces a do-or-die Game 5
Fresh from a 24-point explosion in their 89-82 win in Game 3 last Wednesday, the 6-foot-2 Abueva scattered all but two of his 14 points in the stretch while the 6-foot-10 Dozier, groping for form majority of the way, scored five of the team’s final six points in the last 2:05.
Those notable exploits, coupled with another lockdown defensive pressure in the second half, enabled the Aces to make their first
- Chris Lagunzad | Yahoo! PH Sports – Fri, May 10, 2013 9:26 PM PHT
His team facing elimination, import Vernon Macklin came up big just when Barangay Ginebra needed him the most.Read More »from Ginebra forces a do-or-die Game 5
On fire right from the get-go, Macklin provided the crucial baskets down the stretch as the Gin Kings survived a physical game and eked out a thrilling 104-101 victory over Talk ‘N Text to force a do-or-die Game 5 in their PBA Commissioners Cup semifinals series in front of another big Smart-Araneta Coliseum crowd.
Overshadowed by Texters counterpart Tony Mitchell in an 80-98 defeat two days ago, Macklin immediately imposed his will and powered his way to a monstrous outing of 37 points, including 13 in the fourth capped by an off-angled bank shot that gave the Gin Kings the needed cushion.
RELATED: New import helps TNT stay ahead
Providing the needed support for Macklin was one-time league MVP Jayjay Helterbrand, who poured in 14 of his 17 markers in a fiery second quarter onslaught, while playmaker LA Tenorio, Chris Ellis and veteran Kerby Raymundo contributed at least 12
- Chris Lagunzad | Yahoo! PH Sports – Wed, May 8, 2013 11:22 PM PHT
Depleted and all, Talk ‘N Text dug down deep and inched closer towards another finals appearance.Read More »from TNT parades new import, drubs Ginebra
Fully asserting their might in the second half, the Tropang Texters turned a tight battle into a rout, essaying a masterful 98-80 victory over Barangay Ginebra Wednesday night in Game 3 of their best-of-five PBA Commissioners Cups semifinals before a record crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Already without key players Kelly Williams and Jared Dillinger, Talk ‘N Text also missed the services of ace playmaker Jimmy Alapag, who was out with a calf strain, but it hardly mattered as the rest of the bench stepped up to fashion out the big rout in front of an announced record crowd of 23,108.
ALSO READ: Aces unleash the Beast on Coffee Mixers, grab 2-1 lead
Tapped to replace the unpredictable 7-foot import Jerome Jordan, new reinforcement Tony Mitchell dished out a solid debut of 29 points while local gunner Larry Fonacier broke out of his shooting slump with 20 markers for the Texters, who
- Chris Lagunzad | Yahoo! PH Sports – Wed, May 8, 2013 10:18 PM PHT
Alaska has a foot in the door to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals, thanks to a much-needed helping hand from Calvin Abueva.Read More »from Aces unleash the Beast on Coffee Mixers, grab 2-1 lead
With the 6-foot-2 super rookie providing the spark, the Aces wiped out a 16-point third-quarter deficit then outlasted defending champion San Mig Coffee in overtime, 89-8, to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five semifinals series in front of an overflow Smart-Araneta Coliseum crowd.
ALSO READ: Belga provides highlight move of the night with shot fake
The second overall pick in last year’s rookie draft, Abueva played with reckless abandon in a big second-half turnaround for the Aces, racking up 15 of his game-high 24 points on top of 10 rebounds, three assists and a block in a highly-efficient outing.
Four other players chipped in 11 markers each for the Aces, who also got a big six-point contribution in overtime from reserve guard RJ Jazul to complete the thrilling victory.
The Mixers, led by Denzel Bowles’ 19 points, enjoyed a 54-38 lead but ran out of gas in the
- Chris Lagunzad | Yahoo! PH Sports – Sun, May 5, 2013 10:26 PM PHT
The Gilas Pilipinas national team barely dodged a bullet against a stubborn PBA Selection Sunday night.Read More »from Gilas, PBA stars battle to a deadlock
Jeff Chan drilled in a fall-away three-pointer with just sixth-tenths of a second left as the Nationals scrambled to force a 124-124 draw against the All-Stars in a surprisingly intense PBA All-Star Game at the packed Davao del Sur Coliseum in Digos City.
With the Nationals teetering on the brink of a potential humiliation, the 6-foot-2 Chan got a timely feed from teammate Gary David on the right flank, faked off defender Alex Cabagnot and composed himself for the game-tying triple.
With just 0.6 of a second left to put up a decent shot, the PBA Selection wasted its last chance, with Beau Belga inbounding the leather too strong for Cabagnot to hold onto as the final buzzer sounded.
With coach Chot Reyes opting to sit out naturalized import Marcus Douthit and ace playmaker Jimmy Alapag resting his strained calf, the Nationals struggled, notably with their defensive patterns, as they were
- Chris Lagunzad | Yahoo! PH Sports – Sun, May 5, 2013 5:44 PM PHT
As far as Yao Ming’s basketball career is concerned, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.Read More »from Sorry, but Yao Ming won't be playing
The Chinese basketball icon confirmed Sunday that he won’t be suiting up when the Shanghai Sharks tangle two local squads in a pair of exhibition matches at the Mall of Asia Arena and also at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“I no longer have a uniform with the team, and my past injuries keep me from playing,” said the towering 7-foot-6 center through an interpreter in a press conference at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Pasay City.
The top overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, Yao made a good account of himself as a Houston Rocket, helping the team reach four post-season appearances before abruptly retiring in 2011 due to a spate of nagging foot injuries.
But two years before hanging up his sneakers, the eight-time NBA All-Star already brought the Sharks since his former club was facing the specter of not playing in the Chinese Basketball Association due to financial woes.
RELATED: Yao Ming arrives