The Aces stretched their winning streak to four matches after pulling off a masterful 87-69 victory against the skidding Gin Kings to grab a share of second spot in the 2013 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Rookie Calvin Abueva fell a rebound short of notching his third straight double-double performance, but it was enough to lift Alaska to its fourth straight win to join Rain or Shine at the No. 2 spot with a 4-2 win-loss mark.
For Ginebra, it was the team’s fourth loss in a row after a 2-0 start, leaving them sliding deeper in the team standings.
“I think we’re lucky because Ginebra is not on its best now and probably with chemistry issue right now,” said Aces coach Luigi Trillo, who drew 19 points and nine rebounds from Abueva.
“But I thought the bottom line [was] in the first quarter Ginebra had 22, 16 in the second, 14 in the third and 17 in the fourth. Ginebra is a team that runs and it’s their strength. I think our defense did it today.”
Jvee Casio chipped in 16 points for the Aces while Cyrus Baguio netted 14. RJ Jazul and Sonny Thoss contributed 12 apiece for Alaska, which led the game from start to finish.
Dylan Ababou had 14 points in his first game back with Ginebra this season, but others failed to contribute for the Kings who shot miserably from the field (22-of-61).
Ababou’s three-pointer put Ginebra within three points, 51-48, in the third quarter. But an 11-0 explosion by the Aces capped by Abueva’s jumper pushed their lead back to 62-48, with 2:02 remaining in the period.
The lead ballooned to as high as 20 points, 81-61, after Baguio and Casio banged in a three-pointer each in a run that put the game away, silencing the dominant pro-Ginebra crowd.
It was Alaska’s first four-game winning streak since the Aces swept Ginebra in the 2009-10 Philippine Cup semifinals under former coach Tim Cone. That was also the last time the Kings have lost four in a row.
“It’s nice to win four in a row. The last time we did this was coach Tim’s time,” said Trillo who was then one of the assistants of Cone.
ALASKA 87 – Abueva 19, Casio 16, Baguio 14, Jazul 12, Thoss 12,Hontiveros 5, Espinas 4, Baracael 2, Dela Cruz 2, Reyes 1, Eman 0.
GINEBRA 69 – Ababou 14, Caguioa 12, Tenorio 10, Maierhofer 7, Mamaril 6, Cortez 6, Raymundo 5, Ellis 4, Wilson 3, Jensen 2, Helterbrand 0.
Quarters: 25-22, 46-38, 64-52, 87-69