by Waylon Galvez
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Barako Bull
5:15 p.m. – Ginebra vs San Miguel Beer
Manila, Philippines – Defending champion Alaska played solid defense down the stretch as it held Globalport scoreless for nearly six minutes to start the fourth quarter on its way to a 93-77 win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup last night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Trailing 65-67 to start the final quarter, import Robert Dozier took care of the scoring as he scattered nine points while the Aces’ defense held the Batang Pier to 0-12 shooting from the field to take a 76-67 advantage with 6:20 left in the game.
Import Evan Brock gave Globalport its first point in the fourth when he split his free throws, 68-76, but after another miss by Globalport, JVee Casio converted on a jumper for Alaska. Batang Pier’s rookie guard Terrence Romeo finally scored the team’s first field goal, 71-78, with 2:50 remaining to play.
However, Gabby Espinas joined hands with Casio and Dozier as they delivered the final touches for Alaska as the victory put the Aces on the win column with a 1-1 card after losing to Talk ’N Text (85-72) when they opened their title-retention campaign last Wednesday.
The 6-foot-7 Dozier, a former teammate of the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose during their college days in Memphis, finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds, while Espinas and RJ Jazul, who nailed 5-of-6 triples, contributed 18 points apiece. Casio added 11 points in the Petron Saturday Special.
“Last game we’re all over the place defensively, today when the going gets tough, Dozier gets going,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo of his reinforcement who was the Best Import of this same conference last season. “I’m proud of him. Every time he went down he got up.”
“In the fourth we limited them to eight points. Dozier got going and everybody got going. It’s a war of attrition for him,” added Trillo.
As for Globalport, the team fell to 0-2 under rookie coach Pido Jarencio, who was signed by owner Mikee Romero in hopes that he will help the team improve its performance starting this conference after his impressive stint as coach of University of Santo Tomas.
Globalport actually had the momentum after a big third quarter when it outscored Alaska, 28-23, turning a 39-42 deficit to a 67-65 advantage entering the fourth quarter. But the Batang Pier failed to sustain it when the Aces made their move.
Globalport, which lost to Air21 in its first game (83-78), got 21 points and 11 rebounds from reinforcement Evan Brock, while Jay Washington had 14 points, Alex Cabagnot added 12 points and Romeo finished with 11 markers.
Talk ‘n Text got its second win for the conference after fending off a stubborn Air21 Express, 95-91.
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine, which came short of winning the Philippine Cup title as it lost to San Mig Super Coffee, starts its own campaign in the Commissioner’s Cup as the Elasto Painters face Barako Bull today 3 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Rain or Shine will parade as import Alex McLean, a 6-foot-8 power forward who played college ball at Liberty University where he averaged 15.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.0 assist during his two-year stint in college.
A veteran of various pro leagues abroad including stints in Iraq, Lebanon, China, Qatar, and Egypt, he will be up against Barako Bull’s reinforcement Joshua Dollard, who exploded for 45 points before fouling out late in a 108-104 overtime defeat to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel last Friday.
Also clashing at 5:15 p.m. are sister teams Ginebra and San Miguel Beer.
The Beermen gave debuting coach Biboy Ravanes, who replaced Gee Abanilla, his first win as PBA mentor following a 94-76 victory against Meralco. NBA veteran Josh Boone collected 16 points and 16 boards in that win, but he will battle the Kings’ prolific scorer Leon Rodgers, who had 31 points against the Energy Cola.
ALASKA 93 – Dozier 25, Jazul 18, Espinas 18, Casio 11, Baguio 7, Thoss 6, Hontiveros 4, Dela Cruz 2, Abueva 2.
GLOBALPORT 77 – Brock 21, Washington 14, Cabagnot 12, Romeo 11, Macapagal 8, Chua 5, Yee 3, Garcia 3, Nabong 0, Hayes 0, Salva 0, Salvador 0, Custodio 0.
Quarterscores: 23-15, 42-39, 65-67, 93-77.
TALK N’ TEXT 95 – Howell 29, Castro 22, Alapag 14, De Ocampo 12, Carey 8, Williams 4, Reyes Ry. 3, Canaleta 2, Fonacier 1, Reyes Ro. 0, Aban 0, Baclao 0.
AIR 21 91 – Taulava 23, Lamizana 18, Borboran 10, Atkins 10, Yeo 9, Villanueva 7, Cardona 6, Manuel 4, Matias 2, Camson 2, Poligrates 0, Burtscher 0, Sharma 0.
Quarterscores: 27-20, 43-38, 66-62, 95-91.