(Alonte Sports Center, Binan, Laguna)
4:15 p.m. – San Miguel vs Blackwater
7 p.m. – TNT Katropa vs Brgy. Ginebra
Alaska nails quarters berth.
Alaska avoided going through a complicated route to the next stage as it claimed outright quarterfinal berth by beating NLEX, 100-85, in the penultimate day of the elimination round in the PBA Governors’ Cup last night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
LeDontae Henton finished with 27 points, while comebacking Vic Manuel came off the bench to contribute 13 points in his first game back after missing the last seven matches due to a calf muscle injury.
Alaska also got solid contribution from Calvin Abueva and Sonny Thoss, as the former collected 10 points and 11 rebounds and the latter added 10 points and the same number of rebounds.
Protecting a five-point lead, 75-70, the Aces used an 8-0 run to take an 83-70 advantage on a three-pointer by Henton with 7:41 left in the game.
From there, it was all Alaska the rest of the way.
The victory gave the Aces a 6-5 record to end their elimination round campaign, tying the Meralco Bolts and the Mahindra Enforcer for fourth to sixth places in the standings. They are seeded No. 6 in the quarterfinals.
Meralco and Mahindra will clash in a playoff for rankings on Wednesday – a virtual three-game series as they will face-off in the quarterfinals with the winner earning the No. 4 spot and the twice-to-beat advantage while the loser will be seeded No. 5.
As for the Aces, they will face either defending champion San Miguel Beer or Barangay Ginebra San Miguel – both with twice-to-beat bonus – in the quarterfinals depending on Sunday’s results in the final day of eliminations.
SMB (7-3) meets also-ran Blackwater (1-9) while Ginebra (8-2) clashes against leader TNT Katropa (9-1) to decide the No. 1 spot.
“I guess we wait for the Ginebra-TNT game,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton.
“It’s against a team that has the winningest coach in the league or against a team that where we lost three times in the finals. I don’t one to play either of them,” said Compton, in reference to Ginebra coach Tim Cone who owns the league record 18 titles, and SMB, a team that beat Alaska in the finals thrice since last season.
ALASKA 100 – Henton 27, Jazul 14, Manuel 13, Thoss 10, Abueva 10, , Casio 7, Racal 6, Banchero 3, Exciminiano 3, Hontiveros 3, Baclao 2, Dela Rosa 2, Magat 0, Dela Cruz 0, Galliguez 0.
NLEX 85 – Walker 29, Taulava 14, Anthony 11, Khobuntin 10, Villanueva E. 9, Villanueva J. 4, Akl 3, Arboleda 3, Baracael 2, Alas 0, Camson 0, Monfort 0, Reyes 0, Soyud 0, Lanete 0.
Quarters: 24-19; 52-37; 75-64; 100-85.