In a best-of-three quarterfinal series, a 1-0 advantage is a good thing, but it doesn’t guarantee anything.
That’s what Alaska head coach Luigi Trillo told his wards yesterday, saying they have to have the killer instinct when they clash with San Mig Super Coffee Mixers in Game 2 of their quarterfinal showdown in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“It’s a huge win for us, but a 1-0 lead is not a guarantee. Yes, it puts us in a good situation, but it takes two wins to knock them out,” said Trillo, who hopes to lead Alaska back to the finals.
From a tight contest in the first three periods of the game, Alaska unleashed a big fourth quarter run with Cyrus Baguio and JV Casio leading the way in the Aces 86-77 victory in Game 1 Monday night.
The Aces and the Mixers collide at 5:45 p.m.
Baguio and Casio combined for 14 points in a torrid fourth quarter run. The Aces’ defense also held as they held San Mig scoreless for six minutes to pad their lead from 72-69 to 84-69 with three minutes left.
Alaska import Rob Dozier finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Baguio added 14 points.
Sonny Thoss and Calvin Abueva added 12 points each, and Casio finished with eight markers.
San Mig import James Mays, who averaged nearly 23 points, 16 rebounds in the elimination round, was held to just 18 and 11, while the locals didn’t do much better. Mark Barroca got 17 points and James Yap finished with 12.
“Our defense in the fourth was great, we limited them to 16 points. We had problems in that big lineup of theirs, but we did a good job taking them out of their flow of big lineups,” said Trillo.
While he was right, it did not actually matter as his Aces were up to the task. The defending conference champion Aces clamped down on defense midway into the fourth quarter en route to an 86-77 victory, Monday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Alaska sent the current Philippine Cup titlists to their fourth straight loss but more importantly, it allowed the Aces to inch closer to just one win away from qualifying for the semis....
Alaska and San Mig Coffee will play for the second straight night as the Aces' win coupled by Rain or Shine's overtime victory over Barangay Ginebra had Alaska getting the 3rd seend and the Coffee Mixers 6th.
The Mixers sat 4 key players in last night's loss while the Aces sparingly used theirs but that won't be the key today as the stakes become higher.
“They will be twice as sharp and as good tomorrow (Monday),” said Trillo....
Already assured of their slots in the best of three quarterfinals, the game between the Aces and the Mixers turned out to be a lackluster affair as the latter opted to rest their players who are suffering injured, rather than go hard against the rampaging Aces.
After winning their first three assignments of the conference, the Mixers fizzled out as they lost their last three for a 4-5 win-loss record. The opposite was true for the Aces as they struggled early on, but found their groove later on winning five straight and placing third with a 6-3 tally....
Alaska has won four straight games while showcasing the stingy defense that was instrumental to the team’s title run last season.
In contrast, San Mig Coffee has struggled, losing four of its last five games after opening the tournament with a 3-0 record....
|Team History (Last 10 Conferences)|
|2013-2014 Commissioners' Cup||7||3||0.700|
|2013-2014 Philippine Cup||7||10||0.412||8th|
|2012-2013 Governors' Cup||5||6||0.455||7th|
|2012-2013 Commissioners' Cup||18||4||0.818||Champions|
|2012-2013 Philippine Cup||12||10||0.545||4th|
|2011-2012 Governors' Cup||2||7||0.222||9th|
|2011-2012 Commissioners' Cup||6||6||0.500||5th|
|2011-2012 Philippine Cup||3||11||0.214||9th|
|2010-2011 Governors' Cup||8||5||0.615||3rd|
|2010-2011 Commissioners' Cup||6||6||0.500||5th|