Phoenix import Eugene Phelps (center) fights off the crippling defense of Alaska’s Diamon Simpson (left) and Sonny Thoss during their PBA Commissioner’s Cup clash last night at the Cuneta Astrodome. Joey Mendoza
MANILA, Philippines — The Alaska Milk Aces recalled their old fire from an 11-day break and put spring back to their legs to clobber Phoenix Petroleum, 114-91, and claim the No. 2 spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup elimination round last night at the Astrodome.
Vic Manuel and returning import Diamon Simpson showed the way as the Aces led from start to finish in their emphatic drubbing of the Fuel Masters to secure the twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.
“This game was so important that we really focused our minds on this,” said Manuel of their 23-point conquest of the Fuel Masters.
“The break served as well. We’re able to rest and made a good preparation against Phoenix. We played so bad in our last two games and we figured to correct our mistakes,” Manuel also said.
Manuel piled up a game-high 28 points on top of nine rebounds while Simpson came up with 18 markers, 19 boards, four assists and four blocks as the Aces slammed the playoff door shut on the Fuel Masters and in the process gave GlobalPort, Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia a free ride into the quarterfinals.
Rain or Shine (9-1), Alaska (8-3) claimed the top seeding in the quarterfinals.
Left to be determined are the final positions of Meralco, TNT KaTropa, San Miguel Beer, GlobalPort, Ginebra and Magnolia behind ROS and Alaska.
In the nightcap, Justin Brownlee executed two thunderous jams right at the outset, best typifying the energy Barangay Ginebra showcased in a dominant 116-98 win over GlobalPort that sent the Gin Kings (6-5) to a Top Six finish.
With a 5-6 closing mark, the Batang Pier will finish either seventh or eighth and thus face a quarterfinals foe with a twice-to-beat advantage.
Alaska 114 – Manuel 28, Simpson 18, Banchero 14, Exciminiano 12, Enciso 10, Thoss 7, Teng 7, Baclao 4, Casio 4, Racal 3, R. Pascual 3, J. Pascual 3, Galliguez 1, Cruz 0.
Phoenix 91 – Phelps 23, Wright 13, Revilla 10, Perkins 10, Jazul 8, Intal 6, Eriobu 6, Guevarra 4, Dehesa 4, Mendoza 3, W. Wilson 3, Chua 1, Kramer 0, Gamboa 0.
Quarterscores: 34-17, 53-42, 80-63, 114-91
Ginebra 116– Brownlee 36, Aguilar 19, Devance 16, Tenorio 11, Thompson 10, Slaughter 8, Chan 4, Ferrer 4, Cruz 3, Mercado 3, Caguioa 2, Mariano 0, Manuel 0.
GlobalPort 98 – White 19, Tautuaa 15, Anthony 14, Pringle 14, Taha 10, Espinas 6, Grey 6, Elorde 4, Guinto 4, Teng 3, Arana 3, Javelona 0.
Quarterscores: 30-25, 58-45, 88-72, 116-98