Like B-Meg earlier in the night, Alaska Milk fought gallantly to stay alive, sending the PBA
Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals to a double-knockout finish on Easter Sunday.
The Aces forced a one-game standoff with the Barako Bull Energy by riding a decisive third-quarter romp on the way to a 99-92 victory Wednesday.
“Overall team effort enabled us to stay alive. Now, we have to be smart in using the next three
days to rest and prepare for Sunday,” said Alaska coach Joel Banal.
“We have to be ready for Gabe Freeman’s breakout game if we’re to make the next round,”
The Aces handled Freeman well in his Barako Bull debut, holding him scoreless in the middle
While clamping down on the former two-time Best Import winner, the Aces made a decisive run in the third period and went on to bounce back from their sorry 90-103 defeat in Game One Sunday.
“Gabe Freeman arrived just last night (Tuesday night). He had no benefit of a practice with
Barako. For sure, he’ll already blend with them by the next game, and we have to be ready for
that,” said Banal.
Alaska starters LA Tenorio, Cyrus Baguio, Sonny Thoss, Mac Baracael and Adam Parada all put in
double-digit outputs and Sam Eman, Wesley Gonzales, Bonbon Custodio and Jayr Reyes had their help coming off the bench.
“Total team effort talaga both on defense and offense ang pinakita ng team tonight,” said Banal.
Tenorio topscored with 22 points with Baguio adding 20, Thoss, 17, Baracael 16 and Parada 12. The Alaska import also hauled down 10 rebounds.
Freeman, who took over from Reggie Okosa, paced Barako with 22 though he went scoreless in the
second and third periods. He also plucked 17 boards.
The two teams fought through four deadlocks and eight lead changes before the Aces took command in the third quarter and held on to the finish.
Barako even enjoyed a six-point lead in the first quarter, 34-28, with Freeman coming out strong and pouring in 10 points in the first 12 minutes of play.
The Aces seized control while holding Freeman scoreless in the next two quarters.
Baracael and Tenorio scored seven apiece while Thoss added six as the Aces outscored the Energy,
29-15, in the third quarter.
The two teams knock each out Sunday for the right to play the Talk n Text Tropang Texters in the
Final Four. (SB)
ALASKA 99 - Tenorio 22, Baguio 20, Thoss 17, Baracael 16, Parada 12, Eman 7, Gonzales 3, Custodio 2, Reyes 0.
BARAKO 92 - Freeman 22, Seigle 19, Tubid 15, Miller 13, Allado 8, Pennisi 6, Arboleda 5, Pena 4,
Gatumbato 0, Weinstein 0, Najorda 0, Salvador 0.
Quarterscores: 28-34, 48-48, 77-63, 99-92