What was expected to be a feisty battle turned into a one sided-match as the Alaska Aces dismantled the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 87-70, at the start of their best-of-five championship series of the 38th PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum, last night.
The outcome was the most lopsided opening game of a championship series since Talk ‘N Text defeated Ginebra, 102-83, in the Finals of the 2011 Commissioner’s Cup.
Game 2 is set Friday.
Alaska swept Ginebra in their two meetings in the elimination round with an average winning margin of 12 points.
And last night was no exception as laska asserted its mastery over Ginebra on the get go as it raced to a blistering 14-0 start and sent the hapless Kings wobbling the rest of the way.
Their first quarter struggle was what really did the Gin Kings in.
Hounded by Alaska’s pesky defense, Ginebra could only make two of its 24 fieldgoal attempts in the opening period. Both fieldgoals came from putbacks by Vernon Macklin.
Alaska, on the other hand, shot 12-for-18 to end the first quarter with a mammoth 28-6 lead.
Ginebra barely eclipsed the all-time lowest output in any quarter in a championship series. Interestingly, it is Alaska who owned the record for futility after scoring just five points in championship series in 1997 and 2000 seasons.
Desperately looking for someone who could spark the Kings, Ginebra head coach Al Francis Chua fielded in Mark Caguioa in the 10:34 mark of the second period.
Caguioa had missed several games due to a foot injury that he suffered in February.
The Kings, however, still struggled as the Aces took a fat 22-point lead at the bend, 46-24.
Caguioa played for at least five minutes, going for one-for-three from the field and committed three fouls and a turnover.
Alaska went on to lead by 30 points in the third period and the best Ginebra could do was to move within 12 points, 69-81 in the final 1:50.
RJ Jazul came off the bench to top score for the Aces with 16 markers.
Import Rob Dozier scattered 22 rebounds, 14 points, three blocks and two steals in another solid showing for the Aces, who had 25 assists compared to the Kings 13.
Vernon Macklin paced the Kings with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
Point guard L.A Tenorio tallied 14 markers but didn’t have a single assist.
ALASKA (87)- Jazul 16, Dozier 14, Thoss 12, Abueva 10, Casio 10, Baguio 10, Espinas 9, Dela Cruz 4, Hontiveros 2, Belasco 0.
GINEBRA (70)- Macklin 16, Tenorio 14, Raymundo 9, Helterbrand 7, Espiritu 6, Labagala 4, Urbiztondo 4, Maierhofer 4, Mamaril 2, Caguioa 2, Ellis 1, Baracael 1, Wilson 0, Hatfield 0.QUARTERSCORES: 28-6, 46-24, 67-48, 87-70.