Alaska in finals
6:15 p.m.- Talk ‘N Text vs. Barangay Ginebra
The Alaska Aces will be contending for the championship for the first time without a coach named Tim Cone.
The Aces booked their first-ever championship berth in the post-Cone era, rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit to post an 83-78 win over the dethroned defending champions San Mig Coffee Mixers last night in Game 4 of their best-of-five semifinal series of the 38th PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces won the last three games of the series and sealed their third straight victory over Cone, the tactician that buoyed the team to their first 25 finals appearances.
Alaska won 13 championships under Cone before the American coach left for San Mig in September 2011.
Now under the guidance of neophyte coach Luigi Trillo, the Aces are in the finals for the first time since winning the 2009-10 Fiesta Cup crown.
Rookie Calvin Abueva and import Robert Dozier sparked the Aces’ huge win, coming alive in the fourth period after struggling in the first three quarters.
Abueva scored 12 of his 14 points in the payoff period. Dozier only had one point going into the fourth but his first field goal of the game came at the most critical time as he hit a shotclock-beating triple that gave the Aces an 80-76 lead in the final 2:02. Dozier followed up that huge trifecta with a layup with only 1:05 left.
San Mig played without the injured James Yap but Joe De Vance and Peter June Simon took the cudgels in a searing 19-0 run that saw the Coffee Mixers turn a 29-34 deficit into a 48-34 bubble at halftime.