Sunday, 10 April 2011

Alaska, Ginebra aim to close out q'finals series vs foes

Posted by chardyboy on Sunday, April 10, 2011 0 comments


Alaska and Barangay Ginebra eye repeat wins over their respective quarterfinals foes and book the two remaining semifinal spots in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Sunday at the Astrodome.

The Aces hope to ride the momentum of their dramatic 91-89 come-from-behind win over the Air21 Express Friday night, while the Kings try to follow up their 100-91 domination of Rain or Shine also the same day.

All eyes obviously will be on the best-of-three series between the Aces and Express, following their Game 1 battle turned out to be a classic after Alaska came back from an eight-point deficit in the final three minutes to pull off the win.

LA Tenorio ignited the Aces' huge endgame rally by firing three pressure-packed three-pointers in one stretch, before Sonny Thoss delivered the winning shot with a one-handed follow-up with four-tenths of a second left in the game.

Prior to Tenorio's heroics and Thoss' game-winner, Alaska seemed to be at the losing end of the match as it was staring at a 76-84 deficit with 3:29 left.

The Aces clinched the win despite getting clobbered off the boards, 61-46, 33 of which were at the offensive end that allowed the Express to score a season-best 35 in second-chance points.

Despite the morale-boosting win, Alaska coach Tim Cone said the series is far from over. "It's not over until it's over, as they say. But I'd rather be 1-0 up than 1-0 down.'

And past experience also tells Cone not to get carried away with a mere victory.

"The last time we were in this situation, we lost," said the Alaska mentor, recalling an incident in last conference's Philippine Cup quarterfinals. "We won against Ginebra in Game One but lost the next two games. So we have to be careful."

A victory by the Aces in the 4 p.m. Game 2 of the series will shove them to a semis duel with the top-seeded Talk 'N Text in a best-of-five affair.

The Kings are also looking to put the finishing touches in their own quarterfinals series against the Elasto Painters, although coach Jong Uichico remains cautious against their sixth-seeded opponent who trailed for the most past of their series opener.

"We have to be ready to grind the game out," said the Ginebra coach.

A major factor that contributed to Rain or Shine's downfall was the inability of import Hassan Adams to assert himself both offensively and defensively.

The Kings held down the only import with NBA credentials in this year's batch to a conference-low 12 points behind a 4-of-11 shooting.

And coach Yeng Guiao admitted that it is imperative for Adams to contribute more if the Elasto Painters are to remain in the run for a semifinals berth.

"Hassan has to step up and assert himself," stressed Guiao. "The series is not yet over. I'm happy with my locals. We just need to challenge their three-point shots and work harder defending their import." - JVP, GMA News


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