After a see-saw battle until the third quarter, Alaska pulled away in the final period to take a 107-91 win over Mahindra in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday.
Alaska improved to 5-4 in the standings, still with a shot at the top 2 spot. With the loss, Mahindra is no longer in the running for a quarterfinals berth. Meralco and NLEX were also eliminated.
Meanwhile, Ginebra’s hopes for a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarters took a minor hit after losing to Phoenix, 79-73, in the second game.
The Fuel Masters, who led wire-to-wire, moved one step closer in clinching a quarterfinals berth and climbed up to second place in the standings at 6-4. The Gin Kings slid down to 5-5.
Matthew Wright: 18 points (7/11 FG), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal
The rookie was held scoreless in the first half but exploded in the last two quarters, holding the fort down for Phoenix when Ginebra tried to make a comeback.
Sol Mercado (Ginebra): 3 points (1/5 FG), 6 rebounds, 3 turnovers
On a night where Ginebra was playing without Japeth Aguilar, I was expecting Mercado (or at least someone else) to step up and provide some offense. But in 25 minutes of action, he only contributed 3 points.
What’s in a number?
26 – That’s how many points Ginebra scored in the first two quarters. You can’t expect to win with just 26 points at halftime, can you?
Mahindra may have lost the game, but Alex Mallari gets the highlight of the night. Midway in the second period, Mallari drove between two defenders, got bumped and flipped the ball in for the and-1 play. He finished with 23 points, 8 assists and 3 steals.
Photo from PBA Media Bureau