Ginebra tightens hold on the top spot, Alaska keeps their playoff hopes alive

Alaska 101 – GlobalPort 88

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After a 14-game losing streak, the Alaska Aces have now started a winning streak to keep their playoff hopes alive. Building on a big win over the San Miguel Beermen, the Aces have won their second straight game over the GlobalPort Batang Pier.

The Aces looked like their old selves to start the game. Led by Buck Henton, they teamed up to open a 23-10 run in the first quarter. But that big lead wouldn’t last the half as the Batang Pier slowly chipped away and mounted a comeback in the second quarter to turn it into a tight contest. Murphey Holloway and Mark Cardona led the Batang Pier with Stanley Pringle out and Terrence Romeo misfiring. The game was tied entering the fourth quarter.

Calvin Abueva woke up in the final period. The Beast score all of his 12 points in the final period as he teamed up with Henton to help the Aces rebuild a double-digit lead. Abueva was unstoppable getting into the paint and he also found the range on his jumper as he scored bucket after bucket to help Alaska pull away for the win.

The Aces’ record now stands at 2-6 and they’re currently at 10th place. They’ll need to win their remaining games to vault over the Batang Pier and the Blackwater Elite for a quarterfinals slot.

Ginebra 91 – Blackwater 88

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The Blackwater Elite have proven to a lot of people that they are a team on the rise. They were upset hungry and looking to take down league-leading Barangay GInebra. For the first three quarters of the game, it seemed like the upset would become a reality as the Elite held a two-point lead heading into the final period. But Ginebra exploded for 29 points in the fourth quarter while holding the Elite to just 10 points to earn their seventh straight win.

After Henry Walker tied the game at 75-all in the fourth quarter, Ginebra went on a 10-0 run that turned the tide and gave them the lead for good. It started with a Kevin Ferrer trey from the corner. LA Tenorio then followed it up with a jumper from the right baseline. The Ginebra defense porduced a turnover on the other end which resulted in Tenorio hitting a floater in the paint on the break. Greg Slaughter added two free throws to help Ginebra build a double-digit lead. Tenorio and Slaughter continued to pour it on in the final minutes of the final period to close out the win.

Greg Slaughter led Ginebra in scoring with 22 points off the bench. Justin Brownlee showcased his versatility once again with 17 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, four blocks and a steal. LA Tenorio scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. Japeth Aguilar and Joe Devance combined for 25 points and nine rebounds.

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