Alaska Aces 114 – Phoenix Fuel Masters 91
The Alaska Aces finished the elimination round strong with a blowout win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters. With this win, the Aces not only eliminated the Fuel Masters but also secured a top two seed heading into the quarterfinals.
Alaska dominated the game from the opening period. They held a four-point lead with three minutes left in the first period and proceeded to go on a 15-2 run to close the quarter. Chris Banchero started the run with a fast break layup and a steal and Vic Manuel finished the run with six straight points. Alaska took a 17-point lead after one quarter and never looked back.
The Aces poured on the points as Manuel, Banchero and returning import Diamond Simpson all played well. Alaska’s lead grew to as big as 27 points late in the fourth period on a Simon Enciso three-pointer.
Manuel scored 28 points to lead Alaska. That makes it 10 straight 20+ point games for Manuel this conference. Banchero had 14 points and seven assists. Simpson had a monster double-double of 18 points, 19 rebounds. Alaska scored at a 52% clip and had 32 assists on their 46 made baskets.
Barangay Ginebr 116 – GlobalPort Batang Pier 98
Barangay Ginebra is rolling now. After starting the season 1-5, they closed out the elimination round with five straight double-digit wins. Their latest was a romp of the GlobalPort Batang Pier. Ginebra climbed all the way to the top six to avoid a twice-to-win situation. They’ll be battling it out in a best of three series.
Ginebra got another excellent all-around performance from Justin Brownlee as he scored 36 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out six dimes and stole the ball four times. Scottie Thompson had a near triple-double of 10 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists. LA Tenorio, Joe Devance and Japeth Aguilar all scored in double-digits. Ginebra had a whopping 39 assists on their 43 made field goals. Thompson also did an excellent defensive job on Stanley Pringle. He limited the GlobalPort guard to only 14 points and 11 shot attempts.
Ginebra held a six-point lead midway through the second period when Brownlee and Devance scored five straight points to build a double-digit lead. Brownlee continued his scoring rampage to peg the lead at 13 heading into halftime. Ginebra held on to a double-digit lead the rest of the way. A three-pointer by Aguilar late in the game gave Ginebra their biggest lead at 23. They cruised to the easy win from there.