by Jonas Terrado
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – Phoenix vs Columbian
6:45 p.m. – Alaska vs Magnolia
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel shifted into high gear in the second half to beat NLEX, 93-85, last night and snap a three-game skid in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Legazpi City, Albay.
Import Justin Brownlee had 23 points and 22 rebounds in his third game since replacing Charles Garcia while four others scored in double figures as Ginebra took command for most of the first half before building a big lead after the break to register only its second victory of the conference.
Japeth Aguilar scored 13 points, Greg Slaughter posted 12 points and 10 rebounds and LA Tenorio added 10 points, four rebounds and three assists in the Petron Saturday Special contest.
Ginebra clinched to 10th place with a 2-5 record, but will need to develop a winning mentality going into the final four games of the eliminations if coach Tim Cone’s wards want to catch the quarterfinal bus.
Arnett Moultrie delivered a game-high 30 points but NLEX absorbed back-to-back defeats and fell to 11th spot at 2-6 with three matches remaining in the eliminations.
Emman Monfort was the other Road Warrior in double figures with 14 points.
Meanwhile, Calvin Abueva was handed an indefinite suspension by Alaska on the eve of the Aces’ match against the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Aces owner Wilfred Uytengsu announced the sanction yesterday after Abueva went AWOL since the end of the PBA All-Star Week two weeks ago to deal with undisclosed personal issues and will be missed in the 6:45 p.m. match against a Hotshots team that will parade new import Justin Jackson.
“The Alaska Aces have placed Calvin on indefinite suspension following his more than one week absence from practice and failing to advise the coaching staff and management of his whereabouts,” Uytengsu said in a statement.
“While we understand Calvin may be going through some troubling personal issues, it does not obviate his responsibility to his team. The suspension is effective immediately,” added Uytengsu.
Phoenix and Columbian Dyip eye crucial wins to stay in the playoff hunt in their clash set at 4:30 p.m.
GINEBRA 93 – Brownlee 23, Aguilar 13, Slaughter 12, Tenorio 10, Ferrer 9, Devance 8, Mercado 7, Thompson 5, Caguioa 4, Mariano 2, Cruz 0.
NLEX 85 – Moultrie 30, Monfort 14, Soyud 8, Quinahan 5, Miranda 5, Mallari 4, Gotladera 4, Uyloan 3, Baguio 3, Fonacier 3, Marcelo 2, Tiongson 2, Rios 2, Ighalo 0.
Quarters: 22-16; 41-35; 75-66; 93-85.