PBA: Alaska sends Ginebra on brink of elimination

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 17) – The Alaska Aces returned to the hardcourt with a resounding 89-75 win over defending champions Barangay Ginebra in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Abu Tratter led the Jeff Cariaso-coached squad in scoring with 13 points as the Aces played their first game after being out for over a week due to health protocols.

Mike DiGregorio added 11 points while Robbie Herndon, Maverick Ahanmisi, and Jeron Teng each chipped in 10 markers to keep their playoff chances alive with a 3-4 record.

The win enabled Alaska to occupy the eighth spot in the team standings, while Ginebra fell to ninth place with a 4-6 record as the defending titlists are suddenly on the brink of elimination.

The Aces were dominant from the start as they limited the Ginebra bigs to a 23-8 score after the first quarter.

With a balanced team effort in all ends of the floor, Alaska prolonged its lead in the second quarter and maintained a wide margin against Ginebra in the duration of the second half.

The third quarter offensive exploits of Ginebra guard Stanley Pringle, who scored 13 of his 20 points, went for naught as the Aces raced to their biggest lead at 23, 64-41, from a Tratter charity in the 3:33 mark of the third canto.

"It feels really good to be back playing again. It feels better to be successful today. We're here for a reason, and we never forgot that. Today we survived, and then tomorrow is another battle that we're gonna face," Cariaso said in the post-game media conference.

Alaska had a better shooting percentage with 44% (34/77) compared to Ginebra's 33% (28/84), an advantage that will be its weapon in the next match against league leader TNT Tropang Giga on Saturday.

Pringle made all his 20 points in the second half to lead the Tim Cone-mentored champion squad, who faces a must-win situation in their remaining elimination game against no. 2 team Meralco next week.

The Scores:

ALASKA 89 – Tratter 13, DiGregorio 11, Teng 10, Ahanmisi 10, Herndon 10, Brondial 9, Marcelino 8, Banal 8, Casio 6, Adamos 4, Ilagan 0, Ebona 0

GINEBRA 75 – Pringle 20, Thompson 17, Standhardinger 9, Tenorio 8, Ayaay 7, Mariano 6, Tolentino 2, Devance 4, Dillinger 2, Caperal 0, R. Aguilar 0

Quarterscores: 23-8, 43-25, 66-52, 89-75