Calvin Abueva sizzles as Alaska turns back NLEX

Alaska overcame a gritty NLEX side, 104-96, to move up the rankings in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

Sporting a new do, Calvin Abueva fired 23 points and hauled down 8 rebounds as the Aces notched a chance at the #2 spot in the quarterfinals pending the result of the ongoing San Miguel-Tropang TNT game.

Comebacking import Rob Dozier chipped in a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds for Alaska, which finished the elimination round at 7-4.

Road Warriors reinforcement Al Thornton continued his high-scoring ways, posting 37 points and 10 rebounds in the loss that sent them into seventh place and a twice-to-win disadvantage in the first round of the playoffs.

With the victory, the Aces would need Tropang TNT to beat the Beermen, creating a 5-team logjam alongside Rain or Shine and Ginebra. Such scenario will give Alaska the superior quotient and will face the Tropa in a knockout match for the #2 slot. — By John Bryan Ulanday