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Alaska clinches last semis seat with rout of TNT in decider


By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--The PBA Commissioner's Cup Final Four are now known.

Alaska completed the conference semifinal cast after blowing out erstwhile champions Talk 'n Text, 99-81, in the deciding game of their best-of-three quarterfinal series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday night.

The Aces, who played sans Vic Manuel due to injury, used a second quarter storm to pull away from the Tropa and clinch the last semifinal seat.

Coach Alex Compton made an interesting move by not starting Rob Dozier and Calvin Abueva, but it paid dividends as the two tallied 20 and 18 points respectively as substitutes for Alaska, which will face Meralco in the semifinals beginning Monday night.

Dozier and Abueva, however, may need to exert more effort against the Bolts as Manuel is expected to sit out for two weeks or basically the entire best-of-five semifinals.

David Simon also finished with 20 markers for Talk 'n Text in a game where star guard Jayson Castro was limited to six.

Box Scores:

Alaska 99-Dozier 20, Abueva 18, Menk 10, Baguio 8, Dela Cruz 8, Exciminiano 8, Hontiveros 8, Thoss 8, Jazul 7, Baclao 4, Banchero 0

Talk 'n Text 81-Simon 20, Fonacier 19, Rosario 13, De Ocampo 8, Castro 6, R Reyes 5, Tautuaa 4, Carey 2, Rosser 2, Williams 2, Ababou 0

Quarterscores: 21-21, 53-37, 77-57, 99-81

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno