JV Casio missed his second straight game with a knee injury but his absence hardly mattered as Alaska downed Globalport, 93-85, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Import Robert Dozier led the team with 26 points and 18 rebounds while rookie Calvin Abueva contributed 15 points and added seven boards off the bench in just 27 minutes of action as the Aces bounced back from a 74-68 loss to Air21 last Friday.
The win kept Alaska on top of the standings with a 7-2 win-loss record, half game ahead of No. 2 Petron Blaze (6-2), despite the absence of Casio.
In the other game, Mark Caguioa fired 28 points as Barangay Ginebra defeated Talk N’ Text, 107-100, for its second straight victory. Ginebra improved to 3-5.
Casio has been sidelined with an injury on his left knee, specifically the patellofemoral syndrome (bones).
According to Trillo, the knee injury of Casio was similar to the one he had when he was still with the original Gilas Pilipinas two years ago. He missed the first five games of his rookie campaign with Powerade last season.
“It’s a collective effort on our part. Malaking kawalan si JV ‘coz he settles the game down,” said Trillo. “Nawala kami sa focus last game when they (Air21) went physical in the first half. But we established ourselves early in this game.”
Trillo will try to test Casio in practice on Wednesday before Alaska battles defending champion San Mig Coffee on Saturday, also at the Big Dome.
“We want to make sure JV’s gotten taken care of. He can’t run with it, he’s in pain. What he needs for now is therapy,” he added.
In Casio’s place, Raffy Reyes had eight points, three rebounds and two assists. The son of former pro Elmer Reyes started for the Aces and played 30 minutes.
Alaska dictated the tempo and led by as many as 16, 46-30, midway in the first half.
The Batang Pier climbed their way back behind the efforts of Gary David, Sol Mercado and Willie Miller, whose spin move to the basket for a tough layup trimmed the deficit to just four points, 76-72, with seven minutes left to play.
Alaska answered with a decisive 15-7 run with the 6-foot-2 Abueva (seven points) and the 6-foot-9 Dozier (six points) taking turns in nailing the crucial shots, giving the Aces a 91-79 advantage with 2:03 remaining in the game.
Globalport dropped to 2-7 after suffered its sixth straight defeat – the longest this conference
Miller led Globalport with 22 points, while David added 20 and Mercado had 13. Import Walter Sharpe, who replaced current San Miguel import Justin Williams, was held to just two points on 1-of-7 shooting before fouling out midway in the final quarter.