PBA: Dozier saves the day as Alaska snaps losing slide
MANILA, Philippines - Rob Dozier scored key baskets late in the game to help the Alaska Aces break out of a tight encounter against the Air21 Express, 88-78 in the PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner's Cup on Monday, March 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The reigning Commissioner's Cup Best Import scored 8 of Alaska's final 16 points to help the defending champions eke out a come-from-behind win and get out of the cellar.
The Aces snapped a two-game losing slide to improve to 2-3 while the Express went down to 2-2.
Rob Dozier topscored with 23 points and 9 rebounds while Sonny Thoss added a double-double, chipping in 14 points and 12 boards.
"It feels like a mountain. It's super big," said Alaska head coach Luigi Trillo after the match.
"I though in the first few games we were playing with frustration; there's a big bullseye on our chest."
With the game last tied at 70 apiece in the final 6:17, the Alaska Aces banked on their import, who scored 6 in a 12-4 run that pushed Alaska comfortably ahead, 82-74 with just 1:10 left.
The Aces also defended Air21 well, preventing any field goal in a span of 5 minutes before Mac Cardona hit a basket to make it 76-82.
But free throws by Dozier and a key block on the other end shut the doors on the Express; RJ Jazul and Sonny Thoss pushed the lead up to 10 just before the final buzzer sounded.
It was a tight affair with both teams combining for 10 deadlocks and 8 lead changes.
Alaska - Dozier 23, Thoss 14, Abueva 13, Casio 10, Jazul 10, Hontiveros 6, Baguio 6, Dela Cruz 2, Espinas 2, Manuel 2, Reyes 0.
Air21 - Yeo 19, Lamizana 16, Taulava 11, Cardona 10, Borboran 9, Villanueva 5, Ramos 4, Burtscher 2, Atkins 2, Jaime 0, Poligrates 0.
Quarter scores: 19-16, 38-41, 61-62, 88-78. - Rappler.com