SMART CLARK GIGA CITY–Alaska big man Rodney Brondial got into the spotlight for a good reason this time around.
After getting summoned twice by PBA commissioner Willie Marcial for two ejections, Brondial stepped up for the Aces in an all-important game Friday at the AUF Arena.
The 29-year-old bruiser provided more than his grit and hustle as he pumped in a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds to help Alaska punch a quarterfinal ticket after outlasting NorthPort Batang Pier, 102-94.
Brondial came up big with 10 points in the crucial fourth quarter, including a triple and a free throw for a 90-76 lead with 5:54 remaining before the Milkmen doused the Batang Pier’s fightback for a 6-4 slate and a bounce-back win following an 81-87 loss to Ginebra on Tuesday.
The former Adamson University standout also joined forces with Abu Tratter and Vic Manuel to hold the fort for Alaska against the Christian Standhardinger-led NorthPort.
“Rodney was awesome today. ‘Yun ang maganda kay Rodney, he’s reliable, super reliable either he comes in and plays 10 minutes or we ask him to play 35 minutes,” said Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso.
Cariaso said it was the main reason why Alaska secured the services of the one-time champion along with Robbie Herndon in a trade with Magnolia for Chris Banchero in November last year.
“That’s how I foresee Rodney when we were thinking about trading for him. When he’s in there, he really makes a positive impact for us,” said the 48-year-old mentor.
“He’s such a team player, very unselfish. That’s why we’re lucky to have him.”