ALASKA continued to roll in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup as it scored a 109-103 come-from-behind victory over GlobalPort to stretch its streak to five on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Not even the absence of do-it-all forward Calvin Abueva – who was out due to personal reasons – could stop the Aces’ march in the midseason conference as they erased the Batang Pier’s 15 point lead in the first half behind a familiar face in Vic Manuel.
The 6-foot-4 bruiser led a 14-4 attack to close out the third quarter as the Aces took the lead for the first time, 85-83, after trailing 54-39 near the end of the first half.
Manuel then wrapped up another stellar individual performance with back to back jumpers to give the Aces their biggest lead, 105-93 with 2:48 left.
The Batang Pier cut the lead to just four points, 107-103, following a Sean Anthony three pointer with 49 seconds left but never converted from there as their late uprising fizzled out.
“I love the grit and I expected that we will need it in this game. Global is one of the grittiest team in the league. They’re physical and they play hard,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton.
Chris Banchero also came up with a huge game in a time of grief, with 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds a day after losing his best friend.
Antonio Campbell quietly racked up the numbers for the Aces with 18 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks as JV Casio and Kevin Racal added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Alaska improved to 5-1.
Malcolm White led the now 3-4 Batang Pier with 27 points and eight rebounds while Stanley Pringle added 26 points and six assists.
Alaska 109 - Manuel 22, Banchero 19, Campbell 18, Casio 12, Racal 10, Thoss 8, Teng 8, Enciso 6, Exciminiano 3, Magat 3.
GlobalPort 103 - White 27, Pringle 26, Anthony 16, Nabong 12, Javelona 7, Grey 6, Tautuaa 5, Elorde 4, Sargent 0, Teng 0, Araña 0.
Quarterscores: 20-29; 50-59; 85-83; 109-103.