A REJUVENATED Alaska overwhelmed GlobalPort, 123-104, to gain a share of the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup lead on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Coming off an almost two-week break after back-to-back games in Dubai, the Aces came out with plenty of energy and guns blazing as they established an early lead which they sustained until the final buzzer.
The Aces’ highlighted their depth as eight players, led by Cyrus Baguio, remarkably scored in double figures for the squad, which notched a fourth win in five games to join San Miguel Beer at the top.
“I love a team that shares the basketball,” Aces coach Alex Compton said. “We emphasize moving the ball.”
The Aces also shone on defense as they limited Stanley Pringle to just 16 points on 10 attempts after the back-to-back Player of the Week awardee averaged 22.3 points in his first four games, although they let Terrence Romeo scatter 33 markers.
“Hydra has two heads and if you cut one off, you have a better chance,” Compton said as his team dealt the Batang Pier only their second loss in five games.
Compton kept his wards fresh as no one logged in more than 26 minutes of action, with Baguio needing just 21 minutes to score his team-high 17 points.
Making 51 percent (47-of-93) of their shots, the Aces wound up with the most points scored by any team this season-opening conference so far, eclipsing their own feat when they scored 114 in their opening game against Talk ‘N Text.
The Batang Pier failed to get any rhythm going as they trailed the entire encounter and came no closer than 14 points in the final frame.
Alaska 123 - Baguio 17, Manuel 16, Banchero 14, Jazul 14, Thoss 14, Menk 12, Abueva 11, Casio 10, Baclao 4, Dela Rosa 4, Hontiveros 4, Dela Cruz 3, Exciminiano 0, Racal 0.
GlobalPort 104 - Romeo 33, Pringle 16, Mamaril 13, Kramer 11, Maierhofer 10, Uyloan 6, Washington 6, Yeo 5, Jensen 2, Sumang 2, Paniamogan 0, Taha 0.
Quarterscores: 34-25, 60-50, 94-78, 123-104