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    Alaska gives playoff hopes a timely boost as Meralco falls flat again

    Mar 20, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    ALASKA snapped a three-game losing skid on Wednesday night, handily beating Meralco, 92-77, to pump life into its sagging playoff hopes in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    The injury-plagued Aces got a timely boost from the return to full health of Jvee Casio and Kevin Racal, who helped the team improve to 4-5 (win-loss) and tie idle NLEX for a share of sixth place in the standings.

    Jeron Teng tallied 16 points, seven rebounds, and three assists while Simon Enciso added 14 points, including back-to-back three-pointers in a 15-2 run that gave the Aces their biggest lead in the game, 60-44.

    Alaska coach Alex Compton is happier with a defense that held the Bolts below 80 points,

    “Felt we did a bunch of things better today. We were much better defensively. The fact that we held them to 77 points is something that we are happy about,” he said.

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    Sonny Thoss contributed 13 points while Chris Banchero had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Aces, who also got 12 and nine points from Casio and Racal, respectively, in their first game back from a long injury layoff.

    Nico Salva had 23 points for the Bolts, who lost a second straight game and fell to 3-7, leaving their playoff hopes hanging by a thread.

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    The scores:

    Alaska 92 – Teng 16, Enciso 14, Banchero 13, Thoss 13, Casio 12, Racal 9, Cruz 7, Pascual 6, Baclao 2, Exciminiano 0, Ayaay 0.

    Meralco 77 – Salva 23, Canaleta 18, Newsome 11, Amer 8, Quinto 5, Hodge 3, Hugnatan 2, Pinto 2, Jackson 1, Faundo 0, Caram 0.

    Quarters: 20-16; 45-38; 69-57; 92-77.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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