ALASKA continued to roll in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, cruising to its seventh straight victory with a 120-111 win over NLEX Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Antonio Campbell fired 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds, as Vic Manuel was a perfect dance partner anew with his double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Aces grabbed a share of the top spot with Rain or Shine at 7-1.
More importantly, Alaska finally got over the hump that was NLEX, winning its first after losing its last six duels in their head-to-head matchup.
However, the breakthrough victory wouldn’t have been possible after the Aces squandered an 18-point lead in the second quarter, seeing Arnett Moultrie lead the Road Warriors back in the second half to even hold a 93-88 lead early in the payoff period.
“I think we got a little happy in the first quarter, then I felt NLEX smashed us in the mouth and beat us most of the third,” sighed coach Alex Compton. “We're just fortunate to make plays at the end.”
The Campbell-Manuel connection did wonders for Alaska from that point on as it went on a 16-4 run to grab a 104-97 lead with a little less than six minutes to play, leading to Chris Banchero and Simon Enciso closing the game out strong for their side.
JVee Casio added 16 points, Enciso and Kevin Racal got 13 each, and Banchero poured 12 as the Aces made 14 of their 24 three-point shots.
Moultrie carried NLEX with 34 points and eight rebounds, but the former NBA player failed to stop his team from losing its third straight game to fall to 2-7.
JR Quiñahan got 17 points and five boards, while the trio of Cyrus Baguio, Alex Mallari, and rookie Mac Tallo all chimed in 11.
ALASKA 120 — Campbell 28, Manuel 22, Casio 16, Enciso 13, Racal 13, Banchero 12, R. Pascual 6, Thoss 6, Exciminano 4, Baclao 0, Galliguez 0, Magat 0.
NLEX 111 — Moultrie 34, Quiñahan 17, Baguio 11, Mallari 11, Tallo 11, Tiongson 9, Ighalo 4, Miranda 4, Marcelo 3, Uyloan 3, Soyud 2, Taulava 2, Monfort 0.
Quarters: 28-14, 55-48, 88-86, 120-111.