ALASKA outdueled Tropang TNT, 108-100, in a battle featuring new imports to get on the winning track in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Shane Edwards made an impressive debut as a replacement for Rob Dozier, tallying 36 points and 20 boards to lead the Aces, who atoned for a shock loss to Blackwater last week.
The Aces also added to the misery of the Texters, who absorbed a third straight loss after starting the conference with a win.
“I’m really happy with the effort against a first-rate, well-coached team,” Aces coach Alex Compton said.
“It helps if you have a good import, who plays well,” he added, referring to Edwards, who had the last laugh over TNT counterpart David Simon after the Texters reinforcement also dominated with 35 points, 19 boards, and four blocks.
The Aces actually trailed in the first three quarters, before launching a familiar comeback in the payoff period where they outscored the Texters, 35-22, to turn the game around.
Edwards led the fightback, scoring 10 of his output in the final frame, where playmakers RJ Jazul and JVee Casio combined for 13 points.
The Texters squandered an early 13-point lead, but Simon tried to salvage the result by towing the Texters in the fourth, scoring on a left-handed layup that pulled his team to within 102-99 in the last minute.
But Vic Manuel retaliated with a floater off Calvin Abueva, then Jazul buried two charities to seal the deal.
ALASKA 108 – Edwards 36, Jazul 13, Manuel 13, Abueva 11, Banchero 9, Baguio 8, Casio 7, Thoss 6, Dela Rosa 3, Eman 2, Exciminiano 0, Racal 0
TROPANG TNT 100 – Simon 35, Rosser 14, De Ocampo 13, Rosario 12, Castro 11, Fonacier 6, Reyes R. 3, Reyes J. 3, Tautuaa 3, Carey 0, Nuyles 0
Quarterscores: 24-26, 44-53, 73-78, 108-100