THE real Alaska showed up in the second half as it pummeled Phoenix, 105-89, to continue to roll in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
After allowing the Fuel Masters to score 30 points in the second quarter, the Aces recommitted to the defensive end of the floor after intermission to gain command for good on the way to their third successive victory after starting the conference with a loss.
The Fuel Masters, on the other end, continued their own three-game run – on the losing end, however – to drop to a 1-3 win-loss record.
“Our defensive energy was fantastic in the second half,” Aces coach Alex Compton said. “I believe that was the biggest difference.”
Shane Edwards continued to make a case to be the Aces’ permanent import as he registered 33 points and 16 boards in 32 minutes, while Vic Manuel provided the spark off the bench with 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting in just 24 minutes.
“Shane was a track star out there as he kept running and running, and Vic continues to be awesome,” Compton said.
The Aces’ energy emanated from the defensive end as they turned to their usual full-court pressure that forced the Fuel Masters to commit 26 errors that translated to 33 turnover points and 26 off the fast break.
Alaska’s defense limited Phoenix to just 41 points in the second half after allowing the new franchise to score 30 points in the second quarter, alone.
Kevinn Pinkney paced the Fuel Masters with 27 points, 12 boards, three assists, two blocks, and two steals against eight turnovers in a losing effort.
ALASKA 105 – Edwards 33, Manuel 26, Thoss 12, Abueva 8, Banchero 7, Jazul 6, Baguio 4, Casio 3, Dela Cruz 2, Exciminiano 2, Racal 2, Eman 0, Hontiveros 0, Vanlandingham 0
PHOENIX 89 – Pinkney 27, Garcia 15, Intal 14, Wilson 10, Monfort 8, Baracael 6, Pennisi 3, Brondial 2, Lanete 2, Miranda 2, Caperal 0, Forrester 0, Knuttel 0, Sorongon 0
Quarterscores: 19-18, 43-48, 76-68, 105-89