ALASKA once again showed its defensive ferocity in a 106-80 drubbing of Blackwater to kick off its PBA Governors Cup campaign on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces tore the game apart in the third quarter behind a trademark backcourt trapping defense which carried the team to a runner-up finish in the Philippine Cup but wasn't as effective during a playoff letdown in the Commissioner's Cup.
The 14-time PBA champion collected 11 turnover points during that stretch alone, building as much as a 75-43 lead.
Import Romeo Travis led the Aces by scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, providing the inside presence and perimeter shooting for a team that is raring to redeem itself from the Commissioner’s Cup letdown.
“Our guys played hard so it was a good start for us,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton. “One of the thing I wrote in our pre-game was to play strong defensively for 48 minutes and I thought the guys came out and did a good job.”
Alaska forced Blackwater to 21 turnovers, which the Aces translated into a sizeable 26-11 turnovers points advantage.
The Aces also had more fastbreak points, 19-8, while also dominating the paint, 56-30.
Three other Alaska players scored in double figures, with JV Casio and rookie Chris Banchero contributing 13 points apiece and Cyrus Baguio scoring 12.
Marcus Douthit was the lone bright spot for the woeful Elite, finishing with 28 points and 16 rebounds.
Alaska 106 - Travis 18, Casio 13, Banchero 13, Baguio 12, Abueva 9, Jazul 7, Manuel 6, Dela Rosa 6, Exciminiano 6, Menk 6, Thoss 4, Baclao 2, Hontiveros 2, Eman 2, Dela Cruz 0.
Blackwater 80 - Douthit 28, Gamalinda 10, Salvacion 9, Cervantes 7, Bulawan 5, Timberlake 4, Reyes 4, Erram 4, Heruela 4, Acuna 3, Faundo 2, Celiz 0, Laure 0.
Quarterscores: 26-17, 55-41, 85-58, 106-80