ALASKA continued its never-say-die run in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals as the eighth seed stunned No. 1 ranked TNT in a 108-72 blowout on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Just days after an overtime win over Meralco in a sudden-death match for the final spot in the quarterfinals, the Aces opened leads as big as 38 points to drag the twice-to-beat Beermen to a do-or-die game.
Heroes were aplenty for the Aces with Diamon Simpson and Jeron Teng leading six players in double figures in a game where the eight seeds never trailed after overcoming an early 8-6 TNT lead.
By snapping an eight-game winning streak of a KaTropa side that finished the preliminaries with a 10-1 record, the Aces earned a shot at a semifinal spot when the two teams square off again on Wednesday, also at the Big Dome.
Simpson led the way for the Aces with 15 points and 19 rebounds as he more than held his own against TNT's heralded import Terrence Jones. Teng also had a double-double after contributing 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Jayson Castro topscored with 23 points as Jones was held to 19 points for the KaTropa, who only got two points from top gunner RR Pogoy.
Alaska coach Alex Compton praised the hardwork of the entire team.
“Definitely didn’t see that coming,” Compton said. “I think a big part of it is [the KaTropa] missed shots they normally make. These games happen. They happen to great teams and Talk ‘N Text is a great team.”
The loss was the second worst defeat of TNT in franchise history, according to PBA statistics chief Fidel Mangonon. It was also the team's worst loss in a palyoff game.
TNT shot just 29 percent from the field compared to the 42 percent of Alaska. The KaTropa gave up 36 points in the third quarter and trailed, 87-60, entering the final quarter.
Alaska 108 – Simpson 15, Teng 15, Enciso 14, Banchero 14, Manuel 13, Cruz 11, Casio 8, Racal 7, Galliguez 5, Exciminiano 2, Baclao 2, Ayaay 2, Thoss 0, Pascual 0.
TNT 72 – Castro 23, Jones 19, Rosario 9, Taha 5, Reyes 4, Magat 4, A. Semerad 3, Pogoy 2, Heruela 2, Trollano 1, D. Semerad 0, Washington 0, Golla 0, Casino 0.
Quarters: 27-18; 53-41; 87-60; 108-72.