ALASKA banked on a superb effort from its import and ample support from the locals to repulse Talk ‘N Text, 112-104, on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena and keep in step with the leaders of the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Wendell McKines registered 38 points and 16 boards that went with two blocks to power the Aces to their third win in five games for a share of third place with Barako Bull.
“We had Wendell in his comfort zone,” Aces coach Luigi Trillo said.
The Aces, who also had six locals scoring at least eight points, spoiled the return of Texters skipper Jimmy Alapag as TNT dropped below .500 with a 2-3 win-loss card.
Alapag just came back from a vacation in the US, while Gilas teammates Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, and Larry Fonacier are still trying their way back to the team after their recent stint with Gilas Pilipinas.
“All around, obviously they’re still not in sync with the Gilas guys still adjusting,” Trillo said.
McKines fired 18 of his total output in the second quarter as the import did his damage early.
But it was Sonny Thoss, Dondon Hontiveros, and RJ Jazul who conspired in the fourth quarter to keep the Tropang Texters at bay.
The Texters came to within six points, before Thoss scored on a tough lefty layup that made it 106-98 for the Aces with less than three minutes remaining.
The Aces started to break the game wide open in the third quarter where they scored a season-high 38 points, nine from Thoss, who tallied a double-double of 16 points and 11 boards.
Alaska (112) -- McKines 38, Thoss 16, Baguio 15, Espinas 9, Hontiveros 9, Jazul 8, Dela Cruz 8, Casio 6, Abueva 3.
TNT (104) -- Mitchell 30, De Ocampo 17, Castro 15, Anthony 10, Peek 9, Alapag 7, Al-Hussaini 6, Aban 6, Fonacier 4, Reyes 0, Carey 0.
Quarterscores: 19-16; 48-48; 86-76; 112-104.