ANTIPOLO – Alaska won with its offense for a change as it outdueled GlobalPort, 133-106, on Wednesday night at the Ynares Center to build momentum heading into the homestretch of the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations.
The defense-oriented Aces came out firing from all angles from the get-go and sustained it until the end as they scored a league season high to emerge victorious for the third time in four games and fourth overall against five losses.
The Aces also stayed alive in the playoff race after moving within the eight-team line into seventh spot in a tie with Rain or Shine and NLEX.
LaDontae Henton was at the forefront of the attack with 33 points and 13 boards, while Calvin Abueva and Chris Banchero provided significant support the Aces, who handed the Batang Pier their sixth loss in nine games.
“It may have been a season-high (in points), but all we talked about was defense,” Aces coach Alex Compton said. “It sounds funny, but I really think our defense was the key in this game.”
Abueva made the most of his rare start as he did most of his work early, scoring all his 21 points in the first three quarters as the Commissioner’s Cup Best Player added eight boards, three assists, and two blocks in just 26 minutes.
Banchero chipped in 20 points, including nine in the final frame where the Aces, hardly showing signs of rust from a 10-day break, pulled away and built their biggest lead at 27.
Terrence Romeo registered 26 points, six assists, four boards, and two steals against four turnovers, including a few traveling violations that failed to get GlobalPort’s rhythm going.
Mike Glover and Stanley Pringle also reached the 20-point barrier in a losing effort for the Batang Pier.
ALASKA 33 – Henton 33, Abueva 21, Banchero 20, Casio 13, Thoss 13, Jazul 10, Baclao 6, Galliguez 6, Racal 6, Exciminiano 2, Mendoza 2, Hontiveros 1, Magat 0
GLOBALPORT 106 – Romeo 26, Glover 25, Pringle 20, Yeo 11, Semerad 9, Washington 6, Taha 5, Mamaril 4, Dehesa 0, Fortuna 0, Kramer 0, Paredes 0
Quarterscores: 29-25, 57-48, 95-84, 133-106