ALASKA turned to its bench to put away Columbian, 94-72, on Wednesday night for its first win in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Carl Bryan Cruz finished with 20 points and nine rebounds while Jake Pascual added 13 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks as the two more than made up for the absence of Vic Manuel, JVee Casio, Simon Enciso, and Kevin Racal due to injuries.
Cruz and Pascual also got a lot of help from several bench players as the Aces bounced back following their loss to Rain or Shine in their season debut last Sunday.
“Really proud of our defense, clearly won us the game,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton. “We had two days to prepare and we talked about this game being an opportunity to bounce back from the absolute whooping that we got from Rain or Shine.”
The Dyip dropped to 2-4 after losing a third straight game.
Cruz, Pascual, and Ping Exciminiano combined for 23 of Alaska’s 46 points in the first half while rookie MJ Ayaay spearheaded a third-quarter salvo that saw the Aces outscore the Dyip, 22-14.
The Aces, who only had 10 players in uniform, led by as many as 30 points, 89-59.
Exciminiano scored 12 points while Chris Banchero added 10 points for the Aces. Davon Potts also contributed nine points while Ayaay had eight points in only his second game in the PBA.
“We only dressed 10 players and all 10 of them played, and I thought all of them play hard. I appreciate their efforts,” Compton said.
CJ Perez scored 15 points while Jackson Corpuz added 12 points and six rebounds for Columbian.
Alaska (94) – Cruz 20, Pascual 13, Exciminiano 12, Banchero 10, Potts 9, Teng 8, Ayaay 8, Baclao 6, Galliguez 4, Thoss 4.
Columbian (72) – Perez 15, Corpuz 12, Khobuntin 8, Cabrera 6, Reyes 5, Gabriel 5, Escoto 5, Calvo 4, Cahilig 4, Camson 4, Tabi 2, McCarthy 2, Agovida 0.
Quarters: 20-13; 46-36; 68-50; 94-72.