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    Hontiveros regains scoring touch as Alaska holds off Meralco to halt slide

    Dec 18, 2013

    ALASKA’s defense held Meralco to just one field goal in the final four minutes as it snapped out of a two-game slide with a huge 91-82 victory over the Bolts in their PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    Heroes were aplenty for the Aces, who caught up with their victims at 3-5 following the victory.

    Dondon Hontiveros scored a personal season-high 24 points, while Cyrus Baguio banged in eight of the Aces’ last 10 points to break away from a 79-all standoff late in the game.

    The high-leaping Baguio finished with 21 points, while Alaska strongman Sonny Thoss added 20 and Gabby Espinas came down with his own career-best 23 rebounds.

    “Just really proud of the whole team. Gabby Espinas just career game. I haven’t seen him so motivated, controlling the boards and controlling his temper,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo.

    “Dondon has struggled for quite some time now, but he played really well also tonight.”

    The Aces managed to take good care of the basketball, limiting their turnovers to just eight. Alaska also held a huge 15-6 on turnover points, which enabled the Aces to put behind them a poor start for the season.

    Meralco, which claimed huge wins over Barangay Ginebra and San Mig Super Coffee the past two weeks, absorbed its second straight setback.

    The Bolts are coming off a 73-77 loss to unbeaten Petron Blaze on Saturday in the season’s first out-of-town game in Dipolog City.

    Mike Cortez paced the Bolts with a near double-double of 23 points and eight assists.

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    Gary David and Reynel Hugnatan each scored 15 for Meralco, which returns to action on Sunday against Barako Bull.

    The scores:

    ALASKA (91) -- Hontiveros 24, Baguio 23, Thoss 20, Abueva 9, Espinas 7, Casio 4, Dela Cruz 2, Jazul 2, Exciminiano 0, Eman 0.

    MERALCO (82) -- Cortez 22, David 15, Hugnatan 15, Wilson 10, Al-Hussaini 8, Dillinger 8, Sena 4, Timberlake 0, Salvacion 0, Guevarra 0.

    Quarterscores: 22-19; 50-45; 68-66; 91-82.

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