ALASKA sustained its resurgence by dismantling the Kia Picanto, 102-65, in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces’ trademark suffocating defense surfaced and translated into easy baskets, especially in the third quarter where they outscored the Picanto, 36-5, to spark the blowout.
Jeron Teng continued to live up to expectations as he registered 23 points, nine boards, two assists, and one steal to lead the balanced effort of the Aces, who notched their second straight win to get to .500 at 2-2.
The Aces also kept the Picanto winless in the conference after four games, handing them their 16th straight loss dating back last season - the longest losing streak in the league in the last decade.
“I thought our defensive energy was a little undirected in the first half and in the second half, it was a little more focused,” Aces coach Alex Compton said. “And it was one of those nights when Kia missed some shots, we got it going a little bit.”
The Aces held the hapless Picanto to just 32.4-percent shooting after making just 24-of-74 shots, highlighting their defense in that telling third quarter.
The Picanto’s five points in the third quarter was their lowest output in a quarter in franchise history and the lowest by any team in a quarter since Alaska also scored five points in the first quarter of Game One of All-Filipino Cup Finals against San Miguel Beer.
On offense, the Aces leaned on seven players scoring at least eight points each, with Carl Bryan providing Teng with the most support with 16 points on three treys, along with nine boards, one assist, and one steal without a turnover in 17 minutes off the bench.
The Aces kept the foot on the gas pedal in the payoff period as they led by as many as 40 points, 86-46, after a Jake Pascual layup halfway through the period.
ALASKA 102 — Teng 23, Cruz 16, Banchero 11, Abueva 10, Manuel 10, Pascual 10, Enciso 8, Galliguez 5, Thoss 5, Exciminiano 2, Potts 2, Casio 0, Racal 0
KIA 65 — McCarthy 16, Camson 15, Tubid 13, Ababou 5, Caperal 4, Reyes 4, Cabrera 3, Celda 3, Yee 2, Galanza 0, Jamon 0, Paniamogan 0, Sara 0
Quarterscores: 20-21, 39-34, 75-39, 102-65