ALASKA played with a lot of fire in its belly and routed a spiritless Rain or Shine squad, 94-79, for its first win in the PBA Governors Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday night.
Sophomore guard JV Casio torched Rain or Shine’s perimeter defense behind his timely three-point shots to finish with 21 points in a huge supporting role to bull-strong import Wendell McKines, who led the Aces with 30 points and 13 rebounds.
“Today, they (Aces) had fire in their eyes. We want to get in the top four because the conference is short so we take advantage of our opportunities with our fresh lineup,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo after the game.
Unlike in its first outing - an 88-91 loss to Globalport last week, the Aces played with a lot of energy, feeding off from the hustle plays provided by McKines.
Trillo said he didn’t expect Rain or Shine to have an anemic game, though he credited the team’s strong start enabled the Aces to pull away as early as the first half.
“We didn’t expect Rain or Shine to play like this since they are coming off a loss to Petron. I thought we’ll be in for a battle, but we made a couple of shots from the outside early, then got some help from Wendell in the end,” added Trillo, who steered Alaska to the Commissioner’s Cup title last May.
Rain or Shine missed the services of last season’s Rookie of the Year Paul Lee, who is out with a sprained right ankle.
Head coach Yeng Guiao was likewise ejected late in the game after incurring his second technical foul for arguing with the referees.
Import Arizona Reid tried to will the team back but fell short. He led the E-Painters with 22 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks in 43 minutes of play.
Chris Tiu and Jeff Chan were the only other double-figure scorers with 10 points apiece for Rain or Shine, which dropped to an even 2-2 record after suffering their second straight loss.