ALASKA pounced on a struggling Blackwater, coasting to a 93-74 decision to get on the winning track in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces built an early lead that ballooned to 30 points, before shrugging off a late rally by the Elite to atone for their 109-103 overtime loss to Rain or Shine last Friday.
Vic Manuel provided a huge spark off the bench, pouring in 27 points in 18 minutes. Calvin Abueva's contagious energy and Tony Campbell's steadying baskets made sure his solid effort didn’t go to waste as the Aces handed the Elite their third straight loss.
The Elite did try to climb from that huge hole with a furious fightback that saw them pull to within seven points, before giving in down the stretch.
“Credit to coach Leo, I don’t know what he said at halftime, but it obviously worked,” Aces coach Alex Compton said. “We played well in the first half, but we knew had to keep it going after that.”
The Aces established a 49-19 cushion late in the second quarter, before the Elite finally put up a fight in the third quarter where they outscored the Aces, 27-12, to nudge to within single digits.
Alaska then regained its bearings behind Manuel, who scattered 15 of his output in the payoff period to lead the breakaway.
Fresh off a 40-point performance , Campbell registered 23 points and missed a 20-20 by just one rebound, completing his effort with two assists, one steal, and one block in 31 minutes.
Abueva scored just three points, but hauled down 10 rebounds, dished out six assists, and added two steals, and two blocks in just 22 minutes off the bench.
Jarrid Famous led the Elite with 27 points, 21 caroms, and three blocks in 38 minutes that went for naught as he found little help from the locals outside Poy Erram, who put up a 11 points and 11 rebounds.
ALASKA 93 — Manuel 27, Campbell 23, Enciso 7, Exciminiano 7, Magat 6, Racal 5, Teng 5, Baclao 4, Abueva 3, Banchero 2, Casio 2, Thoss 2, Galliguez 0.
BLACKWATER 74 — Famous 27, Erram 11, DiGregorio 9, Sumang 9, Belo 5, Marcelo 4, Sena 4, Banal 2, Maliksi 2, Jose 1, Cruz 0, Palma 0, Pinto 0
Quarterscores: 27-11, 54-29, 66-56, 93-74