Aces pound Gin Kings
Banking on a big third quarter, the Aces bombarded the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings from inside and out to score a 97-83 victory on Sunday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at Ynares Center in Antipolo, signaling the return to form of the traditional powerhouse that lingered in mediocrity the past two conferences.
It was the third straight win after two losses for the Aces, who made the most out of the Gin Kings’ lack in size to book the most impressive win of their run that coach Alex Compton hopes would open the gates for their return to the list of elite teams.
“There’s a small person in Greg Slaughter who didn’t play and I think he would have had an impact in this game,” Compton said in jest, referring to the absence of the 7-foot center, who suited up but was kept on the bench by coach Tim Cone because of a strained hamstring.
“You have to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.”
The Kings absorbed a second straight defeat in a 2-2 card, the same record of idle GlobalPort.
Next up for Alaska is Blackwater on Saturday and Compton is bracing for an “exciting game.”
“That’s not a team you look forward to playing anymore, because they already have the pieces,” said Compton.
In the first game, TNT Ka-Tropa found its rhythm early with Troy Rosario leading the way, pouncing on Meralco’s manpower woes to carve out an easy 99-81 victory that put the Texters back in the upper half.
Rosario dropped six triples on the way to 22 points as the Texters pulled away early and never relented on the way to rising to 3-2 overall and dealing the Bolts a third straight defeat after a season-opening victory.
Meralco missed power forwards Ranidel de Ocampo and Cliff Hodge, and aside from their size, the Bolts struggled to find people who could pick up the offensive intensity the entire night as they totaled just 36 points for the first half.
“We knew that they are undermanned and that was what we really tried to take advantage of,” TNT coach Nash Racela said.
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