PBA: Casio-Baguio-Baracael trio carries Alaska to first winBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—Alaska finally barged into the win column, banking on an explosive performance of Jvee Casio for a 102-86 win over Barako Bull Sunday in the 2012 PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Casio tallied 24 points, five rebounds and four assists while Cyrus Baguio and Mac Baracael shared 23 and 21 markers, respectively for the Aces, who finally arrested a two-game slide.
Alaska, still in the process of building back its previous glory, flipped the switch midway the third quarter and snatched the lead from Barako Bull for good.
Four straight markers from Baguio followed by the booming trey from Casio made it a 66-64 lead for the Aces, who quickly recovered from a 10-point deficit, with 4:47 in the third.
And when the Energy slowly climbed back into the game in the fourth period, it was Baracael who made a six-point swing to finally put Alaska out of the woods.
“We brought energy to this game,” said head coach Luigi Trillo. We’ve been getting punished in the first two games, we haven’t been playing good defense.”
Things are expected to continue to turn around for the Aces, who will have second overall pick Calvin Abueva in tow soon as the NCAA finishes.
“We’re excited because Calvin is still not here, he’s going to be a game changer,” said Trillo.
The Energy, meanwhile, succumbed to their second loss of the conference, failing to complete a comeback in the fourth period.
Enrico Villanueva, who led Barako Bull with 22 points, tried to bring his squad to within just a point, 84-85, with 5:46 to go—the closest they would come again.
ALASKA 102 – Casio 24, Baguio 23, Baracael 21, De la Cruz 10, Eman 9, Jazul 6, Reyes 5, Laure 2, Hontiveros 2, Bugia 0, Thoss 0, Belasco 0.
BARAKO 86 – Villanueva 22, Tubid 16, Urbiztondo 14, Pennisi 14, Anthony 10, Najorda 9, Yap 1, Marcelo 0, Alvarez 0, Kramer 0, Cruz 0.
Quarters: 21-25, 48-48, 81-65, 102-86