Aces defuse Energy, nail first victoryBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Displaying hard-nosed work ethic for the first time, Alaska Milk played to its potential for most part and snapped out of the rut in the PBA Philippine Cup last night.
JV Casio tossed in 24 points, Cyrus Baguio had 23 and Mac Baracael made it a three-cornered blade for the Aces with 21 in a 102-86 victory over Barako Bull at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
“We have some pieces, but overall, you want to come in and bring the hard work,” Alaska coach Luigi Trillo said after improving to 1-2 and notching just the fourth win of his young pro coaching career dating back to last season’s Governors’ Cup.
“We didn’t do that in the first two games, and that’s my fault,” he added, referring to two lopsided losses, the first against powerhouse San Mig Coffee which he said “awed and frustrated” his team.
“We got shell-shocked in the first game,” said Trillo, who lost to the Mixers by 20 points.
But last night, it was Casio, Baguio and Baracael who shell-shocked the Energy in the second half as the Aces broke free from a 48-all game at the half with some torrid shooting from the outside.
Casio rifled in 12 of his total in the third period, Baracael had 17 of his 21 in the final two quarters and Baguio had all but four of his points in the last three as the Aces took a 16-point lead into the fourth.
Barako Bull, which took a second straight loss after a season-opening win, actually got it down to one near the halfway mark of the fourth period after Enrico Villanueva scored on a left-handed layup with 5:46 left for 84-85.
RJ Jazul actually gave up a foul on Villanueva in that play, but the Barako Bull center muffed the bonus free throw.
Barako Bull would score just two more free throws from there, dooming the Energy to the bottom of the pack in the company of their conquerors, just a rung ahead of Globalport, the only winless team left in the fold.
ALASKA 102—Casio 24, Baguio 23, Baracael 21, Dela 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