Aces lean on strong third quarter to whip Gin Kings
ANTIPOLO — Vic Manuel led a third quarter explosion and Alaska bamboozled Ginebra, 97-83, to stretch its winning run to three in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at Ynares Center here.
The veteran forward anchored the killer 18-2 run for the Aces in the third quarter where they established a 67-54 lead and kept the Gin Kings at bay for the remainder of the game.
Manuel poured in 11 of his 18 points in that telling third frame. He also had five rebounds and two assists as Alaska improved to 3-2 in the conference.
Sonny Thoss had 17 markers, including the game-sealing triple to put Alaska up, 92-78 with 2:46 left to play, on top of his four boards.
Chris Banchero chipped in 14 points, six assists, and five rebounds, while JVee Casio shot 3-of-4 from threes to wound up with 13 markers, three boards, and two dimes in the win.
“I was glad to come away with the win. Sometimes in this league, we have to take advantage of opportunities coming your way,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton as Ginebra played without Greg Slaughter (strained hamstring) and Joe Devance (foot).
Compton said the key in toppling a powerhouse team in Ginebra was the Aces settling down after a forgettable second quarter, where they scored a measly 10 points to fall behind, 36-44.
“I was telling the guys that it feels like we’re thinking about a lot of things and we’re not doing what we’ve been doing over the past two weeks. So we just relaxed,” he said. “We weren’t playing well in the first half, but in the second half, I thought we settled down and be us.”
Aljon Mariano paced Ginebra with 15 points, nine rebounds, and three assists as it fell to its second straight defeat.
Japeth Aguilar, Kevin Ferrer, and Scottie Thompson all finished with 12 for the Gin Kings loss.
ALASKA 97 — Manuel 18, Thoss 17, Banchero 14, Casio 13, Abueva 9, Teng 9, Cruz 5, Enciso 3, Potts 3, Exciminiano 2, Magat 2, Racal 2, J. Pascual 0.
GINEBRA 83 — Mariano 15, J. Aguilar 12, Ferrer 12, Thompson 12, Caguioa 8, Cruz 8, R. Aguilar 5, Tenorio 5, Mercado 2, Taha 2, Wilson 2, Jamito 0.
Quarters: 26-23, 36-44, 73-63, 97-83.