Alaska’s unlikely Ace
The Filipino-American guard exploded from long distance as the Alaska Aces completed a 125-96 demolition job of TNT KaTropa for their second straight win in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.
With nobody to smother him, Enciso made the KaTropa pay with successive three-point bombs early that set the tone for a runaway victory.
Enciso swished seven of his nine threes when the Aces surged to 68-39 at the start of the second period, an advantage that ballooned to as many as 37 in the latter half.
“I’m happy that my teammates got me the ball on the right spots,” said Enciso after finishing with a career-high 30 points on 10 of 13 field-goal shooting. “It was a great start, I just took one shot at a time.”
The Aces are off to a flying start at 2-0 while dealing the KaTropa a third defeat in four starts.
The second game likewise ended in a rout as Phoenix dumped depleted NorthPort, 132-91, to join Alaska on top.
The Batang Pier, who fell to 0-2, are missing Asian Games campaigner Stanley Pringle and injured duo Sean Anthony and Jeric Teng.
Feeding Enciso and the rest of the Aces with nifty passes all over the floor was fellow guard Chris Banchero, who had 15 points and dished out 14 assists, nine of them during that early run.
“Chris found everybody for easy shots and Simon was absolutely on fire. There were a number of chances for Chris to take shots but opted to give the ball to his teammates. That was the story out there,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton.
Mike Harris also contributed to the Alaska cause, a defensive catalyst that effectively stymied the KaTropa around the rim.
For the second straight game, the KaTropa couldn’t get the offensive leverage from Stacy Davis, who had 26 points but bungled 15 of his 22 shots, including going two of seven from the beyond the arc.
“We’ve been looking for character, effort and unselfishness and keep building on it,” said Compton. “I hope we get better as the tournament progresses.”
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