PBA: Alaska douses Phoenix to take first seed
Alaska clamped down on Phoenix in the final frame to take a 108-97 victory and in the process the top spot in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces streaked to their third straight win and left behind the Fuel Masters at 2-1 in the first meeting between the two teams since they made a deal that sent polarizing forward Calvin Abueva to Phoenix.
After exchanging baskets throughout much of the match, the Aces eventually found their leeway midway through the fourth quarter when Jake Pascual capped off an 8-0 run for Alaska’s 95-85 lead with 6:11 on the clock.
“I was really glad that some guys like Jake Pascual was great, Noy [Baclao] was fantastic and he had a job that no one wants which is to defend the import,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton.
“Noy had the saddest and most thankless job.”
Baclao’s defensive assignment was Phoenix import Eugene Phelps who, before the game, averaged 40 points a game.
With Baclao hounding him, Phelps’ offensive production dropped to 27 points. He grabbed 24 boards but also turned the ball over eight times.
Mike Harris had 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Aces while Chris Banchero orchestrated the offense with 19 points and nine assists with Simons Enciso putting up 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting from deep.
Baclao, for all of his defensive efforts, had 15 points seven rebounds, and two blocks.
Abueva had 18 points and nine rebounds in his first game against his former team.
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