Aces gain share of lead; Chan saves Painters | Inquirer Sports

Aces gain share of lead; Chan saves Painters

10:21 AM October 13, 2010

MANILA—Joe Devance scored 24 points and four others tossed in 10 or more for Alaska, which kept defending PBA Philippine Cup champion Derby Ace winless with a 92-87 victory at the Cuneta Astrodome Wednesday night.   Devance scored 12 of those points in the third period before Bonbon Custodio and LA Tenorio hit some crucial shots in the fourth that allowed Alaska to claim a piece of the lead with idle Talk ‘N Text at 2-0.   Tony dela Cruz scattered 14 points, Tenorio finished with 12, Mark Borboran accounted for 11 and Sonny Thoss dropped 10 that went with a career-high 21 rebounds for Alaska, which was swept by Derby Ace in last year’s Finals.   “They’re a different team,” Alaska coach Tim Cone said. “Last year, they were so tall and athletic. We just need to take advantage of the opportunities we have and keep piling up the wins.”   “We’re coming around,” Cone continued. “We’re not where we want to be but we are making steps in the right direction.”   In the first game, Jeff Chan nailed a triple at the buzzer and lifted Rain or Shine to an 89-86 nail-biter over Air21 that put the Elasto Painters in the middle of the pack.   Chan scored from a feed by Sol Mercado as the Elasto Painters rallied from 77-82 and improved to 1-1 while dealing a second straight loss on the Express.   The loss was a bitter pill for the Express, who  came back from several double-digit deficits to gain command only to fall into a five-minute and 26-second scoring spell.   Chan went on to finish with 19 points with Mercado accounting for 14 and Gabe Norwood and Jay-R Reyes combining for another 25.   “Jeff was hot the whole game,” Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia said. “But I still gave the ball to Sol in the end and he made a good pass to Jeff, who was in the right place. It was a veteran decision (by Mercado) to give the ball up and not try to fish for the foul.”   Air21’s next scores came from the free throw line courtesy of Ronjay Buenafe with 26.5 seconds left and it was also Buenafe who tied the count for the last time at 86 with 5.4 seconds left after another two freebies sandwiched a split by Mercado on the other end.   Ronjay Buenafe, who tied the count for the last time at 86 with 5.4 seconds left, paced the Express with 25 points while rookie Rabeh Al-Hussaini again had a sterling performance with 19 points and 13 rebounds.   Wynne Arboleda finished with 10 points, but had two critical errors in the endgame which contributed to the Air21 downfall.   Nonoy Baclao, the top overall draft pick, finally debuted and was utilized for 25 minutes by coach Yeng Guiao. He had four points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Photo by Mark Giongco   The scores: 
First Game
RAIN OR SHINE 89—Chan 19, Mercado 14, Norwood 13, Reyes 12, Rodriguez 7, Cruz 5, Kramer 5, Bugia 4, Vanlandingham 3, Jazul 3, Tang 2, Arana 2, Ibanes 0.
AIR21 86—Buenafe 25, Al-Hussaini 19, Arboleda 10, Matias 9, Najorda 8, Sharma 5, Baclao 4, Gonzales 4, Urbiztondo 2, Guevarra 0, Arellano 0, Rodriguez 0, Quinahan 0.
Quarters: 26-21, 50-40, 71-74, 89-86.
Second Game
ALASKA 92—De Vance 24, Dela Cruz 14, Tenorio 12, Borboran 11, Thoss 10, Custodio 9, Baguio 9, Eman 3, Espiritu 0.
DERBY ACE 87—Yap J. 16, Simon 16, Villanueva 15, Yap R. 11, Allado 10, Salvador 6, Maierhofer 5, Gaco 4, Adducul 4, Canaleta 0.
Quarters: 16-15, 43-39, 68-63, 92-87

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TAGS: Air21 Express, Alaska Aces, B Meg Derby Ace Llamados, Basketball, Gabe Norwood, Jay-R Reyes, Jeff Chan, Joe Devance, PBA, PBA Philippine Cup, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, Ronjay Buenafe, Sol Mercado, Sonny Thoss, Tony Dela Cruz, Wynne Arboleda

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