PBA Sunday: Alaska finally frees CBC to stun Magnolia in Game 3

Denver’s Murray hails Jokic partnership after NBA play-off win

Don’t count Alaska out just yet.

After a string of bad luck in previous Finals appearances, most viewers probably wrote off the Aces after falling into a 2-0 hole against the prolific Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.

Fortunately, coach Alex Compton’s boys managed to finally turn it into a competitive series after a 100-71 trashing of the Hotshots in Game 3 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Here’s a quick rundown from last night’s demolition, courtesy of FOX Sports Philippines.

Harris could do no wrong

Win or lose, Mike Harris has continued to be the lone consistent player for Alaska all conference long, and he once more carried his team to victory last night.

The 35-year-old American reinforcement scored 22 of his game-high 36 markers after the halftime break, where the Aces blew the game wide open.

Aside from dominating the interior, the usually perimeter-oriented big also knocked down four of his seven tries from downtown on top of 18 rebounds.

Alaska finally woke up


After only mustering 84 points in Game 1 and 71 in Game 2, the Aces avoided an improbable 0-3 predicament by finally going on an offensive onslaught that they so desperately needed.

The team made 48 percent of their field goal attempts (38-of-78) and outmuscled Magnolia in points in the paint, 44-26.

Alaska’s torrid three-point shooting also paved the way for that incredible third quarter uprising, as the team went 11-for-39 from distance (37 percent). They also regained their proficient free throw touch, making 81 percent of their charity shots (13-16).

The Aces even managed to limit their turnovers to 15 (against Magnolia’s 20 miscues).

CBC sighting

Just last month, FOX Sports Philippines implored the Aces to #FreeCarlBryanCruz. It seems that coach Compton finally heeded the pleaas he unleashed the seldom-used stretch forward in Game 3.

The FEU-product pounced on the opportunity and dropped 10 points (4-of-7 field goals and 2-for-4 from beyond the arc) in just 15 minutes of action.

Alaska’s other locals also answered the call, with Chris Banchero atoning for his one-assist performance in Game 2 by pitching in 11 dimes and six points.

Simon Enciso also regained his shooting groove —  with all 12 of his markers coming from downtown — while the visibly hobbling Vic Manuel came off the bench and recorded 14 markers.

Back to the drawing board for coach Victolero


Being up 3-0 in a best-of-seven-series would have certainly catapulted Magnolia’s chances for the title, but coach Chito Victolero’s wards let that opportunity slip away last night with their lackluster play from the opening tip.

After inspired performances in the first two contests, Magnolia did not put up match of a fight — particularly in the second half — where the Aces enjoyed a 36-point lead at one point.

This time around, it was Magnolia who had little production from the locals, as only Marc Barroca managed to score in double figures with 13. Import Romeo Travis led the squad with 18 points, but he only managed to pull down three boards.

Magnolia’s reserves got outscored 40-28 and also got outhustled in second chance points, 15-10.

Game 4 returns to the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, right after the 2018 PBA Leo Awards.

(Images from PBA Media Group)

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