Despite dealing with a multitude of injuries on its roster, the Alaska Aces found a way to secure their first win of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup by dismantling the Columbian Dyip, 94-72, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.
Coming off a loss in their season opener against Rain or Shine over the weekend, the Aces came out firing from the opening tip and never surrendered the lead for the entire 48 minutes. With Columbian struggling to get their offensive groove, coach Alex Compton’s wards piled on the points and even held a 30-point lead at one point.
Alaska received surprise production from the likes of utility player Jake Pascual, who finished with an all-around performance of 13 points, 13 rebounds, one steal and two blocks in 24 minutes of action.
Leading 46 to 36 at the half, Alaska amped up their defense in the third period to outscore Columbian 22-14. The same scenario took place in final canto, as seldom-used forward Carl Bryan Cruz unleashed a barrage of threes to sink the Dyip even further. Just for good measure, the FEU product unleashed another long-distance bomb with 48 seconds left in the contest to appease the tournament’s quotient system.
He finished with a game-high 20 markers on 8-out-of-15 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from deep to along with 9 boards.
Chris Banchero and Ping Exciminiano also finished in double-figures. Davon Potts also got his minutes and tallied a career-best nine points, as the undermanned Aces made due with what they had with key players Vic Manuel, JVee Casio, Simon Enciso, and Kevin Racal nursing injuries.
CJ Perez was the lone bright spot for the Dyip as he chipped in 15 points. After a 2-1 start to the conference, Columbian has now dropped their last three games.
Alaska (94) — Cruz 20, Pascual 13, Exciminiano 12, Banchero 10, Potts 9, Teng 8, Ayaay 8, Baclao 6, Galliguez 4, Thoss 4
Columbian (72) — Perez 15, Corpuz 12, Khobuntin 8, Cabrera 6, Reyes 5, Gabriel 5, Escoto 5, Cahilig 4, Calvo 4, Camson 4, McCarthy 2, Tabi 2, Agovida 0.
Quarters: 20-13, 46-36, 68-50, 94-72.
(Image from PBA Media Bureau)