Alaska breathed life into its PBA Philippine Cup playoff hopes by taking care of business against Meralco, 92-77, on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Five players, led by Jeron Teng’s 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists, scored in double figures for the Aces. Simon Enciso added 14 markers built around four threes, while Sonny Thoss and Chris Banchero added 13, respectively.
The Aces were only able to build separation in the third quarter, where two straight threes from Enciso turned a three-point ball game into a 51-42 lead. The Aces never let up the rest of the frame and even erected a 16-point lead after a Noy Baclao basket made it 60-44 midway.
The payoff period was no different as Alaska had answers for every Meralco attack, with Chris Banchero putting the icing on the cake with a three-point play to make it an 18-point, 92-74 lead with 1:48 remaining in the game.
JV Casio also chipped in 12 points in his conference debut for the Aces, who tied NLEX at 4-5 in the standings.
Meralco, meanwhile, was led by Nico Salva’s 23 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Nino Canaleta also added 18.
This loss pulled the Bolts down to 3-7, effectively dashing any hopes of a late quarterfinals push.
ALASKA (92) – Teng 16, Enciso 14, Banchero 13, Thoss 13, CAsio 12, Racal 9, Cruz 7, Pascual 6, Baclao 2, Excimiano 0, Ayaay 0.
MERALCO (77) – Salva 23, CAnaleta 18, Newsome 11, Amer 8, Quinto 5, Tolomia 4, Hodge 3, Pinto 2, Hugnatan 2, Jackson 1, Faundo 0, Caram 0.
Quarterscores: 20-16, 45-38, 69-57, 92-77.