The Alaska Aces are 2-0, after a buzzer-beating floater from Calvin Abueva gave Alex Compton’s squad the 100-98 win over the three-point savvy Talk n’ Text Tropang Texters in a virtual shootout between the two squads, Tuesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters led by as much as eighteen points in the third quarter, but led by Abueva and rookie Chris Banchero, Alaska would pull together to trim the lead in the final quarter.
The first quarter saw a tight contest and numerous lead changes between the two squads, who traded baskets from the get-go. A seven-point off-the-bench explosion from prized rookie Kevin Alas gave Talk n’ Text the means to pull away for a 26-19 edge late in the quarter. The Tropang Texters would manage to hold on to the lead, 28-21, at the end of the first.
An Elmer Espiritu triple put the Tropang Texters up by double digits, 31-21, at the start of the second quarter. Led by Chris Banchero, the Aces however would manage to erase the deficit in the next two minutes, forcing a score of 33-34 with nine minutes left on the clock. After another trade of salvos, a three-pointer from JVee Casio gave the Alaska a taste of the lead, 40-43, entering the last two-and-a-half minutes of the quarter. A trifecta from TnT’s Jason Castro however would steal back the lead with less than a minute on the clock, giving the Tropang Texters the narrow 48-47 edge at halftime.
The second half opened to a staggering fourteen-point, four-three pointer performance from TnT’s Ryan Reyes, giving the Tropang Texters the means to dominate the quarter and lead by as much as eighteen points. At the end of the third, TnT led once more, 80-66.
The Aces however showed signs of life at the start of the fourth, with Abueva and Banchero once more collaborating to trim the deficit to 74-80 two minutes into the quarter. A triple from RJ Jazul put the Aces within striking distance, 77-80 in the following minute. Back-to-back triples from Dondon Hontiveros and JVee Castro would later push the Aces to the driver’s seat, 87-84, with six minutes left on the clock.
After trading baskets and leads for the remainder of the quarter, the Tropang Texters and the Aces would find themselves still tangled up, 98-all, with less than ten seconds left on the clock. The Texters had possession of the ball, but JVee Castro would manage to pluck the ball from the hands of TnT’s Ryan Reyes. With the clock winding down, Castro tossed the ball to Abueva, charging down towards the Alaska basket. Abueva managed to pull up in time to send mail the last second floater, which would go in just before the clock expired.
Abueva, the former Rookie of the Year, led Alaska with a masterful 26 points and 22 rebounds. Dondon Hontiveros had 14 points, while JVee Castro and Chris Banchero had 12 points apiece.
Ryan Reyes led TnT with 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists and sunk six-of-seven three-point attempts. Rookie Kevin Alas chipped in 15 points. The Alaska Aces rise to 2-0, while the Tropang Texters fall to 1-2.