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Abueva explodes for double-double, leads still undefeated Alaska past slumping Kia

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The Alaska Aces remain undefeated this conference, after dealing expansion team Kia Sorento their fifth
straight defeat following an 85-75 trouncing of the league newcomers, Tuesday night at the Cuneta
Astrodome.

The first half saw an excellent start by Kia, but the Aces pulled away in the third quarter after completing
a masterful 18-0 run. Former Rookie of the Year Calvin Abueva exploded for another double-double this
season, bagging 23 points and grabbing 21 rebounds.

Kia opened the first quarter on a high note, denying Alaska a single basket in the first three minutes to
build a 5-0 lead early in the quarter. The expansion team continued to deny the usually eagle-eyed
Alaska the easy look. Powered by an outstanding effort by enforcer Reil Cervantes at both ends of the
court, Kia closed out the quarter with an 18-11 lead.

The Aces, however, finally came alive early in the second quarter, going on a 10-2 capped by a
triple from veteran gunner Dondon Hontiveros to taste the lead for the first time in the game, 21-20,
with eight minutes left on the clock. Finally finding their touch with the ball, Alaska slowly wrestled
control of the ballgame, pacing for the remainder of the quarter. Kia, however, was kicked to life by
a reawakened Joshua Webb, who had 11 points in the first half, and at the end of the first half, Alaska
led by a mere point, 39-38.

The second half opened to a trade of runs early in the third quarter, with Kia opening the period with a
7-0 run to take a 45-40 lead. Alaska responded ruthlessly in kind, going on an 18-0 run to overtake
Kia by double digits, 58-45, with little more than three minutes left on the clock. A split free throw
charity from Paul Sanga and lay-up from Hans Thiele put an end to the massive rally, but the Aces
continued to dominate at both ends to keep the margin in double digits at the end of the third quarter, 66-52.
Responding to Alaska’s third quarter run, Kia opened the final period with a 9-0 run that trimmed the
Aces’ lead to 66-61, in the first three minutes of the fourth. RJ Jazul however responded with a breakaway
triple to end the run and put the Aces up by 69-61. The Aces remained in the control of the game for
the remainder of the quarter, answering back to every basket sunk by the league’s youngest team.

Entering the final two minutes, Alaska led by ten points, 83-73. A basket from Calvin Abueva
approaching the final minute sealed the win for the Aces, who remain undefeated at 5-0.
Dondon Hontiveros and Cyrus Baguio had 12 and 11 respectively for the Aces, who hold on to the top
spot in the standings at 5-0. Reil Cervantes led Kia with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Kia has not won since
routing fellow expansion team Blackwater in the conference opener. They slide to 1-5 in the standings.

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