Alaska ran roughshod over the visiting Dankook University, 129-101, in a tuneup as its preparations for the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup continues, Sunday at Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.
The Aces zoomed to a fiery 20-7 start into the match with young guns Abu Tratter and Robbie Herndon leading the way, and they would never lost hold of the driver’s seat since.
Alaska went on to lead by as many as 38 points, 127-89, following Mike DiGregorio’s shot from downtown with exactly three minutes left to play before registering the 28-point victory.
The scoreline may not say so but coach Jeff Cariaso said that the tuneup was a good challenge for his wards, and it will be beneficial for them heading into the new season that starts March 1.
“When you play against any Korean team, just the speed, the pace, they really test you,” the former PBA cager said.
“It’s always good playing against any team from Korea. We’re happy that we were able to get at least one game. That’s going to help us come next conference,” added Cariaso.
DiGregorio spearheaded the Aces’ well-deployed attack with 24 points, 11 of which came in the final frame.
Herndon continues to show how reliable of an option he can be for Alaska as he poured in 23 points.
Vic Manuel made 17 while the Lyceum connection between rookie Jaycee Marcelino and sophomore MJ Ayaay worked as they had 15 and 14 markers, respectively. Tratter added 14 as well.
“I think the progress [of the team] has been positive. The progress has been slow, but sure,” Cariaso said.
Alaska played without Jeron Teng in the friendly as Cariaso decided not to use the incoming third-year forward out of De La Salle to prevent aggravating the tightness in his hamstring.
“He’s good. It’s really my decision not to play him for two games,” Cariaso said. “We’re just taking extra caution. There’s tightness in his hamstring. Yun lang. Konting tightness lang.
“We don’t want to aggravate it. We want him healthy come March One,” added the seasoned bench tactician.
Alaska 129 – DiGregorio 24, Herndon 23, Manuel 17, Marcelino 15, Ayaay 14, Tratter 14, Casio 8, Racal 8, Brondial 4, Ebona 2, Thoss 0, Galliguez 0, Andrada 0.
Quarterscores: 29-20, 63-36, 95-65, 129-101.
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