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Basketball

Alaska flips switch in 2nd half, upends Phoenix

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Alaska flips switch in 2nd half, upends Phoenix Basketball News PBA  Vic Manuel Sonny Thoss Shane Edwards RR Garcia Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters PBA Season 41 Koi Banal Kevinn Pinkney JC Intal Alex Compton Alaska Aces 2016 PBA Commissioners Cup

The Alaska Aces are still perfect with replacement import Shane Edwards on hand.

The Red-and-White, through Edwards and Vic Manuel, turned a close first half into an eventual blowout in a 105-89 win over the Phoenix Petroleum Accelerators Friday evening at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The Alaska Aces were down 43-48 in the half due to the team’s lethargic perimeter defense and dismal ball movement. After a pep talk during the break, the Aces unleashed a furious 10-0 run to start the quarter via Edwards and Sonny Thoss.

The rally extended to a 20-5 rally to give Alaska a double-digit lead, 63-52. Emman Monfort and RR Garcia turned it up late in the quarter to cut the lead to just six, 72-66, before closing the quarter down 76-68.

“Obviously, our defense was a lot better in the second half. I really thought our defensive intensity was fantastic,” Alaska head coach Alex Compton said.

Turnovers plagued the Fuel Masters in the final quarter of the game as Alaska maintained a 84-72 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Suddenly, the overpowering Alaska offense unleashed a final rally that put the game out of reach. A triple by RJ Jazul and a three-point play by Vic Manuel extended the Alaska lead to a game-high 20 points, 96-76. Phoenix simply ran out of gas at the end, with Alaska winning, 105-89.

Compton credited the fast-paced play the team displayed in the second half, led by Edwards and Manuel. Alaska’s import notched a double-double with 33 points and 16 rebounds. Manuel, who came off the bench, complemented the effort with 26 points on an 11/16 shooting clip.

The Alaska Aces (3-1) next face the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Wednesday, March 9 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. On the other hand, the Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters (1-3) look to snap out of their funk in the first game of that day against the Mahindra Enforcers.

The Scores:

Alaska (105) – Edwards 33, Manuel 26, Thoss 12, Abueva 8, Banchero 7, Jazul 6, Baguio 4, Casio 3, Dela Cruz 2,Exciminiano 2, Racal 2

Phoenix (89) – Pinkney 27, Garcia 15, Intal 14, Wilson 10, Monfort 8, Baracael 6, Pennisi 3, Lanete 2, Brondial 2, Miranda 2.

Quarterscores: 19-18, 43-48, 76-68, 105-89.

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