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Alaska notches pivotal win over Phoenix


With sights for the twice-to-beat incentive still alive, the Alaska Aces grabbed an important 103-87 win over the Phoenix Petroleum at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday afternoon.

A loss for the Aces could’ve put them out of the top eight, but this key win opened up their top four hopes possible.

The standings currently have four teams with a 5-5 slate, including the Aces, NLEX, Phoenix and Meralco. All are half a game behind fourth-seeded Mahindra Enforcers.

This win also formally eliminates the Star Hotshots from the eight-team picture.

A bit of a scare was put up by Phoenix in the early goings of the fourth due to Alaska’s four quick fouls. However, too much depth of the peaking Aces proved to be a daunting task for the young Fuel Masters, as the former took control for the rest of the way.

Calvin Abueva put up monstrous numbers with 18 points 7-of-16 shooting and grabbed 21 boards. RJ Jazul and Ladontae Henton chipped in 19 and 15 markers respectively in an all-around team effort.

For Abueva, it’s all about maintaining this level of play until their next matches. The Pampanga-native also stressed that they are on a mission to bring back the intensity Alaska had, which was not visible in the early part of the conference.

“Sabi ni coach lahat ng games namin parang playoffs na,” Abueva said. “Kumbaga parang eto na yung Alaska eh. Binabalik na namin yung mga na-miss namin nung mga unang games.”

Eugene Phelps was a one-man wrecking crew as the Phoenix import had 34 points, 24 rebounds and three assists in the losing effort.

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Alaska hauled down 70 massive rebounds compared to Phoenix’s 52. Moreover, the Aces scored ten more from the free throw area as they shot 21-of-26 against the Fuel Masters’ 11-of-16 clip.

Alaska’s last game will be a big one against the NLEX Road Warriors, which is to be played on Sept. 16 also at the SM Mall of Asia Arena Arena. For Phoenix, they have the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (2nd, 7-2) in their last assignment to be played next Wednesday at Ynares Center. Both games still with playoff seeding implications.

The Scores:



Alaska (103) – Jazul 19, Abueva 18, Henton 15, Banchero 11, Thoss 11, Casio 10, Dela Rosa 6, Racal 5, Baclao 4, Galliguez 3, Magat 1, Dela Cruz 0, Exciminiano 0, Hontiveros 0

.

Phoenix (87) – Phelps 34, Enciso 9, Urbiztondo 9, Baguio 8, Lee 6, Torres 6, Borboran 5, Cruz 5, Wilson 3, Buenafe 2, Lanete 0, Miranda 0, Pennisi 0, W. Wilson 0, Hayes 0.



Quarterscores: 29-23, 51-39, 76-66, 103-87.

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