The red-hot Alaska Aces made it back-to-back wins in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after pulling away in the second half and scoring a sound beating of Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 128-102 Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
The Aces used a 69-48 second half surge, highlighted by the stellar play of their key players, to improve to 2-1 in the conference. The Elasto Painters, meanwhile, were sent down to 1-3 in the team standings.
Calvin Abueva, who did not have to play in the fourth quarter as Alaska already held a humongous lead after three quarters, still topscored with 25 points on 9-for-16 shooting to lead the Aces.
Shane Edwards chipped in 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Vic Manuel added 20 points, making all but one of his nine attempts from the field.
Three more scored in double-digits for Alaska, who shot 58% overall and 52% from three-point distance.
A rare Sonny Thoss triple — only the fourth of his career — followed by an Edwards slam began the uprising for the Aces, as the team took an 80-70 lead in the third.
The Aces kept pounding the out-of-sync Elasto Painters in that period, with the lead growing to as high as 93-74.
Alaska then opened the fourth quarter with an 11-2 run before three straight triples from RJ Jazul, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the fourth, gave the Aces their biggest advantage at 120-90.
Alaska head coach Alex Compton was quick to downplay the win however, noting the strength of Rain or Shine. He instead said the game was a matter of having caught the Elasto Painters at a bad time.
“It’s one of those games rhe basket got bigger for us and smaller for them. We had a bunch of breaks today. We were able to pull away but it’s kind of one of those (good) days for us and one of those (bad) bays for them,” he said.
Alaska scored 22 fastbreak points compared to only four for Rain or Shine, and also tallied 18 points off 23 Rain or Shine turnovers. The Aces also out-rebounded the Elasto Painters, 50-33.
Antoine Wright scored 21 points for Rain or Shine, the same output as Tiu, who also had seven rebounds and two assists.
Alaska (128) – Abueva 25, Edwards 23, Manuel 20, Jazul 15, Banchero 14, Thoss 10, Baguio 6, Exciminiano 6, Dela Rosa 4, Magat 3, Racal 2.
Rain or Shine (102) – Tiu 21, Wright 21, Cruz 16, Ahanmisi 12, Norwood 10, Quinahan 8, Trollano 5, Belga 3, Chan 2, Ibanes 2, Nimes 2.
Quarterscores: 29-25, 59-54, 95-78, 128-102.