SMART CLARK GIGA CITY – Alaska carved out another escape act and sneaked past Terra Firma, 99-96, to rebound in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup Tuesday at the SMART 5G-powered AUF Sports and Cultural Center here.
The Aces were staring at a one-point deficit until JV Casio made a lay-up with 1:34 left to play to give them the lead, 97-96, before Maverick Ahanmisi and MJ Ayaay made a free throw each to stave off the win-hungry Dyip.
Casio finished with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals as they bounced back from the narrow 88-92 defeat they got from reigning five-time champs San Miguel Beer last week to improve to 4-3.
“We discussed that this team (Terra Firma) is due for a win, and we were hoping that it doesn’t happen against us,” said Aces head coach Jeff Cariaso as his wards kept Terra Firma winless in five games.
Vic Manuel topscored for Alaska with 18 points and seven rebounds as young guns Robbie Herndon, Mike DiGregorio, and Abu Tratter all made significant contributions in the victory that put them at seventh in the standings.
Herndon finished with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. DiGregorio produced 11 points spiked by two triples, while Abu Tratter chimed in 10 markers and a game-high 11 rebounds.
“I don’t think I would’ve traded for them if I didn’t think that they could contribute for Alaska,” Cariaso said. “I think these are guys who could play in this league, but they just need a little bit of time, a little bit of patience.”
CJ Perez finished with 25 points, six assists, and four rebounds as he carried much of the load for Terra Firma, who actually had a good start into the match that saw them post a 43-29 lead in the second quarter.
The sophomore actually had a chance to give the Dyip the lead but his lay-up with 23.4 seconds to go missed. He tried to tie the game as a response to Ahanmisi’s split with 16.6 ticks left but he muffed his shot once more.
Terra Firma went scoreless in the game’s last 2:34, or since Eric Camson made a three-pointer that gave them the 96-95 lead. The Dyip missed a total of seven shots during that dry spell that ultimately led to another heartbreak.
Juami Tiongson had 21 points on six treys in the loss. Rookie Roosevelt Adams made 11 points and 10 rebounds in another double-double outing, while Camson and Aldrech Ramos chimed in 11 and 10 markers, respectively.
Alaska will next face Phoenix Super LPG on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 4:00 p.m., while Terra Firma hopes to get that elusive first win versus Blackwater on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 1:30 p.m. as they open a special triple-header.
Alaska (99) – Manuel 18, Herndon 12, Digregorio 11, Casio 11, Tratter 10, Galliguez 9, Ahanmisi 8, Ayaay 8, Teng 7, Ebona 5, Marcelino 0, Publico 0, Andrada 0, Brondial 0.
Terra Firma (96) – Perez 25, Tiongson 21, Adams 11, Camson 11, Ramos 10, McCarthy 8, Calvo 4, Gabayni 4, Faundo 2, Cahilig 0, Khobuntin 0, Agovida 0, Batiller 0, Balagasay 0, Celda 0.
Quarterscores: 19-28, 45-52, 79-79, 99-96.