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Tiebreaker Times
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Edwards impresses in PBA debut as Alaska snatches win from Talk ‘N Text

Shane Edwards was the winner of a meeting between two replacement imports. The replacement for Rob Dozier led a fourth quarter push that paved the way for the Alaska Aces to steal the win from the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, who had led for the first three quarters, 108-100, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The first quarter opened with a scoring free-for-all that saw replacement import David Simon team up with rookie Troy Rosario to lead the Tropang Texters, and Shane Edwards rise up to lead the Alaska counter-offensive. Back-to-back triples from Rosario helped Talk ‘N Text pull away from the back-and-forth to take a 20-13 lead halfway through the quarter. But big baskets from the Alaska import, in collaboration with Chris Banchero, helped the Aces fight their way back and force a 24-all deadlock later in the quarter. At the end of the first twelve, the lead was still with TNT, 26-24.

It was all Edwards on the Alaska court, the import having racked up 22 points in the first half to lead the Aces’ offense. But with their import the only consistent scorer, Alaska struggled to find a way to keep the Tropang Texters from pulling away. Getting much-needed help from a resurgent Ranidel de Ocampo, TNT continued to pace the contest, leading by as many as nine points multiple times in the quarter. At the half, the Tropang Texters still led, 53-44.

More baskets from Simon and de Ocampo gave the Tropang Texters a taste of the double-digit lead, 59-46, in the opening minutes of the second half. But the Aces would soon get the break they had been waiting for. A 21-12 rally starting from the 6-minute mark — that featured big baskets from RJ Jazul, Sonny Thoss, Shane Edwards, and Calvin Abueva — suddenly saw the Aces trim the Tropang Texters’ lead to a narrow thread, 71-72, late in the third. Back-to-back baskets from import Simon helped TNT gain some distance once more, as the penultimate quarter drew to a close, 78-73.

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Triples from JV Casio and baskets from Chris Banchero signaled what would be the start of the Aces’ resurgence. Powered by the replacement import’s deadly scoring and the guards’ renewed will to attack, the Aces suddenly found themselves leading by as many as nine in the quarter. Rookie wonder Rosario’s ejection halfway through the quarter only added to TNT’s woes. As the Tropang Texters struggled to find easier ways to score, the Aces, led by their import, found themselves attacking the basket with renewed ease and composure. With two minutes left on the clock, the Aces led 102-97.

But despite Jayson Castro’s series of baskets that kept TNT one step behind, the Aces would easily sink the free throws that came their way after the Tropang Texters started to foul. At the buzzer, the Aces walked away with the W.

Edwards had 36 points and 20 rebounds in a performance that won him Player of the Game honors. RJ Jazul had 13 points off the bench, hitting 3 of 5 attempts from the arc. Calvin Abueva chipped in 11 points.

Simon, the Tropang Texters’ replacement for the suspended Ivan Johnson, had 35 points of his own. He also contributed 19 rebounds and 4 blocks. Matt Ganuelas-Rosser led the TNT locals with 14 points off the bench. Ranidel de Ocampo and Jayson Castro had 13 and 11 markers respectively.

With the win, Alaska improve to 1-1, while Talk ‘N Text slide to 1-3.

The Scores:

Alaska (108) – Edwards 36, Jazul 13, Manuel 13, Abueva 11, Banchero 9, Baguio 8, Casio 7, Thoss 6, Dela Rosa 3, Eman 2.

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TNT (100) – Simon 35, Ganuelas 14, De Ocampo 13, Rosario 12, Castro 11, Fonacier 6, J. Reyes 3, R. Reyes 3, Tautuaa 3.

Quarterscores: 24-26, 44-53, 73-78, 108-100

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