Alaska wallops Slaughter-less Ginebra

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Alaska's Vic Manuel splits the defense of Ginebra's Mark Caguioa (L) and Aljon Mariano in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City Sunday night.

MANILA — The Alaska Aces took advantage of a Barangay Ginebra squad that was missing Greg Slaughter and two other key players to hack out an emphatic 97-83 win in the PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at the jam-packed Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The win was the third straight for Alaska after a 0-2 start in the conference. On the other hand, the loss was the second straight for Ginebra after starting the conference with two straight wins.

With Ginebra’s top scorer and rebounder Slaughter sitting out the game due to a strained hamstring, the Aces had a field day in the paint with Vic Manuel and Sonny Thoss running roughshod on the suddenly smaller Ginebra frontline. Manuel came off the bench to lead the Aces with 18 points, including 11 in the third quarter when Alaska unleashed a devastating 18-2 run to overhaul Ginebra’s 44-36 halftime lead. Manuel also collected five rebounds, two assists, and one steal in just 23 minutes.

Thoss tallied 17 points, including a dagger three-pointer with 2:46 left that gave Alaska a 14-point lead, 92-78. The Alaska starting center also had four rebounds in 30 minutes.

Chris Banchero added 14 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals, while JVee Casio chipped in 13 markers, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, along with three rebounds and two assists.

Calvin Abueva nearly had a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds, along with five assists, two steals, and two blocks.

Aljon Mariano led Ginebra with 15 points, nine rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes. He replaced Slaughter in the Kings’ starting lineup. Scottie Thompson, Kevin Ferrer, and Japeth Aguilar added 12 points each.

Alaska used to the hilt its patented full-court press that forced the Kings to commit 23 turnovers that led to 27 turnover points for the Aces.

Alaska led by as much as 18 points, 85-67, in the fourth quarter before the Kings made an 8-0 run, cutting Alaska’s lead to 10 with less than five minutes remaining. But the Aces kept their poise en route to their smashing victory.

Aside from Slaughter, the Kings still badly missed the services of Joe Devance and Art dela Cruz. Slaughter’s injury was unexpected as Ginebra’s seven-foot center played in his team’s last game against Blackwater where he registered 20 points, 10 boards, four assists, and one block in 34 minutes in a losing effort.

TNT KaTropa 99, Meralco 81

The TNT KaTropa Texters rained three-point bombs all game long to crush the Meralco Bolts, 99-81.The Texters converted a league season-high 18 three-pointers, shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc, en route to the lopsided win, their second straight and third overall in five games.

Troy Rosario led the Texters with 22 points, including six three-pointers, on top of 10 rebounds. RR Garcia added 18 points, including two triples, the last one giving TNT its biggest lead, 92-70, with 4:31 left.

Four other Texters scored in double digits with Roger Pogoy finishing with 15, Jayson Castro with 12, including three triples, and RR Reyes and Anthony Semerad with 10 points apiece, including two three-pointers each.

TNT took advantage of a Meralco squad that was still missing two frontliners, Ranidel de Ocampo and Cliff Hodge, who are still recovering from injuries.

After Meralco scored the first point on a charity split, TNT answered with a 13-0 run and never looked back.

Baser Amer led the Bolts with 20 points along with six rebounds, six assists, and one block in 39 minutes in a losing cause. Jared Dillinger and KG Canaleta added 14 and 11 markers, respectively.

Meralco fell to the 11th spot in the standings, just ahead of Kia Picanto (1-4) after absorbing its third loss in four games.

Games Wednesday: Meralco Bolts (1-3) vs. Kia Picanto (1-4) and GlobalPort Batang Pier (2-2) vs. San Miguel Beermen (4-0).


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