by Jonas Terrado
Game Today (Sta. Rosa, Laguna)
5 p.m. – Star vs Meralco
The Alaska Aces made it two wins in a row after a miserable 14-game losing skid while moving closer toward a playoff spot yesterday after downing the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 101-88, in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Import Buck Henton had 36 points and 21 rebounds while Calvin Abueva scored all of his 12 points in the fourth quarter that saw the Aces pull away to secure their first back-to-back victory since a 4-0 start in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Coach Alex Compton’s Aces improved to 2-6, moving a game behind the ninth place Batang Pier (3-5) and two off eighth placer Blackwater Elite (4-4), who were playing Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at presstime.
“It’s nice to have some of the breaks these past two games,” said Compton, whose team snapped the skid exactly a week ago with a stunning 90-79 win over the San Miguel Beermen in Angeles City, Pampanga.
“We didn’t feel like a lot of the bounces went our way for five months and then we got a few bounces. We got a few things that are out of our control that it seemed to go our way and we’ll take them,” he added.
Jvee Casio and Sonny Thoss had 11 and 10 points, respectively, even as Noy Baclao provided key contributions on both ends while scoring eight points all in the payoff period.
The Batang Pier got 25 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and three steals from import Murphy Holloway but dropped their second straight.
Sean Anthony finished with 19 points and nine rebounds while Mac Cardona started and scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting in his second game since being GlobalPort activated him on the roster last weekend.
Terrence Romeo was held to just five points on 2-of-9 shooting while GlobalPort missed dynamic guard Stanley Pringle for the second straight game after he went back to the United States to attend to his ailing father.
Meanwhile, Meralco and Star are out to redeem themselves after being on the losing end of a pair of marquee matches recently when they face off today at the City of Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Once the two remaining unbeaten teams in the season-ending conference, the Bolts and Hotshots are determined to score a victory in the 5 p.m. Petron Saturday Special game held for the first time in one of Laguna’s busiest cities and maintain their position in the top four.
ALASKA 101 – Henton 36, Abueva 12, Casio 11, Thoss 10, Baclao 8, Racal 7, Encisio 7, Exciminiano 6, Banchero 2, Pascual 2, Mendoza 0, Cruz 0.
GLOBALPORT 88 – Holloway 25, Anthony 19, Cardona 12, Guinto 10, Cortez 9, Romeo 5, Arana 4, Grey 2, Baracael 2, Celiz 0, Paredes 0.
Quarters: 26-18; 46-45; 67-67; 101-88.
GINEBRA 98 – Slaughter 22, Brownlee 17, Tenorio 16, Devance 15, Aguilar 10, Ferrer 7, Caguioa 6, Thompson 4, Mercado 1.
BLACKWATER 81 – Walker 26, Digregorio 12, Sumang 12, Pinto 8, Erram 6, Canaleta 6, Gamalinda 5, Marcelo 4, Sena 2, Belo 0.
Quarters: 23-24, 45-48, 69-71, 98-81.