MANILA – The Alaska Aces posted its third win in a row with a 92-81 beating of the Air21 Express in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday.
It was the Aces' first 3-game winning streak since they parted ways with coach Tim Cone two seasons ago.
|Alaska's Cyrus Baguio charges past Air21 defenders on Friday's PBA Philippine Cup. The Aces won 92-81. Photo by Mark Crisitino for ABS-CBNnews.com
According to PBA.ph, Dondon Hontiveros initiated the run against Air21 by scoring 10 of his 15 points in the first quarter.
“Dondon was super tonight. He played huge,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo.
He was backed up by Alaska’s prized rookie Calvin Abueva and three other Aces in their worry-free win against the Express.
Abueva dished out his second straight double-double performance with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Jayvee Casio top-scored for Alaska with 19.
Cyrus Baguio and Sonny Thoss chipped in 15 and 11 points for Alaska, respectively.
Despite being outrebounded by the Express, 48 to 37, the Aces forced Air21 to commit 24 turnovers.
“We’ve been working hard on our defense. We started well defensively,” Trillo explained.
Bonbon Custodio top-scored for Air21 with 20 points.
Air21 lost its fourth straight game, dropping to a 1-5 record.
Nino Canaleta, Markl Isip and Noy Baclao each had double figures for the struggling Air21, but these did not stop the Express from suffering its fourth straight defeat.
Alaska 92 - Casio 19, Abueva 16, Baguio 15, Hontiveros 15, Thoss 11, Espinas 8, Reyes 4, Jazul 2, Baracael 2, Laure 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Air21 81 - Custodio 20, Canaleta 16, Isip 12, Baclao 10, Wilson 7, Taha 6, Reyes 4, Omolon 4, Arboleda 2, Atkins 0, Sena 0, Escobal 0, Ritualo 0.
Quarterscores: 26-17, 50-33, 74-60, 92-81