19 December 2013

Bolts 82, Aces 91

Alaska Aces
Playing with a sense of urgency, Alaska Milk checked its skid as it trounced Meralco, 91-82, to improve to joint sixth place in the PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Wednesday night (18 December 2013).

Couples of Alaska players churned out conference-high numbers as the Aces dished out their best game in the all-Filipino tourney, catching up with the Bolts at sixth with a third win against five losses.

Dondon Hontiveros, Cyrus Baguio and Sonny Thoss put in tournament best of 24, 23 and 20 points, respectively, while Gabby Espinas got a career-high 23 rebounds for their third victory after an 84-80 decision over San Mig Coffee and a 97-91 overtime escape act versus Air21.

Espinas’ previous career high was 17.

With two three-pointers, Hontiveros got another career achievement becoming only the fifth PBA player to hit the 900th mark after Allan Caidic, Ronnie Magsanoc, Al Solis and Jimmy Alapag.

"Having that sense of urgency has to be now for us. The guys' hearts are there through and through," said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo.

"I haven't seen Gabby so motivated diving for loose balls. Dondon has been struggling but he came out like that. I'm proud of them and I'm proud of the whole team. It was nice. It was a collective team effort through and through," Luigi also said.

Trillo considered their surge against the Bolts as good preparation for a tough assignment in Barangay Ginebra on Saturday.

"We're settled today. We weren't playing tight. The guys were at peace with themselves. Hopefully, they come out the same on Saturday," the young, articulate Alaska mentor said.

The Aces were sharp and fluid in this game, committing only eight turnovers. They also had a remarkable free-throw shooting, missing just one of 15 attempts.

Calvin Abueva returned from a one-game layoff and helped with nine markers.

With firepower from Mike Cortez, Gary David, Reynel Hugnatan and John Wilson, the Bolts put up a good fight but lost steam at the finish.

David fired a trey then scored on a drive to touch off a 10-3 exchange that forged a tie at 77 with 5:15 left to play.

But the Aces retaliated with a 14-4 tear highlighted by two three-pointers from Baguio and they eventually put the game away at 91-81.

The Bolts suffered a second straight defeat following a 73-77 loss to the Petron Blaze Boosters in Dipolo City Saturday.

They still played the game minus injury-hit energetic forward Cliff Hodge. (SB)

No comments:

Post a Comment