MANILA, Philippines — Taking advantage of on its match-fitness, Alaska Milk seized on the rusty Magnolia side, 103-80, for its third victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup last Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Aces had heroics from JVee Casio, Jeron Teng and Chris Banchero, who backed up import Chris Daniels’ 23-point, seven-rebound performance, in streaking to back-to-back triumphs and 3-2 overall at the expense of a Magnolia team that debuted after a two-week layoff.
Casio scoured in 17 spiked by three triples while Teng had 12 rebounds on top of 12 markers – the duo doing the most damage in flickering the Aces’ first breakaway in the second quarter. Banchero issued 11 assists to go with his nine-pointer to lead Alaska’s 31 feeds.
“As happy as I am with this win over Magnolia, which has become one of the giants in the league, I also recognize that was far from their best. We’re exceptionally fortunate to get Magnolia in this situation. We caught them tired and with lack of preparations (coming from their finals stint in the Philippine Cup which ended last May 15),” stated Alaska coach Alex Compton.
However, there’s no refuting how well the Aces got the job done against the debuting Hotshots.
Coach Compton recalled, “I thought our ball movement in the first half was great, we had 17 assists in that period. Nice to have a lot of guys sharing the ball and doing good job together, led by Chris Banchero who had 11 assists. It was a total team effort.”
Aces managed to free from a 30-26 contest with a 20-11 blast anchored on Casio and Teng as they entered the halftime break with a 12-point tear.
Meanwhile, NorthPort hacked out a massive 121-88 upset of debuting San Miguel to grab a share of the lead with idle Blackwater at 4-1. Determined to get back on track after their loss to Barangay Ginebra, the Batang Pier came out firing and dealt the Phl Cup titlists Beermen one of their worst beatings.