Alaska Aces’ Calvin Abueva keeps the ball away from Eric Camson of KIA Picanto as he goes for an undergoal shot in their Philippine Cup game last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. PBA Image

Aces also hurt Kia Picanto
Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — As the most vocal team vehemently questioning Kia’s trade deal with San Miguel Beer, the Alaska Milk Aces were only expected to go hard against the Picanto, and they did.

Alaska thoroughly beat Kia with its dreaded press and running attack, fashioning out a 102-65 rout for a second straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

The Aces were most cruel in the third quarter where they held the Picanto to five points before eventually extending Kia’s slump to 16 games – the third all-time longest losing streak in the league after Great Taste’s 18 in 1989 and Barangay Ginebra’s 17 in 1995.

Kia stayed winless in four starts in the season – two under new coach Ricky Dandan.

“It’s the sustained defensive energy,” said coach Alex Compton as to the biggest factor in their 37-point demolition of the Picanto.

Rookie Jeron Teng top scored with 23 points, Jake Pascual came through with 11 rebounds and 10 points, and four others Aces put in double-digit outputs as they handed the Picanto a third straight blowout loss.

Kia earlier suffered a 23-point loss to Petron (102-125) then a 47-point blowout to Magnolia (77-124).

The Picanto actually stayed right behind the Aces in the first half, 34-39, then conked out as Alaska stepped up its pressing game.

The Aces blasted the Picanto, 36-5, in the third period and refused to slow down to complete a dominant victory.

“Our defensive energy was a little undirected in the first half, causing us to give away baskets. We’re more focused in the second half, and it’s one of those nights when Kia missed shots they can make,” said Compton.

“We held them to five in the third, and that’s the game right there,” Compton also said after emerging victorious against his former fellow assistant coach at Coca-Cola/Powerade.

Compton said Dandan is in a difficult situation, having just assumed the job left behind by resigned coach Chris Gavina.

“And Kia is an expansion team. It’s tough to be an expansion team. He’s got a tough job,” said Compton.

The Alaska bench chieftain credited his players for their effort, making special mention of Teng.

Magnolia picked up from where it left off the last time against Kia, toppling NLEX, 105-94, to gain solo second place at 3-1 later in the night.

The Hotshots played better as a team, enduring Kiefer Ravena’s 31-point game in chalking up a third win.

The scores:

First Game

Alaska 102 – Teng 23, Cruz 16, Banchero 11, Abueva 10, Manuel 10, Pascual 10, Enciso 8, Thoss 5, Galliguez 5, Exciminiano 2, Potts 2, Racal 0, Casio 0.

KIA 65 – McCarthy 16, Camson 15, Tubid 13, Ababou 5, Reyes 4, Caperal 4, Celda 3, Cabrera 3, Yee 2, Galanza 0, Jamon 0, Paniamogan 0, Sara 0.

Quarterscores: 20-21, 39-34, 75-39, 102-65

Second Game

Magnolia 105 – Lee 21, Dela Rosa 14, Herndon 11, Ramos 11, Simon 9, Jalalon 9, Melton 7, Pingris 7, Sangalang 5, Barroca 5, Reavis 4, Gamalinda 2, Brondial 0, Pascual 0.

NLEX 94 – Ravena 31, Quiñahan 22, Alas 13, Miranda 9, Fonacier 8, Mallari 5, Baguio 4, Tiongson 2, Rios 0, Al-Hussaini 0, Gotladera 0.

Quarterscores: 30-18, 51-43, 85-68, 105-94

ALASKA MILK ACES KIA PBA
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