Alaska pulls out an ace
CJ Perez of Terrafirma stretches for a layup against Vic Manuel of Alaska during yesterday’s game won by the Aces, 99-96.
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Alaska pulls out an ace

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - October 28, 2020 - 12:00am

SMART CLARK GIGA CITY, Philippines — Alaska recovered from a sluggish first half and outsteadied Terrafirma in a tight race to the finish, 99-96, to get back on track in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Forced to play on the backfoot in the first 24 minutes, the Aces shifted to high gear in the third to overturn what was once a 14-point Dyip lead and held tough all the way through as they bounced back from their 88-92 loss to San Miguel last Saturday.

The Aces, who grabbed a three-point cushion behind JV Casio’s clutch finger roll and a pair of splits from Maverick Ahanmisi and Jasper Ayaay, improved to 4-3.

The Dyip remained the only winless team in the bubble tournament at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena through five games.

“We discussed how they (Dyip) are due for a win and we’re hoping it won’t happen against us,” said Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso of the hot-starting Dyip.

“We expected them to come out as aggressive as they did and they were awesome on defense, setting the tone in the first half. But I’m happy with how the boys adjusted and were able to execute in the second half,” he added.

Vic Manuel led the Alaska scoring parade with 18 to go with seven rebounds and two assists. The “Muscleman” got sufficient support from Rob Herndon (12), Mike DiGregorio (11), Casio (11) and Abu Tratter (10 plus 11 boards).

CJ Perez (25) and Juami Tiongzon (21 spiked by 6-of-8 clip from the deep) showed the way for Terrafirma. Rookie Roosevelt Adams had a hot 11 in the first half but went scoreless in the second.

“We were somewhat soft defensively in the first half and we recognized the need to work on that end and luckily everybody responded,” said Manuel.

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