After a tough loss in the last game, the Alaska Aces were looking to bounce back big. They did exactly that when they dominated Barangay Ginebra from start to finish, winning easily by 26 points, 104-78. The Aces move up to third place with a 3-2 standing while Ginebra falls to sixth at 3-3.
The Alaska guards set the tone early in the game when they teamed up to lead Alaska to a 7-0 start. Chris Banchero poured in four straight points and Simon Enciso dropped a three-pointer to open the game. Banchero and Enciso were joined by their teammates in the next possessions to help Alaska build their first double-digit lead of the game. The Aces took an eight-point lead heading into the second period.
Things didn’t look better for Ginebra in the second period. Their offense couldn’t get going, as the Alaska defense continued to shut down the Ginebra scorers. Chris Exciminiano sparked a 6-0 run with five straight points to push Alaska’s lead up to 12. Banchero and Enciso continued their onslaught to push the lead up to 18 heading into the half.
The dam broke in the fourth quarter. Enciso powered an 8-0 blast midway through the fourth quarter to push the lead to its biggest at 30 points. That advantage was too much to overcome for Ginebra, as Alaska cruised to the win.
Banchero finished with an all-around stat line of 20 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Enciso led the Aces in scoring with 23 points, three triples and five dimes. Japeth Aguilar led Ginebra with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Aces shot 50% from the field and 43% from beyond the arc. They were running their offense cleanly as they assisted on 23 of 44 made field goals. Ginebra’s offense was bogged down in this game. They shot only 36% from the field and 24% from the outside. They also had 15 turnovers to 17 assists.
In the first game, the TNT KaTropa edged out the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 100-92, to win their second straight game. TNT rises to fourth with a 4-3 record while Rain or Shine falls to second with their second loss in nine games.
The KaTropa took full control of the game in the second period. The familiar duo of Jayson Castro and Jay Washington led the way in the period. Washington, back in TNT colors helped push a slim three-point lead to eight. Castro then led the charge before halftime to build a 17-point lead.
In the third period, Maverick Ahanmisi, James Yap and Javee Mocon tried to get the Elasto Painters back in the game. They were able to cut the deficit down to eight points to start the final period. In the final minute of the game, Rain or Shine tried to make one final run to steal the lead. Jjay Alejandro and James Yap scored four straight points to cut the deficit down to four. But Castro iced the game at the line with three straight free throws.
Castro once again came off the bench to lead the KaTropa. He had 20 points and 10 assists. Troy Rosario added 20 points and six boards from the bench. Jay Washington had six points and seven rebounds in his return to TNT. James Yap led Rain or Shine with 18 points.