Alaska destroys Phoenix to seal twice-to-beat bonus

Delfin Dioquino
Alaska destroys Phoenix to seal twice-to-beat bonus
The Aces secure the number two spot while eliminating the Fuel Masters from playoff contention in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup

MANILA, Philippines – Alaska hit 3 birds with one stone following its 114-91 triumph over Phoenix at the Cuneta Astrodome on Friday, July 6.

The Aces secured the final twice-to-beat advantage heading into the quarterfinals, eliminated the Fuel Masters from playoff contention and determined the last 8 teams standing that will vie for the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. 

For the 10th straight game, Vic Manuel breached the 20-point mark with 28 points on top of 9 rebounds and two steals to lead other 4 players in double figures as the Aces ended a two-game dry spell and improved to 8-3 for the No. 2 ranking. 

Diamon Simpson, who returned for Alaska as a replacement for import Antonio Campbell, submitted solid numbers of 18 points, 19 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks while Chris Banchero chipped in 14 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds. 

Alaska simply had its way over the Fuel Masters from the get-go as it swung a slim 13-10 lead to a 17-point advantage after the first quarter, 34-17. 

Phoenix made runs here and there but the Aces proved to be a much better team, seeing their lead swell to as large as 27 points, 112-85, off a Simon Enciso triple with 2:41 minutes left in the game.

Jeron Teng, who missed a month of action after sustaining multiple stab wounds in a brawl last June, suited up and helped Alaska with 7 points, two rebounds and two assists. 

Eugene Phelps paced the Fuel Masters, who slipped to 4-7, with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks. 

The Scores: 

Alaska (114): Manuel 28, Simpson 18, Banchero 14, Exciminiano 12, Enciso 10, Thoss 7, Teng, 7, Casio 4, Baclao 4, Racal 3, R. Pascual 3, J. Pascual, Galliguez 1, Cruz 0

Phoenix (91): Phelps 23, Wright 13, Perkins 10, Revilla 10, Jazul 8, Intal 6, Eriobu 6, Guevarra 4, Dehesa 4, Wilson 3, Mendoza 3, Chua 1, Kramer 0, Gamboa 0 

Quarter scores: 34-17, 53-42, 80-63, 114-91


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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.