Edwards debuts with 36 to lead Alaska past TNT
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – New import Shane Edwards made an immediate impact for the Alaska Aces with 36 points and 20 rebounds to lead them past Tropang TNT, 108-100, in the 2016 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Wednesday, February 24 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces, bridesmaids in the past Philippine Cup, picked up their first win of the conference in Edwards' debut as he replaced the injured Rob Dozier, who is out for a month with plantar fasciitis.
Alaska head coach Alex Compton reiterated he is still open to having Dozier back once he recovers, and he is looking forward to taking on the welcome headache of choosing between the two imports. Dozier watched the game from the first row.
"I really hope Shane gives me a hard time, I hope he gives me a problem. But we signed Rob. Shane came in here because of Rob's injury. I hope we win every game with Shane," explained Alaska head coach Alex Compton.
"I love them both, honestly."
Vic Manuel had 13 points off the bench while Calvin Abueva 11 points and 6 rebounds as the Aces played their first game with an import.
"I'm really happy with the effort against a first-rate, well-coached team," Compton added.
"Last year after we lost the All-Filipino, it was tough licking our wounds. We were tired and changed imports. This year still isn't easy but I'm grateful for the intestinal fortitude that our players have. They got up and they're still fighting."
Edwards showcased his athleticism with a booming alley-oop dunk on a lob from Abueva to push Alaska's lead to 97-90 midway in the fourth after the Aces went on a 10-0 run to gain the lead early in the last quarter.
The Aces maintained a safe distance from the Tropa, 89-82, with 3-of-4 free throws off of TNT rookie Troy Rosario's technical and flagrant foul penalty 1 from a landing spot foul as Edwards was taking a 3-point shot.
Rosario, who got his second technical for pointing at a referee during that play, was ejected from the game and finished with 12 points.
RJ Jazul, who also tallied 13 points for Alaska, hit a big trey and a stepback jumper down the stretch to keep TNT at bay.
TNT also brandished new reinforcement in David Simon to replace banned Ivan Johnson.
Simon, who is well-conditioned and fresh off of his Korean Basketball League stint, paced the Tropa with 35 points, 19 rebounds and 4 blocks. Though he also had 8 turnovers.
Matt Ganuelas-Rosser had 14 markers while Ranidel De Ocampo came up with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Jayson Castro added 11 markers, 5 boards and 7 assists as TNT dropped its third straight game for a 1-3 record.
Alaska (108): Edwards 36, Jazul 13, Manuel 13, Abueva 11, Banchero 9, Baguio 8, Casio 7, Thoss 6, Dela Rosa 3, Eman 2, Exciminiano 0, Racal 0.
TNT (100): Simon 35, Rosser 14, De Ocampo 13, Rosario 12, Castro 11, Fonacier 6, Reyes R. 3, Reyes J. 3, Tautuaa 3, Carey 0, Nuyles 0.
Quarter scores: 24-26, 44-53, 73-78, 108-100.
Alaska coach Alex Compton after defeating TNT #PBA2016Posted by Jane Yvette Bracher on Wednesday, 24 February 2016