Alaska keeps playoff hunt going, virtually eliminates Meralco
MANILA, Philippines – Alaska regained its footing in its playoff hunt with a 92-77 manhandling of Meralco in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, March 20.
The Aces banked on a balanced scoring attack with 5 players finishing in double figures to snap a three-game skid and hike their record to 4-5 for 7th place in the team standings.
Jeron Teng continued to carry the scoring cudgels for Alaska, finishing with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists while Chris Banchero chalked up 13 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists and Simon Enciso had 14.
But it was Sonny Thoss who earned the biggest praise from Aces head coach Alex Compton after putting up 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
"He played like a boss," Compton said of the the 37-year-old big man.
Returning key players JVee Casio and Kevin Racal also provided a big boost for Alaska by delivering 12 and 9 points, respectively, off the bench.
The Bolts were still within striking distance late in the payoff period behind Nico Salva as they trailed by just 8 points, 70-78, before the Aces pulled away for good behind a 14-4 spurt for their biggest lead of the game.
Salva caught fire for 23 points – with 14 coming in the 4th quarter alone – to go with 8 rebounds and 3 assists but Meralco still fell to their second straight loss.
By falling to 3-7, the Bolts are virtually eliminated from playoff contention.
KG Canaleta had 18 points and 4 assists while Chris Newsome chimed in 11 points and 9 rebounds in the losing effort.
Alaska 92 – Teng 16, Enciso 14, Banchero 13, Thoss 13, Casio 12, Racal 9, Cruz 7, Pascual 6, Baclao 2, Exciminiano 0, Ayaay 0.
Meralco 77 – Salva 23, Canaleta 18, Newsome 11, Amer 8, Quinto 5, Tolomia 4, Hodge 3, Hugnatan 2, Pinto 2, Jackson 1, Caram 0, Faundo 0.
Quarters: 20-16, 45-38, 69-57, 92-77.