PBA Philippine Cup

Returning Alaska builds off hot start, blows out reeling Ginebra

JR Isaga
Returning Alaska builds off hot start, blows out reeling Ginebra

ONE-SIDED. Abu Tratter and Alaska make quick work of Christian Standhardinger and Ginebra.

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Fresh and raring to return to battle after a one-week holdout due to health protocols, Alaska plays a near-perfect opening quarter on both ends against Ginebra

The Alaska Aces started off their 2021 PBA Philippine Cup return on a high note with a wire-to-wire 89-75 rout of the defending champion Barangay Ginebra at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Friday, September 17.

With the win, the Aces rose to 3-4 for the conference in the first of a grueling three straight game day slate, while the reeling Gin Kings dropped to eighth place with a 4-6 record, and are now in real danger of missing the playoffs entirely.

Abu Tratter led the balanced attack with 13 points and 4 rebounds, while Maverick Ahanmisi, Jeron Teng, and Robbie Herndon each chipped in 10 markers.

Fresh and raring to return to battle after a one-week holdout due to health protocols, Alaska played a near-perfect opening quarter on both ends of the court, and kicked the reigning champs down a 23-8 hole after the first 12 minutes.

Even as Stanley Pringle erupted for 13 of Ginebra’s first 16 points in the third quarter, it made little to no difference as the Aces traded blow by blow, and peaked with a 23-point lead, 64-41, off a Tratter free throw with 3:33 left in the period.

Time was simply not Ginebra’s friend down the stretch as Alaska maintained control with a double-digit lead all throughout the final frame.

Mike DiGregorio chipped in 11 of the Aces’ 46 bench points in just 19 minutes, while Rodney Brondial barely missed out on a double-double with 9 markers and 10 boards.

“It feels really good to be back playing again. It feels better to be successful today. We’re here for a reason, and we never forgot that. Today we survived, and then tomorrow is another battle that we’re gonna face,” said head coach Jeff Cariaso in the postgame presser.

“Today, I commend the guys. It was a team game. We stayed focused, and maintained composure throughout the whole game.”

Pringle rebounded from a scoreless first half to finish with 20 points and 7 rebounds, albeit off just an 8-of-21 clip from the field.

Scottie Thompson clawed his way to a 17-marker, 12-board double-double off the bench, while Christian Standhardinger and LA Tenorio were held to just 9 and 8 points, respectively.

Alaska will next face the top-ranked TNT Tropang Giga on Saturday, 4:35 pm, in the second of their three-day grind, while Ginebra goes back to the drawing board for an absolute must-win finale against the second-seeded Meralco Bolts sometime next week.

The Scores

Alaska 89 – Tratter 13, Digregorio 11, Herndon 10, Ahanmisi 10, Teng 10, Brondial 9, Banal 8, Marcelino 8, Casio 6, Adamos 4, Ilagan 0, Ebona 0.

Barangay Ginebra 75 – Pringle 20, Thompson 17, Standhardinger 9, Tenorio 8, Ayaay 7, Mariano 6, Devance 4, Tolentino 2, Dillinger 2, Caperal 0, R. Aguilar 0.

Quarters: 23-8, 43-25, 66-52, 89-75.

– Rappler.com