MANILA, Philippines – Alaska had the last laugh against former franchise player Calvin Abueva as it handed Phoenix its first loss in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup with a 108-97 win at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, August 29.
The Aces clinched solo first place with an immaculate 3-0 record in the game that marked the first time they played against Abueva, who played six years for the franchise before getting traded to the Fuel Masters.
Mike Harris paced Alaska with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks but it was Nonoy Baclao who provided the big boost his team needed to dispatch the pesky Phoenix, which dropped to 2-1.
Baclao finished with 15 points – his highest in an Alaska uniform – to go with 7 rebounds and 2 blocks and fired 11 of his output in the team's second-half assault that saw the Aces lead by as much as 12 after trailing by 11 in the first half.
Chris Banchero submitted an all-around game of 19 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals, Simon Encison chipped in 18 points, 4 assists while Vic Manuel added 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals in the win.
Import Eugune Phelps still filled up the stats sheet for the Fuel Masters with 27 points, 24 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks, but the Aces did just enough to limit him from his usual numbers after he averaged 40.0 points in the first two games.
Jason Perkins chalked up 20 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds while Abueva had 18 points and 9 rebounds in the losing cause.
Alaska 108 - Harris 23, Banchero 19, Enciso 18, Baclao 15, Manuel 9, Racal 8, Exciminiano 5, Casio 5, Teng 4, Pascual 2.
Phoenix 97 - Phelps 27, Perkins 20, Abueva 18, Wright 13, Chua 6, Jazul 6, Intal 5, Revilla 2, Wilson 0.
Quarters: 19-22, 54-49, 83-78, 108-97.
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.