by Jonas Terrado
Games Tomorrow (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. — Meralco vs Phoenix Pulse
7 p.m. — Rain or Shine vs Ginebra
It didn’t take long for the Alaska Aces to do away with the welcome sign.
Alaska spoiled the PBA Commissioner’s Cup debut of Magnolia with key players making significant contributions in a 103-80 victory yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jvee Casio, Jeron Teng, import Chris Daniels and Chris Banchero led the charge as the Aces improved to 3-2 by taking advantage of the Hotshots’ lack of form after losing the Philippine Cup Finals three weeks ago.
Casio finished with 17 points and four assists, Teng had 12 points and 12 rebounds, Daniels picked up his play in the second half to finish with 23 and seven rebounds while Banchero dished out 11 assists in the win.
The Aces led by a high of 28 points, 94-66 in the fourth, to deal the Hotshots a sound beating. Coach Alex Compton, however, felt his team was just fortunate to face a team still reeling from the previous conference.
“I’m exceptionally happy that we won but I also recognize that was far from their strongest punch,” said Compton.
Compton and company won on the night they welcomed Vic Manuel back after the forward missed the Philippine Cup and the first four games of the current conference due to back spasms and an injured right calf.
Manuel had six points in nearly nine minutes.
Ian Sangalang had 17 points and nine rebounds and Mark Barroca added 15 points for Magnolia, which hopes to pick up its play as the tournament progresses.
Hotshots import John Fields had 12 points and six rebounds, a far cry from his averages of 29.1 points and 19.1 rebounds when he played for the Columbian Dyip in last year’s midseason tourney.
Alaska led from the onset with Casio making his first six shots to help Alaska take a 50-38 halftime lead.
ALASKA 103 — Daniels 23, Casio 17, Teng 12, Enciso 11, Cruz 9, Banchero 8, Manuel 6, Thoss 4, Ayaay 4, Exciminiano 2, Racal 2, Galliguez 2, Babilonia 2, Andrada 1, Potts 0, Pascual 0.
MAGNOLIA 80 — Sangalang 17, Barroca 15, Fields 12, Lee 9, Jalalon 7, Herndon 6, Ramos 5, Melton 4, Dela Rosa 3, Brondial 2, Pascual 0, Simon 0.
Quarters: 25-20, 50-38, 89-64, 103-80