By JONAS TERRADO
Alaska claimed a share of the early lead while handing San Miguel Beer a second straight defeat after a 99-94 win Friday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Import Olu Ashaolu continued to show why he was seen as a great fit from the start after producing 23 points, 13 rebounds and four assists as the Aces posted a 2-0 record for the first time under coach Jeffrey Cariaso.
Robbie Herndon, whose go-ahead shot enabled Alaska to beat NorthPort two days prior, also had another solid game with 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals while Mike DiGregorio and rookie Alec Stockton added 10 apiece.
The Aces joined the NLEX Road Warriors on top of the standings after two playdates and they’ll look to end the week on a high note against defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday.
Beating Ginebra will allow Alaska to match its win total from the previous conference.
Cariaso once again cited the two wins to the team’s good conditioning and the presence of Ashaolu, who had another impressive job for the Aces.
June Mar Fajardo had 23 points and 15 rebounds while import Brandon Brown scored 22 but dealt with foul trouble as the Beermen fell to 0-2 after dealing Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot to NorthPort and Terrafirma for Vic Manuel and Simon Enciso.
Manuel and Enciso were held to six points each.
In the first game, NLEX took advantage of NorthPort’s failure to close things out in regulation and secure a 120-115 overtime victory.
Import KJ McDaniels scored 10 of his 40 points in the five-minute extension as the Road Warriors secured their second straight win while handing the Batang Pier another heartbreaking defeat after two games in the season-ending conference.
McDaniels was able to have a big hand in the win after two missed free throws and a turnovers appeared to have cost the Road Warriors with the Batang Pier ahead 102-99.
But the Batang Pier also made costly mistakes, with Paolo Taha missing two foul shots and Arwind Santos, who had earlier led his team’s comeback, turning the ball over.
Kevin Alas was fouled by import Cameron Forte with 1.2 left in regulation, making three pressure-packed free throws to force overtime.
Alas finished with 21 points, four rebounds, four assists, Mike Miranda came off the bench to score 13 while rookie Calvin Oftana made five of his 10 points in overtime.
Greg Slaughter made 22 points, Santos had 20 points, Forte tallied 17 points and 23 rebounds while Robert Bolick added 18 points, six rebounds and 14 assists but NorthPort fell to 0-2.
NLEX 120 — McDaniels 40, Alas 21, Miranda 13, Oftana 10, Trollano 8, Quiñahan 8, Magat 4, Cruz 4, Semerad 4, Varilla 3, Rosales 3, Paniamogan 2.
NORTHPORT 115 — Slaughter 22, Santos 20, Bolick 18, Forte 17, Malonzo 14, Taha 9, Ferrer 7, Balanza 7, Rike 1, Elorde 0, Grey 0.
Quarters: 30-19, 57-50, 84-75, 102-102 (Reg), 120-115 (OT).
ALASKA 99 — Ashaolu 23, Herndon 11, Stockton 10, Digregorio 10, Tratter 10, Ahanmisi 9, Teng 7, Tolomia 6, Taha 4, Brondial 4, Racal 3, Adamos 2.
SAN MIGUEL 94 — Fajardo 23, Brown 22, Romeo 16, Lassiter 11, Perez 7, Enciso 6, Manuel 6, Tautuaa 3, Zamar 0, Pessumal 0.
Quarters: 25-28, 53-51, 77-68, 99-94.