SEEMINGLY having found their collective groove and form in the ongoing Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup, the Alaska Aces look sustain it as they go deeper in the tournament.
Raced to their third straight win on Sunday with a 93-89 victory over the Meralco Bolts, the Aces improved to a 4-2 record, good for solo fourth place in the 12-team field in the midseason PBA tournament.
The win put Alaska in a good position to advance to the next round with five games remaining in its elimination schedule.
Against the Bolts at the weekend, the Aces turned to “We Not Me” mode to hack out the gutsy win.
The locals, in particular, played solid as their import Chris Daniels played much of the game saddled by fouls.
Guard Chris Banchero, named player of the game after, had a solid all-around game in the win, finishing with 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Vic Manuel also came up big in only his second game for the Aces this conference with 17 points and six boards.
Mr. Daniels had 12 points while Jeron Teng wound up with 10 markers.
Having racked up three straight wins, Mr. Banchero said the challenge now is to keep it going, more so against tough teams they are set to meet next.
“That’s a win we had to have. We wanted to put up some games and that’s three in a row for us. We have good teams coming up against and I think we are going in the right direction,” said Mr. Banchero in the postgame interview following their victory over Meralco.
“We want to continue playing well. Hopefully our next games against Phoenix, San Miguel and defending champion Barangay Ginebra would prepare us for the playoffs,” he added.
The Alaska guard said the return to action of Mr. Manuel is a boon to the team moving forward.
“It’s good to have Vic back. He changes the game in so many different ways,” said Mr. Banchero.
Mr. Manuel played his second game with the team after missing the entire Philippine Cup and their early games in the ongoing tournament because of knee injury.
The Aces play next against the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters on June 15. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo