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Manuel powers Alaska past Phoenix Super LPG

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The Alaska Aces again started flat but finished strong to continue their climb up the standings with a 105-97 victory over Phoenix Super LPG Thursday, October 29, 2020 at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena & Cultural Center Powered by Smart 5G.

Phoenix Super LPG player Matthew Wright (35) drives into the teeth of the Alaska Aces defense. Surrounding him are Alaska defenders, from left: Mike DiGregorio, Abu Tratter, Jvee Casio and Barkley Eboña. PBA

Trailing by as much as 14 points early on the Aces clamped down on defense in the fourth period while Vic Manuel ran amok at the offensive end to post the rousing victory.

Manuel exploded 10 points in the fourth to push the Aces to an insurmountable 14-point, 101-87, advantage with a little over two minutes left to play. 

He finished with 24 points, converting 11-of-14 attempts from the field (78%), grabbed 7 rebounds, issued 3 assists and had 1 steal to win Player of the Game honors.

“Discuss ni coach (Jeff Cariaso) ang execution. Nag-respond naman lahat. Nagkaroon ng magandang ball movement. Naging maganda ang execution namin,” said Manuel in the post-game interview.

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“Ako kasi, as one of the veterans, kailangan mag-lead ka talaga by example lalo na sa endgame. Ayun, naging maganda naman ang resulta.”

The victory propelled the Aces (5 wins, 3 losses) past Phoenix (4-3) into solo 5th place. Leading the standings are TNT Tropang Giga (5-0), Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (4-1), Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings (4-2) and San Miguel Beermen (4-2). 

The other teams include Meralco Bolts (3-3), Blackwater Elite (2-3), NorthPort Batang Pier (1-4), Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok (2-4), NLEX Road Warriors (1-5) and Terrafirma Dyip (0-5).

Phoenix made a big run late in the first period after Calvin Abueva took the floor. RR Garcia dribbled down court at the head of a fastbreak attack. He found an open RJ Jazul at the left side. Jazul drilled the open three-pointer to shove Phoenix to a 10-point, 29-19, lead after the first quarter. 

The Aces came storming back in the second. Jvee Casio drilled three triples as the Aces grabbed back the lead, 42-41, with 5 minutes to go in the half.

Matthew Wright however restored order in the Phoenix offense as the Super LPG made their own run to grab back the lead. He drilled a three-pointer to extend that lead to 4, 51-47, with 1:50 to go in the second.

Justin Chua and Mike DiGregorio traded baskets to peg the count at 53-49 for Phoenix.

Wright then dribbled past Mike DiGregorio, double-pumped to avoid a block attempt by Manuel and drilled a jumper which pushed Phoenix to a 55-49 advantage at halftime. 

Jeron Teng, frustrated by the Phoenix defense early on, finally hit his stride in the third period. He converted back-to-back field goals then split his charities to cut the Phoenix advantage to 4 points, 71-75, after the third quarter.

The Scores: 

Alaska Aces 105—Vic Manuel 24, Mike DiGregorio 21, Jvee Casio 13, Robbie Herndon 12, Jeron Teng 9, Rodney Brondial 8, MJ Ayaay 6, Abu Tratter 5, Barkley Eboña 4, Maverick Ahanmisi 3, Abel Galliguez 0. 

Phoenix Super LPG 97—Matthew Wright 27, Calvin Abueva 18, Justin Chua 15, Jason Perkins 10, RJ Jazul 9, RR Garcia 7, JC Intal 8, Dave Marcelo 2, Brian Heruela 1, Jorey Napoles 0, Jensen Rios 0.

Quarter Scores: 19-29, 49-55, 71-75, 105-97.

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