By Argie Paul Candare
The Alaska Aces are back on the winning column by blowing out hapless Blackwater Bossing, 98-75, in the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Maverick Ahanmisi was spectacular for the Aces, finishing with 17 points, grabbing eight rebounds and two assists.
Alaska also got valuable contribution from Jeron Teng, who had 14 markers, eight boards and three assists as the Aces notched their third win in five outings.
Coach Jeffrey Cariaso, who described Blackwater as a “wounded tiger”, instilled a specific mentality within his team after two close previous losses.
“Being in the game and having our opportunities to win, especially the last two games, we really felt those were winnable games. So, going into this game tonight, I think what we did was focus on the intangibles that we weren’t doing well and focus on not committing turnovers,” Cariaso said.
The win, however, proved costly as reinforcement Olu Ashaolu was injured.
“We’re hoping that he’s okay, but he kind of felt something in his lower extremities. I don’t know exactly where it is. I’m hoping he just started to cramp, so we’re praying na ‘yun lang ‘yun” said Cariaso on his import’s condition.
The hefty 6’5” banger had only 10 points, plus seven rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
On the other hand, Rashawn McCarthy was able to produce 16 points from four-out-of-seven three-point attempts.
Blackwater only picked up two points from hobbling reinforcement Jaylen Bond.
Guard Ed Daquioag had 12 points and four rebounds.
With the loss, the Bossing absorbed their fifth defeat this conference and 24th straight overall dating back to their previous campaigns. They have not won since October 2020 in the Philippine Cup bubble.