January 24, 2018, 9:21 am
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Alaska adds to Kia woes

ALASKA continued to rediscover its winning ways last night while the dry spell and struggle continue for Kia.

The Aces added to the woes of the hapless Picanto, scoring a 102-65 beatdown night for their second straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

After being held to a tight battle in the first half, Alaska leaned on a big second half breakaway, holding the Picanto to only five points in the third period en route to the runaway victory.

Living up to his lofty billing, rookie Jeron Teng led the Aces’ vicious third quarter run and scattered a team-high 23 points and barely missed a double-double with nine rebounds while Carl Bryan Cruz came off the bench and chipped in 16 markers.

Chris Banchero and Calvin Abueva had 11 and 10 points, respectively, as Alaska improved to 2-2 while handing Kia its sixth straight loss dating back to last year’s Commissioner’s Cup and a 0-4 record in this tourney – the longest losing skid in the pro league in the last decade.

Reserve big man Jake Pascual also notched a double-double of 10 points and 11 boards for the Aces.

Alaska scored a fitting follow-up to its 103-98 win over Meralco last Jan. 10 while the Picanto failed to atone for an embarrassing 77-124 defeat to Magnolia also on Jan. 10.

Aces coach Alex Compton lauded his charges’ defense in the second half that he said spelled the big difference.

“I really appreciate the effort of the guys tonight defensively. I think we have some teeth back in our defense,” said Compton.

“It feels like we’re on a little bit of an upswing and they’re (Kia) still trying to figure it out,” he added.

Kia stayed within striking distance early on behind veteran Ronald Tubid and trailed 34-39 at the half.

The Aces, however, shifted to high gear in the third, outscoring the Picanto 36-5 with the likes of Teng, Abueva, Cruz, and Pascual doing the damage.

Rashawn McCarthy paced the Picanto with 16 points while Eric Camson and Tubid added 15 and 13, respectively. 
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