Alaska derails Phoenix's twice-to-beat bid

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—Alaska put a dent to Phoenix's quest for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup with a 106-85 rout at the Cuneta Astrodome on Friday night.

The Aces attempted to break loose in the second quarter, opening a 60-42 lead at halftime.

Matt Wright started the second half with seven straight points to help the Fuel Masters come to within nine, 58-67, midway through the third quarter, but the Aces held on and blew the game wide open again in the end.

Vic Manuel came off the bench and even played through an ankle injury to finish with 21 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks, while Kevin Racal added a career-high 20 points with six rebounds, three assists, and two steals for Alaska, whose own bid for the second seed got a huge boost ahead of its last elimination round game against Rain or Shine on Wednesday night at the said venue.

Wright finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and one steal for Phoenix, which has actually lost the chance to finish second and could even fall to seventh or eighth place by Wednesday.

Box Scores:

Alaska 106-Manuel 21, Racal 20, Jazul 14, Racal 10, Hontiveros 9, Abueva 7, Casio 7, Thoss 6, Magat 4, Exciminiano 4, Cruz 2, Mendoza 2, Galliguez 0, Dela Cruz 0

Phoenix 85-Wright 18, W. Wilson 14, Baguio 13, Enciso 10, Borboran 8, Caperal 7, Intal 6, Alolino 3, J. Wilson 3, Torres 3, Hayes 0, Lanete 0, Miranda 0

Quarterscores: 25-19, 60-42, 82-65, 106-85

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno