Alaska fends off Blackwater to go 2-0

By Patrick Sutare

QUEZON CITY--Alaska is off to a strong start in this year's PBA Commissioner's Cup, chalking up its second win with a convincing triumph over Blackwater, 109-95, Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Showing that they have moved on from their heartbreaking exit of the Philippine Cup, the Aces flaunted flashes of their usual dominance on the overwhelming victory over the Elite, especially on the defensive end.

After maintaining a sizeable cushion in the first half, 52-43, the multi-titled franchise turned to their full-court pressing defense at the start of the third quarter to frustrate the Elite, building their lead to its biggest at 21, 72-51.

Starting frontcourt duo of Calvin Abueva and Sonny Thoss would then slightly hurt the cause of Alaska as both picked up their fourth fouls respectively early in the third canto that allowed Blackwater to close in to 12, 80-68, going into the fourth.

Roi Sumang and Reil Cervantes conspired for 27 points in the payoff period for Blackwater, but that's all the Elite could put up as Alaska walked off rolling till the end.

They fall to a dismal 0-2 start in the mid-season conference.

Cervantes hoisted 21 points in just 14 minutes while Gregg Smith's presence was hardly felt after finishing with just 14 points.

Cory Jefferson paced the Aces with 28 markers and 15 boards while Carl Bryan Cruz chipped in 15 on 60 percent field goal shooting.