|Vic Manuel issued his seventh 20-point game as Alaska inches closer to a twice-to-beat edge. PBA Media Bureau|
By Ricky Manliguis
PASAY—Lucky seven indeed for Alaska.
With another solid games from Antonio Campbell and Vic Manuel, the Aces overpowered NLEX, 120-111, for its seventh successive win in the main game of Friday’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup action at the Mall Of Asia Arena.
Fending off a spirited NLEX comeback with clutch hits in the endgame, the Aces got closer to a twice-to-beat advantage and tied Rain Or Shine atop the standings with a 7-1 win-loss slate. The win was also the first against the Road Warriors in six head-to-head match-ups.
Campbell came off with 28 points, spiked on four three-pointers, to go along with eight rebounds. Manuel issued his seventh consecutive 20-plus game, finishing with 22 with 11 boards and a pair of assists.
But Alaska had its 18-point lead disappear on a second-half run by the Road Warriors led by Arnett Moultrie, who scored back-to-back hits for a 93-88 lead at the 10:28 mark in the fourth.
The Aces then rallied to take back the lead for good, 104-97 on Campbell’s two free throws. NLEX then came within 106-108, before Simon Enciso and Chris Bancero fire nine of Alaska’s final 12 points to settle the outcome.
Torrid three-point shooting proved to be decisive for the Aces, which shot 14-of-24 (58.3%) from beyond the arc. NLEX, on the other hand, fired only 5-for-15 (33%) from downtown.
Moultrie backstopped NLEX with a game-high 34 points and eight rebounds, but his efforts went for naught as the Road Warriors dropped to a 2-7 card. JR Quiñahan added 17 markers and five boards.
Mac Tallo made a splash in his debut with 11 points, three assists, three steals, two blocks, and a rebound in 19 minutes of action.
Alaska 120 — Campbell 28, Manuel 22, Casio 16, Enciso 13, Racal 13, Banchero 12, R. Pascual 6, Thoss 6, Exciminano 4, Baclao 0, Galliguez 0, Magat 0.
NLEX 111 — Moultrie 34, Quiñahan 17, Baguio 11, Mallari 11, Tallo 11, Tiongson 9, Ighalo 4, Miranda 4, Marcelo 3, Uyloan 3, Soyud 2, Taulava 2, Monfort 0.
Quarterscores: 28-14, 55-48, 88-86, 120-111.