San Miguel seals second win at Alaska's expense

San Miguel seals second win at Alaska's expense

Alex Cabagnot exploded for 31 markers. PBA Images
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong

PASAY CITY - The San Miguel Beermen are slowly getting their winning groove on as they defeated the Alaska Aces, 119-107, in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.

It was a one-sided win that was dictated early in the first half, with the Aces only getting the chance to lead the ball game at the onset of the first quarter.

Alex Cabagnot's stellar performance led the Beermen to their second victory, scoring 31 points in the game with most of them coming from beyond the arc.

"This is a very important game for us dahil we don’t want to be left behind at the bottom. [It was a] scare game at the start because we didn’t have a good start. As much as possible we want to have a good start but naiwan agad kami. I’m so happy na nagkaroon agad sila ng sense of urgency and we were able to recover and at the first half, we were able to get a lead of 24 points," said San Miguel Coach Leo Austria.

The Beermen played with all determination despite missing the services of Chris Ross due to a minor strain on his calf.

Ross's absence in the game gave reason for other players in the San Miguel roster to step up and show off their kind of game like Kelly Nabong, who fired a triple to extend their lead to 22 points, 63-39 just before the first half came to a close.

However, the second half saw a fighting Alaska Aces trying to come close to the Beermen lead through the efforts of Chris Banchero.

Banchero scored 6 straight points in matters of seconds for the Aces, with his last field goal making San Miguel worried that they called for a timeout with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter.

Through the back-to-back-to-back scores coming from Banchero, Alaska was able to cut the lead down to only 15 points from a high of 24, 76-61.

The third quarter eventually ended with San Miguel enjoying an 18-point advantage, 85-67.

Outside shooting from both teams highlighted the final quarter of the game with Marcio Lassiter scoring back-to-back triples to pull the Beermen back to a 22-point advantage.

Alaska were able to cut the 22-point lead to just 12 through the late outside scoring efforts coming from Simon Enciso and MJ Ayaay.

"I’m expecting na today talagang we will play hard and well but we didn’t have a good start but I am happy na they realized that this game is not our A-game and they stepped up. I’m happy to see them na after a while, nakita nyo naman naka-ratsada na agad and we were able to get the lead of 24 points at the end of the half," Austria further narrated.

Austria also commended Cabagnot for the latter's effort in the ball game that helped improve the Beermen's record of 2 wins and 3 losses.

"I have to commend his play today dahil makikita mo na single handedly, when we were down in the first half. I’m not surprised with him as long as he is focused, magagawa nya yun e. I saw him play in the practice and yung mga ginagawa nya, talagang ginagawa nya yun sa practice," Austria said.

Follow her on Twitter: @_ichbinxyzha

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