Alaska forces rubber match against TNT

Diamon Simpson led the Alaska Aces in shocking the TNT KaTropa in their quarterfinal match at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Dennis Jerome Acosta
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong

Quezon City - The Alaska Aces used team effort to stop Terrence Jones as they defeated the TnT KaTropa at the start of their Quarterfinals match; 72-108, Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Aces did have a strong start in the ball game, showing grit against TnT as they lead as much as 9 points in the opening quarter.

Alaska continued to surge in the second period despite the efforts of the KaTropa to come close into the game. TnT was able to cut the advantage to a point but the Aces found a savior in Chris Bachero who scored on a lay-up and earned a bonus free throw from a foul by Ryan Reyes.

From the completion of the 3-point play, Alaska safely sailed away, leading as high as 15 points in the second period. Jayson Castro, however, was able to score a three-pointer to beat the buzzer that trimmed the lead down to 12 points; 41-53 at the halftime break.

The third period has been a horror spell for the KaTropa as the Aces continued on playing their hearts out in the ball game, wanting to earn another chance at the spot in the semifinals. Alaska's lead ballooned from 12 points to as high as 27 points by the sound of the buzzer.

Alaska massively outscored TnT in the 3rd quarter as they tallied in 36 points as compared to only 19 points of the KaTropa.

Frustration loomed at the end of the third period, with Terrence Jones being called for a Flagrant Foul Penalty 1 that sent Carl Bryan Cruz to the free throw line.

Cruz extended the lead to 29 points after sinking both free throws.

At the final period, with 6:58 left to play, Vic Manuel scored a lay-up to extend Alaska's advantage to 31 points; 67-98. Manuel was able to fish a foul from Yousef Taha that sent him on the free throw line.

Manuel's free throw added another point unto their lead; 67-99.

At the return of play, Coach Alex Compton rested his starters and used his second unit to continue protecting their lead against the KaTropa which has the ability to come back in a ball game. However, TnT was not able to take advantage of it as Alaska's second unit were as gritty as their starters were.

Abel Galliguez scored a three pointer just a minute shy from the final two minutes of the game that pushed Alaska further by 38, 70-108.

Diamon Simpson was named as the best player of the game with 15 points and 19 rebounds.

TnT and Alaska plays their sudden death match on Wednesday.

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