|Alaska import Frank House issued 24 points in the team's win over NLEX for a quarterfinal slot. PBA Media Bureau.|
By Ricky Manliguis
ANTIPOLO CITY-- Alaska booked a place in the quarterfinal round as it rolled by NLEX, 106-90, in the first game of Wednesday action of the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup at the Ynares Center.
The Aces rode on a strong start and never looked back from then on to finish the elimination round with a 5-6 card and the seventh seed where they will set to face either Meralco or TNT with a twice-to -beat disadvantage in the quarterfinals.
After a 33-23 lead after the first 12 minutes, the Aces went on a tear in the second behind Kevin Racal's nine points for a 61-39 bubble with 1:46 left in the half.
The Road Warriors instigated a mini-comeback in the third period, trimming the deficit to just 10, 70-60, on a Kiefer Ravena triple in the 4:42 mark of the quarter. But Alaska held on from there, scoring 11 more points for an 81-65 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Frank House led five other Aces in double figures with 24 points and eight rebounds. Abu Tratter, Jvee Casio, and Racal each scored 12 markers, while Robby Herndon and Vic Manuel both chipped in 10.
In all, Alaska produced 41 bench points as compared to NLEX's 27, all while shooting 46.8 percent from the field. They also had a plus-7 advantage in both second-chance points and points off turnovers.
“I just want to mention that this game was really, really all the players just really coming in and just being ready,” said winning coach Jeffrey Cariaso of the team, which started the conference 0-5.
“I challenged them to be playoff ready this week in practice. The way we were practicing, the way we were engaged, the way we were focused, it is as if playoff time na kami because that’s how we need to look at it or else, we wouldn’t have a chance tonight.”
The loss dropped NLEX to an 8-3 record, but still secured top seeding and twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. Manny Harris led the charge with a near-double-double of 24 points and nine boards, while Poy Erram cashed in 19 markers.
JR Quinahan and Ravena were the other double-figure scorers with 17 and 15, respectively.
Alaska 106 - House 24, Casio 12, Racal 12, Tratter 12, Manuel 10, Herndon 10, Ahanmisi 8, Enciso 7, Ayaay 4, Brondial 4, Thoss 3, Galliguez 0.
NLEX 90 - Harris 22, Erram 19, Quinahan 17, Ravena 15, Ighalo 5, Soyud 4, Paniamogan 4, Miranda 2, Cruz 2, Alas 0, Fonacier 0.
Quarterscores: 33-23, 63-46, 81-65, 106-90.