The Alaska Aces made sure that there would be no complications going into the playoffs by dominating the listless Phoenix Fuel Masters from start to finish to end the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup elimination round on a winning note, 114-91 Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
With the win, the Aces picked up its 8th win in 11 games and assured itself of a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals by virtue of a No. 2 finish.
The Wilfred Uytengsu-owned franchise built a 17-point cushion, 34-17 early in the first quarter and cruised on its way to victory, effectively rebounding from back-to-back losses to Meralco and Brgy. Ginebra.
Vic Manuel once again stool tall for the Aces by scattering 28 points and hauling down 9 rebounds to go with 2 assists in only 19 minutes of action.
Returnee import Diamon Simpson also made a account of himself by coming up with a double-double performance of 18 points and 19 boards. The team’s reinforcement during the 2010 Fiesta Cup also had 4 assists and 4 blocks.
Guards Chris Banchero, Chris Exciminiano and Simon Enciso joined the double-digit parade by contributing 14, 12 and 10 points respectively.
Rookie Jeron Teng made a successful return from an almost fatal stabbing incident last June by scoring 7 markers.
Eugene Phelps led the hard-luck Fuel Masters with 23 points and 10 boards while Matthew Wright added 13.
Alaska 114 – Manuel 28, Simpson 18, Banchero 14, Exciminiano 12, Enciso 10, Thoss 7, Teng 7, Baclao 4, Casio 4, Racal 3, R. Pascual 3, J. Pascual 3, Galliguez 1, Cruz 0.
Phoenix 91 – Phelps 23, Wright 13, Revilla 10, Perkins 10, Jazul 8, Intal 6, Eriobu 6, Guevarra 4, Dehesa 4, Mendoza 3, W. Wilson 3, Chua 1, Kramer 0, Gamboa 0.
Quarterscores: 34-17, 53-42, 80-63, 114-91.