Vic Manuel connected on a floater with no time remaining to power the Alaska Aces to a 105-103 win over the San Miguel Beermen, Saturday night at the Lamberto Macias Sports and Cultural Center in Dumaguete City.
The win, the Aces’ 4th straight in the conference after losing the opener, improved the team’s record to 4-1 and along with it a tie for top spot with idle Rain or Shine and TNT.
Controversial import Renaldo Balkman made his much-anticipated debut for the defending champions but fell short of leading the team to its first win in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup. The 33-year old Puerto Rican finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals but had 4 turnovers and made just 6 out of 14 attempts from the free throw line.
Christian Standhardinger backstopped the debuting SMB import with 22 points and 6 rebounds while Marcio Lassiter added 20 points.
Manuel led the Aces with 23 points and 5 rebounds while JVee Casio and Chris Banchero added 18 and 15 points respectively.
The Beermen absorbed their 3rd straight setback and will enter the league’s All-Star break without a win to show.
Alaska 105 – Manuel 23, Casio 18, Banchero 15, Campbell 13, Abueva 13, Racal 7, Magat 5, Thoss 4, Exciminiano 3, Enciso 2, Teng 2, Baclao 0, Pascual 0
San Miguel 103 – Balkman 32, Standhardinger 22, Lassiter 20, Santos 12, Fajardo 7, Lanete 6, Cabagnot 4, Ross
Quarterscores: 28-20, 57-43, 81-72, 105-103.