Alaska welcomed the return of Jayvee Casio and Kevin Racal with a 92-77 win over Meralco Wednesday that put it right back in the hunt for quarterfinals berths in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jeron Teng’s 16 points led the Aces’ balanced scoring and their defense was spot on in the stretches that mattered most. Sonny Thoss even merited special mention from coach Alex Compton after they snapped out of a three-game slide.
But Compton also gave credit to the boost in morale provided by Casio and Racal finally seeing action after missing their first eight matches due to pre-season injuries.
“Obviously, for me and for the whole team, it’s nice to have Jayvee and Kevin Racal back,” said Compton. “They are obivously a little bit rusty and a little out of shape but we thought Jayvee came in and made some plays, K-Racs made some plays, in the way they usually do.”
Alaska now improved to 4-5, putting it at seventh-running spot ahead of 4-6 Columbian and 3-5 Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok.
The loss, its second straight, should sting a lot for Meralco as it dropped the Bolts to a 3-7 slate with Barangay Ginebra as its last eliminations assignment next Wednesday.
Alaska 92 – Teng 16, Enciso 14, Banchero 13, Thoss 13, Casio 12, Racal 9, Cruz 7, Pascual 6, Baclao 2, Exciminiano 0, Ayaay 0.
Meralco 77 – Salva 23, Canaleta 18, Newsome 11, Amer 8, Quinto 5, Tolomia 4, Hodge 3, Hugnatan 2, Pinto 2, Jackson 1, Caram 0, Faundo 0.
Quarterscores: 20-16, 45-38, 69-57, 92-77.