Manuel, Abueva rock Aces stop Mahindra Playoff hopes

Manuel, Abueva rock  Aces stop Mahindra Playoff hopes

The Alaska Aces smashed 33 points in 12 minutes against the Mahindra Floodbuster, paving way for two-point 3rd quarter lead into a 07-91 win on Sunday, 22nd January in the PBA Philippines Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

Leading with just two points entering the 4th quarter, 74-72, Mahindra proved to be tough to handle for Aces, however Alaska outscored the Floodbuster 33-19 in the last 12 minutes to put an end to the game on a winning note.

Once again, Vic Manuel and Calvin Abueva played big for Alaska with Manuel registering 20 points and three rebounds, while Abueva had a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds plus three blocks, also notably JVee Casio scored 11 points and six assists.

Alaska head Coach Alex Compton said –

“Calvin has mentors in Tony [Dela Cruz] and Dondon [Hontiveros]. Calvin did some great things today; he made some better decisions,”

“Tony and Dondon have changed the game for us in the second half. It’s a real benefit to have that kind of quality of leaders of your team. I’m grateful to have those guys on my team and they made good plays.” he added

Being on the ground for less than eight minutes, Hontiveros and Dela Cruz notched seven points each, while RJ Jazul and Kevin Racal gave starter support for Abueva with 9 points each.

With the victory, the Aces improved to 5-4 record, known to be a temporary tie for the 2nd spot in the tournament, pending the result from the 2nd game between Phoenix and Ginebra. Mahindra on the other hand dropped to 2-7 and are now formally eliminated from the playoff race.

Interestingly, the victory also meant Meralco (3-7) and NLEX (2-7) are out of the playoff race.