In just their very first game of the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup, the Alaska Aces showed that they are already in dangerous form as they cruised to a comfortable 28-point victory over the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 107-79, on Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Import Cory Jefferson led the way with 28 points and 14 rebounds while getting some ample support from local teammates like Calvin Abueva, Sonny Thoss and Jake Pascual.
Abueva scored 15 points – nine of those coming in the fourth quarter – while Thoss chipped in with 13 and Pascual 12.
GlobalPort, playing without PBA scoring leader Terrence Romeo, leaned on Stanley Pringle, who tallied 27 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals in an impressive showing.
The Batang Pier’s import, Sean Williams, finished with 18 points and 19 rebounds while bucking four trouble.
Alaska set the tone as early as the first quarter after getting a welcome lift from recent acquisition Simon Enciso. The former Phoenix Fuel Masters guard started the game for the Aces and scored all eight of his points in the first quarter – including a pair of three-pointers – as the team took a 32-24 lead.
They did not look back from there, leading by 17 points, 59-42, at the half and by 23, 81-58, after three quarters.
GlobalPort showed some signs of life at that point, with Williams scoring seven points in a 9-0 start to the fourth period for the Batang Pier, who came to within 14 points, 81-67, with 9:28 remaining.
But Abueva made some big shots to push the Aces lead back up and some late three-pointers from Jefferson, Kevin Racal and Abel Galliguez allowed Alaska to take leads of as high as 29 points in the endgame.
The Aces picked up their first win despite missing Vic Manuel and JVee Casio.
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