Alaska Milk gets better as the season wears on, and the Aces are proving to be the Talk n Text Tropang Texters’ worst enemy.
The Aces sizzled all night and crushed the Texters, 92-69, to stay unbeaten through five games in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday night.
Raising the level of their game higher, the Aces overwhelmed the Philippine Cup three-peat champs, dealing the Texters the severest punishment in the third quarter to open a 73-44 bulge.
Robert Dozier and his teammates padded their lead to 31 at 78-47 early in the fourth canto and cruised to their fifth straight win since losing their Final Four showdown with the Texters in the all-Filipino tourney.
In the Texters’ continued dominance, the Aces, however, are coming through with their jabs.
Out of the Texters’ seven losses in the season, four came at the hands of the Aces.
“Some of the guys in my team are warriors, too. There’s a good matchup between us, and our guys like the match,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo.
“With that being said, Talk n Text, however, is just one team. You have to go through the other teams,” Trillo added. “And you don’t beat Talk n Text just like we did tonight. May halong magandang effort on our part at swerte.”
The Aces put the game away while holding the Texters to five points in the third quarter – the second lowest ever in a quarter for the Smart-PLDT franchise.
The Texters returned cold from the halftime break, making only two of 21 field-goal attempts in the third period – also second worst in franchise history. The team had a worse 1-of-21 clip in 2001 under coach Louie Alas, who curiously was on the other side of the court in this particular game.
Dozier churned out double-double numbers with 23 points and 18 rebounds and got all the needed support from his local teammates particularly Cyrus Baguio, Calvin Abueva, Jayvee Casio and Dondon Hontiveros.
The Aces waxed hottest in the third period, breaking away from a 45-39 halftime lead.
With a steady 20-of-43 field shooting, the Aces also set the pace through opening half.
Alaska led by 15 at 28-13 before Talk n Text made its own run, narrowing the gap to six at the half on a running three-pointer by Castro from just after the midcourt line.
Baguio scored on a twisting shot then stole off Castro for a breakaway layup in Alaska’s final baskets in the second quarter.
Alaska actually held possession with 11 ticks left but Gabby Espinas muffed an up-and-under shot, leaving Castro enough time to beat the buzzer with a trey. (SB)