Purefoods Star Hotshots 73
Alaska Aces 93



Alaska jumpstarted its 2015 PBA Philippine Cup campaign with a 93-73  crushing of grand slam champ Purefoods at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday.

The Aces broke away from a 16-16 standoff at the end of the first quarter and erected a 43-29 bulge at the half.

They never looked back after that, even stretching their lead to 89-64 in the final canto.

Calvin Abueva led Alaska with 21 points .

The Star Hotshots, who lost Ian Sangalang in the third period due to injury, had James Yap on top of their scoring ladder with 26 points.

Marc Pingris missed the game, given a much-needed break after the gruelling Gilas Pilipinas schedule.

Alaska came out playing with great energy and intensity in its first game in PBA Season 40, humbling reigning four-peat champ Purefoods Star, 93-73, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.

Abandoning the triangle offense for a relentless gung-ho game, the Aces stole the thunder from the Hotshots who earlier in the night received their rings for their 2014 grand slam season.

“It’s a great start obviously. We’re up against a great team under the best coach in the league. But we also have to admit we beat them without Marc Pingris,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton.

“Marc Pingris is the No. 1 energy guy in the league and that’s a big thing. Since wala siya, our bigs took advantage,” Compton added.

The Aces pressed on defense relentlessly, forcing the Hotshots to 24 errors. And Alaska beat Purefoods Star, 17-2, on points off turnovers.

“I love the energy of our guys. Umpisa pa lang ang taas na, and we have to slow them down kasi pati kami nag-e-error,” said Compton.

As they settled down, the Aces seized control, 43-29, at the half and sustained the effort through the final half, leading by as many as 25 at 89-64.

With tremendous effort, the Aces dominated practically on all fronts of the game, winning the rebounding battle, 48-40; playmaking, 15-12; and steals, 8-6.

Calvin Abueva topscored with 21 points with RJ Jazul and Vic Manuel firing 11 apiece and Jvee Casio, Dondon Hontiveros and Sonny Thoss adding nine each.

Though held scoreless in the fourth quarter, James Yap topscored for Purefoods with 16 points while PJ Simon and Yousef Taha made 10 each.

Ian Sangalang failed to finish the game as he took a bad fall in the third quarter, suffering a suspected ACL injury. (SB)

The scores:

ALASKA 93 – Abueva 21, Manuel 11, Jazul 11, Thoss 9, Hontiveros 9, Casio 9, Baguio 6, Bugia 6, Banchero 5, Eman 2, Dela Cruz 2, Dela Rosa 2, Exciminiano 0.

PUREFOODS 73 – Yap 16, Taha 10, Simon 10, Barroca 6, Devance 6, Maliksi 5, Matias 5, Melton 4, Mallari 4, Reavis 3, Holstein 3, Sangalang 1, Gaco 0.

Quarterscores: 16-16, 43-29, 68-51, 93-73

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