(STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Veteran Jeffrey Cariaso hit 11 of his 22 points in the final quarter and Fiesta Cup champion Alaska Milk finally nailed its first win in the 2007-08 Smart PBA Philippine Cup with a 98-94 decision over Coca-Cola last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Cariaso, now in his 13th season in the league at 35, took charge for the Aces in the homestretch, banging in clutch baskets that carried the team to their first win in three starts in the two-week-old season.

Other Alaska veterans Mike Cortez, Willie Miller and Reynel Hugnatan had their share in offense as the Aces ended their dry spell as they struggled under the league’s newly adopted rules.

“It’s pretty hard to win these days. The pace is so frenetic. The way the referees put the ball on the floor, nobody can organize. If I may say so, the game we’re playing is like high school basketball,” said coach Tim Cone.

“I’m just glad we’ve got one under our belt. Hopefully, we’ve got the monkey off our back and we build momentum on this win,” Cone added.

Cone relied heavily on his veteran mainstays, wary his new recruits may not cope with the new rules.

“We’re trying to find time to get our rookies in. I’d love to get the guys on the floor and develop their confidence. But it’s difficult at this point. The new rules are extremes, these make us coaches look stupid,” rued Cone.

First round draftees Ken Bono and JR Quinahan continued to play limited time and hardly factored as the Aces denied the Tigers a 2-0 start in the season.

Cariaso, Hugnatan, Cortez, Miller and Joachim Thoss each played at least 31 minutes, thus, accounting for the bulk of the team’s numbers.

Cariaso made five rebounds and four assists on top of his game-high 22 points, Hugnatan had a double-double game with 17 points and 16 rebounds, Cortez contributed 16 points and nine assists while Miller added 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

Alcano leads RP pool team to SEAG Saturday, October 27, 2007

Defending world pool champion Ronnie “The Volcano” Alcano heads the 13-player national squad the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines has chosen to represent the country in the coming 24th Southeast Asian Games this December in Thailand.

BSCP president Ernie Fajardo yesterday announced that joining Alcano, who will be defending his world pool crown early next month, in the team are Asian Games gold medalist Antonio “Gaga” Gabica, Marlon Manalo, Reynaldo Grandea, Lee Van Corteza, Dennis Orcollo and Emilio Villariza, all of the men’s billiards squad; and James Al Ortega, Benjamin Guevarra and Rodolfo Lordan Jr., of the snooker side.

Manalo, the best snooker player in the local scene, and Grandea, are both listed in the billiards and snooker events.

The women’s team is made up of 2005 Philippine SEA Games veterans Rubilen Amit, Mary Ann Basas and Iris Ranola, Fajardo also disclosed during the SCOOP weekly session at the Kamayan Restaurant-Padre Faura.

Fil-Canadian Alex Pagulayan, winner of two of eight gold medals the Filipino cue artists scooped up two years ago, will not be seeing action this time, according to Fajardo, as he, along with Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante are committed to play in the money-rich circuits.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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