PBA FIESTA: BEWARE, REIGNING CHAMP ACES GETTING BETTER & BETTER
MANILA, MAY 26, 2008 (STAR) By Nelson Beltran - Reigning champion Alaska Milk, getting better and better as the tournament wears on, notched a third straight win with a 110-98 walloping of erstwhile leader Talk n Text in the Smart PBA Fiesta Conference at the Astrodome last night.
Not even the absence of Jeffrey Cariaso due to a groin pull could stop the Aces from sustaining their run and their rise in the team standings.
LA Tenorio and Larry Fonacier ably filled in the void left by Cariaso, combining for 33 points as the Aces improved their win-loss record to 5-6.
“No doubt we’re getting better. If you look at LA (Tenorio) and Larry (Fonacier) and how much they’re playing, and Randy (Holcomb) understanding PBA basketball. All these stuffs are getting together,” said Alaska coach Tim Cone.
“Three straight wins is pretty good. Our record is getting better but we’re still below the .500 mark and that’s a big reminder that there’s still a big cloud over us. Hopefully that keeps our feet on the ground,” Cone added.
Alaska has made a big stride after beating Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Talk n Text by an impressive average margin of 11.3 points.
The Pals slid to 7-5.
Against the Pals, Cone used only nine men who pulled together a solid job to avenge a 96-98 defeat they suffered in their previous tiff last May 4.
Holcomb, himself improving by the day, tallied game highs of 29 points and 17 rebounds on top of seven assists.
Sonny Thoss made a good job defending against Aaron McGhee and had his offensive contribution, tossing in 18 points.
Tenorio and Miller both came through with swashbuckling all-round games like their import, with the former scoring a personal conference-high 19 points that went with seven rebounds and six assists and the latter logging 19 points, four rebounds and six assists.
Tenorio and Fonacier fired clutch three-pointers, helping the Aces re-establish control in the final half after squandering a 19-point spread in the second period.
Purefoods made a key run closing the third quarter and sustained the momentum in the payoff period to rip Sta. Lucia, 82-74, and improve its record to 5-5 in the nightcap.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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