Alaska Aces and Powerade Tigers finally broke into the winning column with contrasting victories last night. Both teams now carry a record of 1 win with 2 losses in the Philippine Basketball Association‘s season-ending conference.
The Tigers left the Air 21 Express in the cellar by winning the opening game of last night’s double-header 109-91. The Tigers were led by rookies Sean Anthony and Jai Reyes. The two combined for 35 points, 24 came in the last quarter to rout the Danny Seigle-led Express. The import match-up was so lopsided in favor of Tiger’s Chris Porter who finished the night with 22 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals while Alpha Bangura had a dismal 10 points, 2 rebounds, and 7 assists performance. The Express played import-less majority of the 2nd half. With the loss, the fate of the once reliable import is now at the hands of the management.
In the main game of the night, Alaska Aces somehow extracted some form of revenge against Joe DeVance who asked to be traded at the end of the last conference. Alaska was forced to trade the MVP candidate to the Air 21 Express who made another deal to ship DeVance to the Derby Ace Llamados. Alaska got lanky Jay-R Reyes from the trade. Last night, was the first time that DeVance faced the Aces after the split. Alaska limited DeVance to 10 points (2/10 FG). Alaska import Jason Forte found his stroke from the midrange to lead the Aces with 29 points along with 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocked shots. Sonny Thoss (20 points, 10 rebs, 7-12 shooting) somehow negated the monster game by James Yap who led the Lllamados with 28 points while 4 of his 6 3-point attempts. Stefhon Hannah played his best game as an import with 18 points but was ineffective in the crunchtime. He raised his scoing average to 11.3 points a game which is still the lowest among imports in the history of the PBA.
Games on Friday will be:
5:00 PM Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (2-1) vs. Petron Blaze Boosters (2-1)
7:15 PM Brgy. Ginebra Kings (1-1) vs. Meralco Bolts (2-0)
caloycomment: Games last night saw the importance of having an import that can lead your team to victories. The winning teams had imports dishing out performances that were expected of them while Bangura and Hannah might have played their last games in their PBA careers. Hannah is just too small and can easily be guarded by Filipino guards. Bangura has been off-form lately and Danny Seigle have better numbers than the Express import this conference.