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Alaska deals Magnolia worst beating in Game 3


PhilBoxing.com


The Alaska Aces found an unlikely hero in dealing Magnolia Hotshots and the Purefoods franchise its worst 29-point, 100-71 loss in any PBA finals appearance on Sunday at the Ynares Center.

Third year pro Carl Bryan Cruz, CBC to friends and relatives, who in this Governors? Cup best-of-five gold medal series had been fielded only four times where he averaged no more than five minutes, showed his coach Alex Compton and his teammates the stuff he?s really made of.

The 27-year-old, 6-foot-3 power forward from Far Eastern University provided the energy and punk the Ace lacked in the first two games of the series were they fell to a 0-2 hole on the way to exacting revenge and cut that deficit to a more manageable 2-1 going into Game 4 on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Cruz was two-of-four from beyond the arc for seven points in the third quarter as he combined with Fil-Americans Simon Enciso and Chris Banchero putting the pressure, this time, on their Magnolia counterparts and Games 1 and 2 nemesis and Marc Barroca and Jio Jalalon.

Cruz shot 10 points total for the evening, while Enciso, 12. Banchero issued 11 assists while scoring six points, grabbing three rebounds, and getting two steals.

"My teammates did a great job in the pick and roll. I think in the first half CBC really put the pressure and it opened the paint up so I was able to take advantage in the third quarter," Alaska import Mike Harris said in paying tribute to Cruz?s all-around game.

Cruz, for his part, told media men he has always been ready to play since being drafted by the Aces, adding his impressive performance couldn't have come at the most opportune time.

"Ready naman ako talaga since the start of the conference. I'm glad I was given the opportunity to play in this game. My faith in God and hard work allowed me to deliver tonight," Cruz said in Tagalog.

"Coach Alex told us that this is the most important game. We needed to win this. Kudos to coach Alex for giving us a positive mindset," said Cruz.

Mike Harris led all scorers with 36 points and 18 rebounds while exploding in the third quarter where the Aces broke the game wide open. He had 22 points in the third period.

Magnolia import Romeo Travis tweaked his right ankle in that crucial third period when he collided with Harris while he was backpedaling back on Alaska's court,

That caused Hotshots mentor Chito Victolero to rush into the court to confront Harris. Cooler heads prevented the situation from escalating.

Victolero, who was hit with a technical, later apologized during the postgame press conference, saying he got caught up in the heat of the moment.

Travis paced Magnolia with 18 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals in almost 30 minutes of play. Barroca had 13 points, three rebounds, and three assists.

Victolero, meanwhile, appealed for consistency from the referees, saying a rant made by Alaska coach Compton about officiating of Game Two has turned the calls in their favor.

Victolero complained that most of the calls, in fact, were in favor of Alaska as a result of Compton?s statement after a Game Two loss that Magnolia?s guards were getting away with a lot of fouls.

Victolero denied Compton?s allegations.

?I kept on reviewing the tapes. Wala namang ginagawang masama ?yung mga players ko and I think I don?t know what the referees are seeing kung ano ?yung fouls na ginagawa,? said Victolero.

Victolero said Alaska was the one which got the breaks from the referees.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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