PBA: Alaska gains crucial victory after trading Chris Banchero to Magnolia

Games Wednesday
(Cuneta Astrodome)
4:30 p.m. — San Miguel vs Blackwater
7 p.m. — Phoenix Pulse vs Magnolia

Alaska put itself in a good position to sneak a quarterfinals berth after beating NorthPort 106-99 in the resumption of the PBA Governors’ Cup which came on the day Chris Banchero was officially traded to Magnolia.

Alaska's Frank House, left, gets the loose ball against Northport's Michael Qualls, center, in the PBA Governors' Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum, November 3, 2019. (MB Photo / Rio Deluvio)

Alaska’s Franko House, left, gets the loose ball against Northport’s Michael Qualls during their PBA Governors’ Cup match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Also part of the scramble is Alaska’s Kevin Racal. (MB Photo / Rio Deluvio)

Import Franko House had 23 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, Vic Manuel produced 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Aces improved to 3-6 in the game held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Aces also moved a half-game behind the Batang Pier in the race for the eighth and final quarters spot.

But much of the focus came after the final buzzer when coach Jeffrey Cariaso confirmed the trade that will send Banchero to the defending champion Hotshots in exchange for Rodney Brondial and Robbie Herndon.

The league approved the deal minutes after Cariaso’s postgame interview, paving the way for Banchero to join a Magnolia side that already has backcourt players Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon and Justin Melton.

Banchero did not see action or wasn’t even at the venue as per request of the Hotshots management.

“Chris Banchero’s a really good player. He’s done a lot for us here at Alaska,” said Cariaso, insisting that it was his and the coaching staff’s decision to deal Banchero in order to fill their needs in Brondial and Herndon.

“But in all honestly, siya din lang ang gusto ng iba so siya din yung medyo tradable sa amin,” added Banchero.

Banchero leaves the only team he has played since being drafted in the first round of the 2014 Draft. He made four finals appearances and was a runner-up for the Best Player of the Conference during last season’s Governors’ Cup.

Brondial will play for his fifth team since also making his pro debut in 2014 while reuniting with Cariaso, who for a brief time was his coach at Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

The trade could give Herndon the opportunity to shine after playing limited minutes since his PBA debut in 2018.

Rookie Abu Tratter posted 17 points and nine rebounds and Jeron Teng posted 13 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Aces, who have won three of the last four after a 0-5 start.

Christian Standhardinger scored 37 points with 16 rebounds and five assists while import Michael Qualls dropped 35 points, 15 rebounds, three steals and four blocks but NorthPort dropped to 3-5.

The loss denied NorthPort a chance to tie overtake idle Columbian (4-5) for seventh spot.

It was also the Batang Pier’s first game since losing rookie guard Robert Bolick to a season-ending ACL injury.

The scores:

ALASKA 106 — House 23, Manuel 23, Tratter 17, Teng 13, Enciso 8, Casio 7, Racal 6, Thoss 4, Ahanmisi 4, Pascual 1,  Ayaay 0.

NORTHPORT 99 — Standhardinger 37, Qualls 35, Anthony 8, Lanete 8, Casio 7, King 5, Ferrer 3, Taha 2, Elorde 1, Cruz 0, Escoto 0.

Quarters: 28-29; 53-48; 83-76; 106-99.