Alaska denied Phoenix Super LPG a second straight win since the reinstatement of Calvin Abueva after coming back to prevail, 105-97, Thursday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
The Aces inched their way back from a 14-point second quarter deficit before going on an offensive surge in the fourth quarter to continue their strong turnaround following a 0-2 start inside the bubble known as Smart Clark Giga City.
Mike DiGregorio hit 14 of his 21 points in the fourth while Vic Manuel was once again stellar with 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting to power the Aces to their fifth win in eight games and boost their quarterfinal and top four chances.
“I can’t be any more prouder because they really showed that resiliency that we talked about which is we have to dig deep each and every game,” said Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso.
Matthew Wright scored 27 points but was 8-of-20 from the field while Abueva had 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists but the Fuel Masters blew a chance of extending their winning run to three games.
Phoenix dropped to sixth place with a 4-3 card.
A basket by Justin Chua gave Phoenix its biggest lead 34-20 in the early seconds of the second quarter. Alaska kept within distance until the fourth quarter when the tide turned in the Aces’ favor.
DiGregorio hit all of Alaska’s three triples in the fourth while Manuel knocked down 10 in the period as Alaska took the lead before pulling away with a 15-point lead.
Robbie Herndon had 12 points while center Rodney Brondial bounced back from getting tossed in Alaska’s 99-96 win over Terrafirma for two technical fouls by contributing eight points and 10 rebounds.
ALASKA 105 — Manuel 24, DiGregorio 21, Casio 13, Herndon 12, Teng 9, Brondial 8, Ayaay 6, Tratter 5, Ebona 4, Ahanmisi 3, Galliguez 0, Publico 0.
PHOENIX 97 — Wright 27, Abueva 18, Chua 15, Perkins 10, Jazul 9, Intal 8, Garcia 7, Marcelo 2, Heruela 1, Rios 0, Napoles 0.
Quarters: 19-29, 49-55, 71-75, 105-97.