Eliminated Aces give Express early vacationBy Calvin D. Cordova
Cebu Daily News
PLAYING loose with nothing to lose, the eliminated Alaska Aces closed their dismal campaign with a celebration to boot after dealing the Air21 Express a costly, 110-80 defeat last night in the 37th PBA Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces capped their campaign in the season-ending tournament with just two wins in the nine-game elimination round.
With the loss, the Express joined the Aces for an early vacation as they tasted their sixth loss in eight games. Air21′s final elimination round game against Petron Blaze will be already a no-bearing contest.
Air21 went into the game needing to win its last games to finish the initial round with at least four wins which could earn them at least a playoff for a semifinal slot.
Alaska, however, surprised Air21 with its scorching offense as the Aces quickly built double-digit leads, including a, 32-15 advantage at the end of the first period.
Alaska continued the rampage in the succeeding periods and totally put the game beyond Air21′s reach when it posted an eye-popping 34-point lead going into the payoff period, 90-56.
Jason Forte led the Alaska carnage with 26 points, while Cyrus Baguio finished with 24 markers. LA Tenorio scored 19 markers, while Sonny Thoss had 10.
Aside from their terrific offense, the Aces were also superb in the defensive end as they limited Air21′s high-scoring import Zach Graham to just 25 markers.
Graham was coming off a 51-point explosion in the Express’ 128-121 upset over the Powerade Tigers.
Graham’s output was the most points in the league since Darius Rice scored 56 for Purefoods in the 2008 Fiesta Conference.
ALASKA (110) – Forte 26, Baguio 24, Tenorio 19, Thoss 10, Cablay 9, Espinas 8, Baracael 4, Dela Cruz 4, Jazul 3, Eman 3, Thiele 0, Bugia 0, Gelig 0.
AIR21 (80)- Graham 25, Ritualo 11, Arboleda 9, Escobal 7, Faundo 6, Isip 6, Omolon 6, Sison 4, Menor 4, Espiritu 2, Bagatsing 0, Sena 0, Hubalde 0. QUARTERSCORES: 32-15, 56-32, 90-56, 110-80.