Alaska withstood the late run of Mahindra to hold on for a 98-92 win to stay unbeaten in three games on Wednesday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Import Corey Jefferson tallied 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting and 11 rebounds to lead the Aces for a 3-0 start in the tournament.
“Good start,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton. “It helps when your import is on fire. Sonny Thoss was awesome. He played like an import. It didn’t like the way we ended the game.”
Calvin Abueva added 17 points and six rebounds while Thoss chipped in 11 for Alaska.
Import James White posted 30 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks to lead the Floodbuster, who fell to 1-3.
Alaska threatened to break the game wide open after erecting a 68-50 lead but Mahindra staged a rally and White’s dunk pushed his team within five, 82-87 with 4:11 left in the game.
But the Aces relied in the clutch shots of Thoss, Abueva and Carl Bryan Cruz to seal their third straight victory.
Meanwhile, Blackwater acquired Nino Canaleta from GlobalPort in exchange for Dylan Ababou and James Forrester. The Elite also signed up free agent Mark Cruz to strengthen their backcourt.
ALASKA 98 – Jefferson 30, Abueva 17, Thoss 11, Racal 8, Cruz 8, Enciso 6, Exciminiano 5, Galliguez 5, Pascual 2, Casio 2, Mendoza 2, Andrada 2, Magat 0.
MAHINDRA 92 – White 30, Yee 13, Revilla 12, David 10, Mallari 7, Celda 5, Paniamogan 5, Guevarra 2, Teng 2, Galanza 2, Ballesteros 2, Elorde 2, Deutchman 0, Caperal 0, Salva 0.
Quarter scores: 28-18, 50-40, 74-61, 98-92.