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Aces high - Alaska's four-win streak is a blast from the past and the team's heyday

November 1, 2012 4:40pm

With a minute and 42 seconds left on the game clock and a 14 point lead, the Alaska Aces had Barangay Ginebra on the ropes. All they needed to do was seal the deal and send the media, the fans and the coaches staff into a frenzy. Throughout the entire game, Alaska was a step ahead of Ginebra. Their Triangle Offense was clicking, and their equal-opportunity offense had the team feeling like giant killers.

The Aces set-up their knockout punch. Cyrus Baguio swung the rock to Sonny Thoss at the top of the key to look for options. It ended up in the hands of Jvee Casio, wide open near the three-point line. The defense collapsed on him. Frozen in time, it’s a perfect moment to drive home the statement that the Alaska franchise was in his good hands. With an ultra-efficient 15 points, taking that jumper would have been louder than any Calvin Abueva rebound or Cyrus Baguio skyline lay-up.

However, as the defense rushed to meet Casio, he swung the ball to the left, to a wide-open Dondon Hontiveros. The veteran took the jumper. It connected.

Alaska was up 83-67. They'd go on to win 87-69.

In a basketball game that was filled with individual storylines, how fitting that by game's end, everyone was talking about the great play of the Alaska Aces. Not just one player, but the entire team. These storylines include:

Jvee Casio and LA Tenorio in a battle of new vs legendary point guards for Alaska

While Tenorio struggled against familiar foes, Casio was in full control. But in the end, he chose to setup his teammates rather than pursue individual glory.

"The Beast" Calvin Abueva (left) has fit in seamlessly with the rest of his Alaska Aces teammates. KC Cruz

Calvin Abueva, the Beast vs the Barangay

A technical foul in the first quarter not withstanding, Abueva displayed how effective he can be in the Triangle Offense with 19 points, nine rebounds, three assists and not a single turnover. With veteran Willie Wilson trying to out-muscle and out-physical him, Abueva would not budge. And he did not make any scenes. For that one game, he was merely the power forward for the Alaska Aces.

Cyrus Baguio and his injured knee

With a freak injury in the Aces’ previous game vs Air21, the question on everyone’s mind was whether Baguio could sustain his historic shooting pace. While it wasn’t as efficient as in his previous outings, he compensated by chipping in four dimes, three steals and three blocks. Skyrus turned into a facilitator on that day.

Sonny Thoss and his puzzling start to the season

With trade rumors starting to swirl around him, Thoss could’ve packed it in and whined like a little kid. Instead, the Boss’ 12 points, two blocks and countless changed shots from Ginebra players were crucial.

If you close your eyes, it’s almost like you’ve been transplanted back to the great years of the 90s for the Alaska Aces. A heady and sweet-shooting backcourt, a bruising frontcourt with an intelligent Big in the middle.

Riding a four-game winning streak into a titanic showdown with the undefeated Talk N Text Tropang Texters, who knows what tomorrow will bring. But for now, the Aces are making noise in the Association as one of the best teams in the conference. They wouldn’t have it any other way. - AMD, GMA News
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