Mon. Nov 29th, 2021

Alaska forward Abu Tratter

Alaska forward Abu Tratter. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Alaska remained in the hunt for a playoff spot after a huge win over defending champion Barangay Ginebra, 89-75, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Friday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

The Aces, who played their first game since September 2, leapfrogged the Gin Kings for the eighth spot in the standings after pushing their record to 3-4 in the homestretch of the elimination round.

They play back-to-back games this weekend to make up for lost time after a layoff due to health and safety protocols.

“We’re gonna do our best, you know we’re gonna handle this adversity in a way where we think it best and that is just sticking together and playing our brand of basketball,” said Alaska head coach Jeffrey Cariaso.

“It’s the schedule that’s given to us because of the situation so we have to be ready for that.”

Alaska wasted little time in establishing its presence as it took a 23-8 lead at the end of the opening period en route to the wire-to-wire finish.

The Gin Kings, who two days ago pulled off a come-from-behind win over Phoenix, couldn’t trim the deficit to single digits. They dropped to ninth with a 4-6 card, endangering their chances to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Abu Tratter led Alaska with 13 points while Mike Digregorio added 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from deep.

Robbie Herndon, Barkley Eboña, and Jeron Teng also finished in double figures for the Aces as they had 10 points apiece.

Stanley Pringle had a game-high 20 points with seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals to lead the Gin Kings who played without Japeth Aguilar who is nursing an MCL sprain.

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