Alaska routs Blackwater by 26 points to kick off PBA season

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Alaska Aces’ Mike DiGregorio. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Alaska recorded the largest season-opening win in more than two decades when it crushed Blackwater 103-77 in the PBA Philippine Cup opener Friday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

From a six-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter, the Aces blew the game wide open with a 27-7 run to bury the Bossing and start their season on the right track.

Blackwater actually managed to keep in step with its foe early in the match before Alaska turned a tie game at 39 to a 14-point advantage with a scathing 32-18 third quarter run.

The 26-point win was the largest since the start of the 1999 Philippine Cup when Mobiline dismantled Tanduay 90-64.

“My challenge to the guys was really just to share the ball on offense and to defend the best way we can,” said Aces head coach Jeffrey Cariaso.

“Luckily tonight Mike [Digregorio] stepped up and a lot of the guys really followed the simple game plan we had. So we’re happy for this first step.”

Digregorio finished with 20 points on 4-of-7 shooting from deep and grabbed five rebounds to lead Alaska while Yousef Taha added 16 points and seven boards.

Simon Enciso had a game-high 23 points to lead the Bossing.

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