2014 PBA Governors’ Cup: Aces subdue all-local TNT side!

With the opposing team going all-Filipino, the Alaska Aces relied on hyped import Bill Walker to lead the way, and lead the way he did. Walker dominated the Tropang Texters in this game, lighting up the scoreboard for 27 points as Alaska upended TNT, 103-91. Walker caught fire in the second quarter and then never looked back on his way to shooting 50% from the field. He also did well in other departments, handing out 10 assists and collaring 7 rebounds. He went virtually unopposed, of course, as Talk N Text played without its import, Othyus Jeffers. 

Bill Walker toys with the defense of TNT's Elmer Espiritu.

With Jeffers packing his bags because of a contract dispute with his previous NBA team, the Tropang Texters were suddenly left with no reinforcement. It didn’t seem to bother them much early in this game, however, as TNT took a 5-point lead heading into the second period, but things soon unraveled as Walker turned up the jets. The Texters also missed Jeffers’s rebounding here, as they were outworked on the glass, 45-28. In his first and only game in the PBA, Jeffers scored 38 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as TNT prevailed over Meralco.  

Cool Casio: Former national team ace playmaker JV Casio has had an up-and-down campaign this season, but he reminded everyone why he should still be counted among the country’s best PGs, scoring 21 points for Alaska in this win. He hit three triples and was perfect from the 2-point area while also hauling down 4 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists. If Casio can be moe consistent with this kind of production, then the sky is the limit for the Aces.

Game recap by Rey Joble/InterAKTV:

ALASKA over TALK N TEXT, 103-91

Alaska reinforcement Henry Walker and the rest of the Aces pounced on an import-less Talk ‘N Text side, 103-91, to give debuting coach Alex Compton his maiden victory in the PBA PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup on Monday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Walker had a strong all-around effort, scoring 27 points, dishing out 10 assists and grabbing seven rebounds to lead his Aces to a crucial bounce-back victory after losing their last game against GlobalPort.

Alaska, which got 21 big points from guard JVee Casio as well, improved to 2-1 for the conference. Sonny Thoss and Cyrus Baguio each added 14 for the winners as well.

But it was Walker that Talk ‘N Text had no answer for as they missed the services of their own reinforcement Othyus Jeffers, who is facing contract issues with the NBA after finishing last season on the Minnesota Timberwolves’ roster.

“Sa totoo lang, ang hirap naman ng sitwasyon ng import nila. It was obviously a clear advantage for us,” said the newly-minted Alaska coach Compton.

“Unfortunate situation for them.”

Talk ‘N Text’s all-local crew looked like it hardly missed Jeffers in the first period.

Behind the scoring of Ranidel De Ocampo and some sharp sniping, the Tropang Texters sprung out to a 12-point lead, 25-13, in the opening period after a 10-2 run that saw De Ocampo and Jimmy Alapag knock down three-pointers.

The sweet-shooting power forward scored 13 of his team-high 27 points in the first 12 minutes alone.

But the Aces reaped the benefits of having an import in the second with Walker leading the team on a 13-0 blast that turned a six-point deficit into a seven-point lead, 49-42, late in the first half.

Alaska led at the halftime break, 54-49, with Walker already having 19 to his name.

The American continued to shine in the second half, hitting back-to-back baskets to give the Aces their first taste of a double-digit lead, 71-60. That also sparked another Alaska run, 10 points against just two for Talk ‘N Text, that upped their advantage to 15 points, 77-62, the largest up until that point.

Ryan Reyes, though, kept the door open for the Tropang Texters after hitting a pair of three-pointers to close the third period.

Walker played more of a facilitator’s role in the fourth as the Aces’ locals stepped up offensively.

He came up with some of the biggest plays, though, as he found Sonny Thoss for a baseline jumper for his 10th assist of the game to give Alaska a 95-84 lead with 2:25 left and, after a pair of free throws from De Ocampo, knocked down a long jumper right in front of Kelly Williams to ensure his team entered the last two minutes with an 11-point lead.

De Ocampo, who scored nine of the team’s last 12 points, made a gutsy stand in the end, but it wasn’t enough for the Tropang Texters, whose record evened out at 1-1.

It was a successful debut for Compton, who took over coaching duties from Luigi Trillo about 24 hours before game time.

Despite claiming his first ever game as a PBA coach, he was quick to deflect credit away from himself.

“Today, it was really our players. It’s just our guys playing great.”

ALA 103 – Walker 27, Casio 21, Thoss 14, Baguio 14, Espinas 10, Manuel 7, Hontiveros 6, Abueva 4, Dela Cruz 0, Jazul 0, Eman 0.
TNT 91 – De Ocampo 27, Castro 23, Williams 13, Fonacier 7, Ryan Reyes 6, Alapag 6, Seigle 5, Baclao 2, Carey 2, Rob Reyes 0, Aban 0, Espiritu 0.
QS: 26-31, 54-49, 77-68, 103-91

Alex Compton draws up a play as he takes over
from Luigi Trillo.

JV Casio goes up strong agains the TNT defense.

Ryan Reyes heads back to the bench in this loss
for the Tropang Texters.

All images by Paolo Papa/Sports 5.

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