ANTIPOLO -- The Alaska Aces simply did everything right from start to finish as they made short work of the TNT Katropa, 110-100, in the 2018 Honda PBA Commissioner's Cup on Sunday at the Ynares Sports Center.
The Aces roared to a searing 12-2 start and kept TNT at arm's length the rest of the way to run away with their third straight victory while snapping Katropa's three-game winning run.
Alaska, TNT, Meralco, and Rain or Shine are in a four-team logjam for the top spot with identical 3-1 records. The Elasto Painters, though, are playing San Miguel Beermen as of posting time.
Vic Manuel starred for Alaska with a career-high 29 points to go with 12 rebounds. The hulking forward even dropped 11 points in the fourth period when TNT threatened to mount a comeback.
"Late game we wanted to slow it down and when we needed to get some buckets, Vic took over," said Alaska coach Alex Compton.
"Sometimes Vic is like an import. A lot of times, the players just recognized and got him involved, just got it to him. He made the buckets in the end."
Alaska import Antonio Campbell posted a double-double outing of 23 points and 20 rebounds while dishing out four assists. Jvee Casio added 10.
What was expected to be a tight match between two streaking teams turned out to be a one-sided affair as the Aces led by 25 points, 92-67, early in the fourth period.
The Katropa trimmed the gap to 13 with a little over two minutes remaining after Troy Rosario unleashed a 3-pointer and Roger Pogoy made a quick two, 89-102.
But their comeback bid proved to be futile as Alaska restored order after Manuel punched in back-to-back baskets.
Jericho Cruz then lit up from beyond the arc, uncorking back-to-back 3s for the final score.
Jayson Castro paced TNT with 18 points, five rebounds, and two assists. Terrence Romeo had 17 points, while Jeremy Tyler chipped in 16 and 11 boards.
Cruz and Rosario combined for 25 markers.
ALASKA 110 -- Manuel 29, Campbell 23, Casio 10, Abueva 9, Banchero 8, Racal 8, Enciso 7, Magat 7, Thoss 5, Teng 4, Baclao 0, Exciminiano 0, Potts 0.
TNT 100 -- Castro 18, Romeo 17, Tyler 16, Rosario 15, Cruz 10, Pogoy 9, Semerad 5, Trollano 5, Reyes 3, Paredes 2, Carey 0, Garcia 0, Golla 0, Saitanan 0.
Quarterscores: 34-26, 59-43, 85-67, 110-100.
Jeremy Tyler and Vic Manuel were slapped with a technical foul with 1:33 left in the second period, both for second motion.
Tyler bounced back from a two-point outing against Ginebra with a 16-point, 11-rebound effort in Sunday's match. But he hardly made an impact.
Alaska outscored the bench production of TNT, 56-37.
Alaska -- May 19 vs. San Miguel Beermen in Dumaguete
TNT -- May 18 vs. Blackwater at Smart Araneta Coliseum