All Alaska needed was a solid performance in the third period.
The Aces clamped down on defense and converted on the other end in the penultimate quarter on the way to a 111-98 win over Columbian Dyip in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup opener on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Aces went on a 22-4 tear after the break to take a 70-58 cushion before pushing the lead to 20, 89-69, early in the final frame.
It was all Alaska from there.
"I thought the first half, our defense was bad, honestly. I thought it was bad. I thought we had way too many breakdowns. That's not to take away from Columbian, they did a good job. Some of those baskets were garbage baskets," said Alaska coach Alex Compton.
Chris Banchero and Simon Enciso came out with guns ablaze in the third period, while import Chris Daniels proved steady as the Aces outscored the Dyip 34-13 in the pivotal period.
Daniels, 35, may be the oldest among the imports, but he led the way for the Aces with 25 points and 16 rebounds.
Still, Compton thought it was his guards who led the uprising with Banchero and Enciso finishing with 20 and 19 points, respectively.
"We've got to do a better job. You talk about that at halftime. The guys responded. I don't know the exact stats yet but I thought generally, our guards really stepped up in the second half," said the American tactician.
Kyle Barone paced the Dyip with 30 points and 22 rebounds.
ALASKA 111 -- Daniels 25, Banchero 20, Enciso 19, Cruz 14, Teng 8, Racal 7, Ayaay 7, Thoss 5, Casio 4, Baclao 2, Pascual 0, Galliguez 0.
COLUMBIAN 98 -- Barone 30, Perez 19, McCarthy 13, Calvo 10, Escoto 9, Corpuz 8, Camson 3, Celda 2, Tabi 2, Khobuntin 1, Cahilig 1, Faundo 0, Reyes 0, Agovida 0.
Quarters: 25-23, 48-54, 82-67, 111-98.
-Vic Manuel has yet to play for the Aces. He has joined the team in several practices after recovering from a back injury, but he injured his calf last week. Compton, though, is confident Manuel will come out stronger when he returns to the court for Alaska.
-Banchero might have hurt his calf again. "I think I made a big mistake, I may have played Banchero too long. I'm not sure what's going on with his calf. I hope it's just cramps," said Compton.
Alaska - vs NorthPort on May 22 at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo
Columbian - vs Meralco on May 24 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum