SLR 83, Aces 91

On: 05 November 2009

Miller versus SLR

Alaska Milk has done a game better from last year, matching a record start the franchise made over a decade ago.

The Aces stayed sharp and steady despite a nine-day rest, getting their best conference start in 11 years as they whipped the Sta. Lucia Realtors, 91-83, in the KFC PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on 4 November 2009.

Joe Devance came through with a double-double game with 15 points and 11 rebounds while Willie Miller had 19 points, five assists and four rebounds as the Aces preserved their clean slate in five games in the all-Filipino tourney.

It's the franchise's best start in a tourney since also opening up with a 5-0 win-loss roll in the 1998 All-Filipino Conference. Back then, the Aces lost their sixth game.

"Doing a game better will certainly be our motivation in our next game," said Alaska coach Tim Cone, vowing they will work hard to beat Burger King Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

"The theme tonight was to do one game better from last year. We're 4-0 last year then we lost our next game," Cone also said.

"We'd got it but it's certainly not easy. Sta. Lucia has always been a tough match-up for us. We just couldn't shake them. We pulled through with big plays on both ends down the stretch," Cone added.

Kelly Williams and Gabby Espinas both got double-double efforts that went down the drain as the Realtors suffered a second loss against three wins.

Sta. Lucia, thus, slid to joint second with San Miguel.

Williams got away with game highs of 20 points and 14 rebounds while Espinas came through with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Ryan Reyes also had a solid all-round game helping Sta. Lucia put up a whale of a fight in the contest.

The Aces, however, won't be denied as they hung tough to the finish.

Devance made key plays on both ends in the closing minutes to clinch the win for the Aces.

The Realtors trailed by eight, 38-46, at the half while converting only 27.8 percent of their shots.

The Aces banked on a better shooting as they dominated the first two quarters though beaten in the battle off the boards, 23-29, and committing more turnovers, 17-13.

The Realtors got into the thick of things on a searing rally in the second half.

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