Sunday, February 12, 2012



ALASKA may be putting a new system in place, but it is one Cyrus Baguio is familiar with.

Baguio scattered 25 points and Adam Parada 24 points to go with 20 rebounds as the Aces hurdled the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 109-102, Sunday for an early win in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

"Mas parang Red Bull dati, run-and-gun ang style, nakakatakbo," said Baguio, referring to the system Alaska has adopted starting this conference after shelving the triangle offense instituted since 1989 by former head coach Tim Cone.

"Sa triangle kasi, half court, di maka-buwelo. Ngayon medyo mas kampante," added Baguio, who also had a gamehigh seven assists.

Their old offense is not being totally abandoned, clarified Aces head coach Joel Banal. "We talked about it being easier to learn than unlearn, so we decided not to unlearn the triangle but rather to put that in the shelf.

"We wanted to try something new, keep it simple. When we're good at it, we can bring back the

Enlisting the services of Parada, who saw action with Baguio for Red Bull in the 2008 Fiesta
Conference, has netted its first real fruits as Alaska bounced back from a 78-98 loss to Barako Bull last Friday.

"His versatility, being able to hit the outside shots and also play inside, is what we're looking for in an import and we found it in Adam," said Banal of the seven-foot Mexican who had a couple of months off to fully heal a left calf muscle injury.

"I hope he continues to get in shape," added Banal. "Good thing we have a week before our next game and we will continue to work him out."

For the moment, Alaska is satisfied with its first "W" coming right on its second game. It started the Philippine Cup at 0-5 before winding up at ninth with a 3-11 slate and missed the playoffs.

"It's good to get a win early in the conference," said Banal.

Duke Crews debuted with a gamehigh 34 points and he added 11 rebounds.

The import is a high-flyer but clearly undersized at just about 6-foot-5 and may not be the kind of reinforcement Rain or Shine wanted.

The Bowie State U product scored his first three points off charities before making his first field goal on a short baseline jumper at the 5:02 mark of the opening period. He, however, failed to adjust at first to the physical plays offered by Sonny Thoss, JR Reyes, Sam Eman and Parada and committed five of his six turnovers in the first half.

Crews did show some flashes of brilliance, helping the E-Painters charge back from as much as a
15-point deficit and tie the game up at 93. They even took the lead at 97-96 after four straight
points by Crews.

But LA Tenorio and Baguio would not let the game slip away by hitting the crucial shots down the
stretch that propelled Alaska to the win.

Jeffrei Chan had 18 points and Paul Lee 11 for Rain or Shine, which was handled by Caloy Garcia vice head coach Yeng Guiao, currently out of the country and due back only Monday.

Despite being still out of his ideal shape, Parada carried Alaska on huis shoulders in the first
half before Baguio and Tenorio joined in and helped stretch the Aces' lead to 78-63. (NC)

The scores:

ALASKA 109 - Baguio 25, Parada 24, Tenorio 19, Custodio 12, Thoss 8, Salamat 7, Eman 6, Baracael 4, Reyes 4.

RAIN OR SHINE 102 - Crews 34, Chan 18, Lee 11, Cruz 8, Arana 8, Norwood 6, Belga 6, Quinahan 4,
Buenafe 3, Jaime 2, Ibanes 2, Matias 0.

Quarterscores: 28-20, 55-49, 85-74, 109-102