Baguio sizzles as Alaska proves too hot for slumping Coke

Unfortunately for Coca-Cola, Cyrus Baguio was hot – extra hot – on the day it went up against Alaska.

The high-flying guard set an all-time record for most consecutive field goals made in one quarter as the Aces stretched the Tigers’ freefall in the PBA Fiesta Cup with a 108-98 win Wednesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

The former Ginebra star finished with 28 points behind a remarkable 13-of-15 field goal shooting.

He scored 19 of his output in the first quarter alone, going 9-of-9 for a new league record. Baguio even outscored the entire Tigers team at one point, 19-18.

"My first shot that went in was a confidence-builder for me," said the soft-spoken guard out of University of Santo Tomas, who scored his first basket of the game on a pull-up jumper from 15 feet. “I felt that the size of the rim got bigger so I kept on shooting and I knew I'm hot."

Baguio then stretched his record field goal streak to 10 before missing his first basket with 3:01 left in the third quarter.

Coca-Cola import Jason Dixon held the previous field goal record when he connected on eight straight field goals during the 2008 Fiesta Conference.

Despite Baguio’s show of force on the offensive end, Alaska coach Tim Cone stressed defense still remains as the Aces’ top priority.

"We want to win with defense and not with offense," said Cone as his Aces chalked up win No. 6. “For us to get into the next level, we’re not going to beat the other teams with offense. You can’t do it against those teams (San Miguel, Talk ‘N Text, Derby Ace and Ginebra) with their talent. Your defense is your character side of the game and it’s where you go to."

"Defense is not about talent, it’s about character and hard work, and you’re giving yourself an edge."

Despite getting 35 points and 14 rebounds from import Rashad Bell, Coca-Cola suffered its sixth straight loss and fell further in the team standings with a 4-7 card.

Gary David led all Coca-Cola local scorers with 23 points on 5-of-8 shooting

But the Tigers had their moments, especially when they let loose a 13-2 run starting the second half, wiping out a 50-45 deficit to claim their biggest lead of the game, 58-52, on a basket by Taulava.

Bell highlighted the binge with a rare four-point play after sinking a three-pointer and drawing a foul from Joe DeVance.

The Aces, however, came back with their own scoring run rattling off 11 unanswered points that erased a 67-66 gap and once more seize the upperhand at 77-67 with 1:43 left in the third.

Alaska then settled for an 82-74 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Diamon Simpson added 18 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks while LA Tenorio and DeVance each had 13 for Alaska, which record its first back-to-back win with Baguio around. - JVP/RCJ, GMANews.TV

Alaska 108 – Baguio 28, Simpson 18, De Vance 13, Tenorio 13,
Hugnatan 9, Dela Cruz 8, Borboran 7, Fonacier 6, Thoss 4, Eman 2.
Coca-Cola 98 – Bell 35, David 23, Macapagal 16, Taulava 10, Espino 6, Ross 4, Bono 2, Calimag 2, Allera 0, Cruz 0, Rizada 0, Gonzales 0.
Quarter scores: 28-21, 50-45, 82-74, 108-98.


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