Embodying his alma mater’s battle cry in UAAP, Barkley Eboña, a well-built rookie out of Far Eastern University, “lead the charge” to give Alaska Aces an overwhelming 120-82 victory over the Blackwater Elite in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup Tuesday (October 20) at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena.
Despite coming off a win over the NLEX Road Warriors, the Elite can’t seem to counter the Aces during the first 12 minutes as the Jeff Cariaso-coached team came out hot, racing to a 9-0 start. This led to an impressive opening quarter, with Jeron Teng’s 3-point bomb giving Alaska its biggest lead in the first half at 28 points, 56-28.
Unfolding before the very eyes of Blackwater coach Nash Racela, one of his mentors when he played for the Tamaraws in college, Eboña contributed 24 points in a surprise start for the Aces. He delivered from the get-go, making all of his seven points during a 24-8 start that set the tone for the one-sided game, with Robbie Herndon adding 21.
“We’re happy with the growth of Barkley. He’s still learning and improving. He’s still learning what it takes to be successful here in the PBA. We’re lucky, and he’s lucky that he has coach Danny (Ildefonso) as a mentor. I told him just listen to coach Danny; you’re gonna be okay,” Cariaso said.
With roughly five minutes left in the period, Vic Manuel shoots another dagger, giving the Aces a 32-point edge, taking the fight out of the Elite. The Aces went on to lead by as many as 41 points in the lopsided contest.
Alaska came into the ball game averaging the most turnovers in a ball game at 21.3 but only had seven against Blackwater. With this, stressing that fixing their errors was a priority, Cariaso stressed: “Just that category was something that we addressed the last few days, and it was one of the last few things that I addressed before we started the game. We needed to stop turning the ball over and giving opportunities to the other team and giving them more possessions, of course, subtracting from our possessions.”
Barkley Eboña Got Danny I’s Moves
Blackwater had few bright spots as Ed Daquioag scored 18 points and Mike Tolomia chipped in with 10 points and seven dimes for the Elite, but the two were the only double-digit scorers for a team that once again missed top rookie pick Maurice Shaw.
“I think the defense tonight was tremendous. They really followed the game plan that we implemented so as a coach you’re always happy that they were able to execute,” Cariaso added.
The forgettable performance dropped the Elite to 2-2. The 38-point margin also equaled Blackwater’s worst defeat that came in last year’s Philippine Cup at the hands of TNT, 127-89, and in a 123-85 drubbing from Rain or Shine in the 2015 Governors’ Cup, according to PBA statistics chief Fidel Mangonon III.
With the win, Alaska is now tied with Blackwater, Meralco, and San Miguel in the standings with a 2-2 record.
Alaska vs Blackwater Box Score
Quarters: 38-17; 58-40; 90-61; 120-82
Aces (120) – Eboña 24, Herndon 21, Manuel 16, Tratter 14, DiGregorio 12, Teng 11, Casio 7, Galliguez 3, Ahanmisi 2, Marcelino 2, Ayaay 2, Publico 2, Andrada 2, Brondial 2
Elite (82) – Daquioag 18, Tolomia 10, Canaleta 9, Salem 9, Trollano 6, Dennison 6, Gabriel 6, Belo 5, Desiderio 5, Dario 3, Sumang 2, Golla 2, Escoto 1, Magat 0