MANILA, Philippines—Powerade also has a rookie that’s making a huge difference. And he’s not JV Casio.
Marcio Lassiter, the third-overall choice in the Draft, keyed a telling surge in the third quarter that lifted the Tigers to a 79-67 victory over Alaska, keeping the fancied Aces winless in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With a 2-1 record, Powerade has given coach Bo Perasol one of his best starts with the squad since coming from Air21 in 2009. And it has also given him the chance to talk with a lot of optimism.
“I’m quite confident that given the time together, we can be even better than that (2-1),” Perasol told reporters. “We have youth, veterans still willing to play, and they understand they have to work together for the team.”
The foremost veteran in Perasol’s lineup, Gary David, scattered 26 points against the befuddled Alaska defense, and Lassiter, with Casio still sitting it out, continued to prove his worth as an outstanding rookie.
Lassiter scored eight of his 13 points when the Tigers gained control in the third, and then had his only bucket in the fourth—a double-pumping triple off LA Tenorio—which gave Powerade a 74-66 lead with 3:51 to go.
That was a second-half performance that Perasol said he talked Lassiter into.
“I told him that contrary to what [he was] hearing, I don’t think [he’s] living up to expectations,” Perasol recounted when asked what he told Lassiter in the locker room.
“I’m sure he is going to get even better.”
Orphaned by long-time coach Tim Cone before the start of the season, Alaska lost a third straight game, and this one was the worst after being held to just 67. The Aces scored an average of 73.5 points in their first two setbacks.
LA Tenorio finished with just three points on 1-of-11 shooting in 36 minutes. Nursing a bruised right elbow, Tenorio has shot a dismal 6-of-35 in Alaska’s first three games.
Petron Blaze zoomed to the lead earlier after routing Shopinas.com with little effort, 98-87.
POWERADE 79—David 26, Lassiter 13, Kramer 10, Adducul 7, Antonio 7, Lingganay 6, Calimag 4, Vanlandingham 3, Cruz 2, Anthony 1, Crisano 0.
ALASKA 67—Reyes 12, Baracael 11, Thoss 11, Dela Cruz 10, Bugia 8, Baguio 6, Cablay 4, Tenorio 3, Custodio 2, Salamat 0, Eman 0.
Quarters: 28-15, 36-35, 63-55, 79-67