The Alaska Aces are among the league leaders this 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
This is in large part because of the stellar play of Alaska import Cory Jefferson who is turning out to be one of the deadliest shooters to play in the PBA in recent years.
Jefferson leads the league in points scored with a per game average of 31.8 points. Unlike the other imports Jefferson is not a volume scorer who needs the ball in his hands most of the time but rather takes his shots within the flow of the Alaska offense. He is the league’s best three-point shooter with an astonishing 56 percent conversion rate from three-point distance.
Jefferson does not only contribute at the offensive end. He is a workhorse who is eighth in the league in rebounds with 13.2 boards per game. He also averages 2.2 assists per game and 1.4 blocks.
Alaska (4 wins, 1 loss) is tied at third place with TNT KaTropa (4-1) just behind the San Miguel Beermen (3-0) and the Meralco Bolts (6-1). Trailing them closely are the Star Hotshots (4-2), Barangay Ginebra (2-1) and defending champion Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters (4-2).
Bringing up the rear are the Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters (2-4), GlobalPort Batang Pier (1-4), the Mahindra Floodbuster (1-5), the Blackwater Elite (1-5) and the NLEX Road Warriors (0-6).
One of Jefferson’s best games was against Rain Or Shine. He converted crucial baskets late in the game to help the Aces come from behind a four-point, 87-91, deficit and post a scrambling 105-102 victory last April 2.
Jefferson slammed the ball through the hoop. Sonny Thoss drained a jumper. Jefferson drained a three-pointer against a layup by Mike Tolomia of Rain Or Shine as the Aces tied the count at 93-all with 3:29 to play.
The Aces again fell behind by four points, 93-97, after Jay Washington and Shawn Taggart converted layups for the Elasto Painters with 1:51 left to play.
Jefferson then drained a pair of three-pointers which sandwiched a layup by Thoss as the Aces forged ahead for good, 101-99, with just 30 seconds left to play.
Jvee Casio then converted four free throws to preserve the Alaska advantage as the Aces held on to win.
The elimination round of the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup is already halfway through. Jefferson will again lead the charge when the Aces next face Phoenix 4:15 p.m. April 21, Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.