Alaska extends Finals series, frustrates Rain or Shine
Rain or Shine and Alaska Milk head for another battle Wednesday.
The Aces still refused to quit, beating out the Elasto Painters, 86-78, in a gripping duel Sunday to further cut their deficit to 2-3 in the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven titular series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Surviving a fifth do-or-die in the post-elims play, the Aces can arrange a winner-take-all setto if they can make it three in a row on Wednesday also at the Big Dome.
“It’s another proud game for my guys,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton of their eight-point conquest of the E-Painters in Game Five.
Calvin Abueva came through with 20 points and 13 rebounds with Rob Dozier, RJ Jazul and Cyrus Baguio contributing double-digit outputs for the Aces who dealt the E-Painters crucial beating in the last six minutes of play.
Abueva, Dozier, Jazul, Sonny Thoss and Dondon Hontiveros teamed up at the finish, getting away a lethal closing run for Alaska from a 69-all count.
The Alaska coach, however, praised his guys a lot more for their defensive effort.
The Aces held the E-Painters for their lowest output in a game since a 78-71 win over Purefoods/Star on a Valentine’s day match during the Commissioner’s Cup last year.
ROS import Pierre Henderson-Niles had another woeful game, prompting coach Yeng Guiao to go all-Filipino in the last 5:24 minutes of play.
But to no avail.
Abueva scored back-to-back baskets from underneath then on a short jumper as the Aces all but settled the outcome of the game at 84-76 with less than a minute left to play.
Jeff Chan nailed a charity while Jericho Cruz drained a jumper on back-to-back Alaska turnovers in the closing seconds as Rain or Shine led by three, 40-37, at the turn.
The Aces got off to an 11-2 start, prompting the Elasto Painters to call an early timeout before hitting their strides and racing ahead at 17-13.
Rain or Shine built some momentum midway through the third but blew it on a deliberate foul by Beau Belga on Abueva who canned in both charities to light up a 10-2 run that shoved the Aces back in the lead at 54-53.
ALASKA 86 – Abueva 20, Dozier 14, Jazul 13, Hontiveros 12, Baguio 11, Banchero 6, Racal 5, Baclao 2, Thoss 2, Dela Rosa 1.
RAIN OR SHINE 78 – Chan 17, Lee 16, Quinahan 9, Cruz 8, Ponferada 8, Henderson Niles 6, Norwood 5, Belga 4, Almazan 2, Ibanes 2, Ahanmisi 1, Tiu 0.
Quarters: 15-19, 37-40, 56-57, 86-78
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