Alaska takes 2-1 lead over Meralco in PBA Governors’ Cup semis
Alaska moved within a win of a finals berth after withstanding Meralco, 104-102, Thursday in Game 3 of a thrilling PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals series at Cuneta Astrodome.
The Aces have now won two straight to pull ahead in the five-game showdown after the Bolts took the semis opener last Sunday.
Mike Harris had another monster game for Alaska, unleashing 31 points, 24 rebounds and seven assists and.
And it was Harris who knocked down the defining shots for the Aces in the clutch, first scoring on a three-point play off of his own missed three-pointer to put Alaska 103-100 with 16.1 seconds left.
Allen Durham responded with a quick layup with 11 seconds remaining in the game to trim Alaska’s lead to one, 103-102, before Harris split his charities with 9.6 seconds left to play.
Without a timeout, the Bolts raced to the other end of the court that saw a botched Durham layup, several missed tip-ins, and Anjo Caram’s short jumper right before the final buzzer sounded.
“You know the expression that your heart’s in your throat? That’s what I had and when Meralco was tipping the ball around, and Anjo’s last shot,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton. “Oh my gosh that was a huge game.”
“I don’t know what the TV ratings are but I hope people watched that game because that was an excellent basketball game played by both teams and that’s one of the games nobody deserved to lose.”
Simon Enciso lit up late in the game going on a personal 9-3 run to give the Aces a 95-92 lead with 1:52 left but 40-year-old Reynel Hugnatan pulled out a couple of threes up his sleeve to put the Bolts up 98-97 with 1:05 to play.
Chris Banchero and Enciso, meanwhile, added 17 points apiece for Alaska while Noy Baclao added had 11 points.
Durham led the Bolts with 37 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists while Hugnatan added 19 points, five rebounds, and three assists.
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