By Adrian Stewart Co
The Alaska Aces proved to be the steadier team as they escaped with a 103-101 win over Blackwater Elite in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup last night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
After seeing a 13-point lead turn into a 94-97 deficit midway in the fourth quarter, the Aces gained the 99-97 lead on a layup by Chris Exciminiano and a three-pointer from Carl Bryan Cruz.
The Elite snatched the lead for the last time at 100-99 on a triple by Allein Maliksi as the Aces responded with back-to-back hits from Chris Banchero and Joachim Thoss to surge ahead to 103-100.
The Elite made its last push down 103-101 on split free throw by Shej Roi Sumang but failed to make the necessary defensive stops in the final 30 seconds, allowing the Aces to escape with the win.
Cruz and Jeron Teng finished with 18 points apiece for the Aces, while Thoss and Exciminiano added 16 and 14, respectively./ASC, WDJ