MANILA, Philippines – The Alaska Aces improved to 3-0 in the 2015-2016 PBA Philippine Cup following a tightly-contested 98-94 victory over the still winless Mahindra Enforcers at the Al Wasal Sports Club basketball court in Dubai on Saturday, November 7.
The Aces were led by the 15 points and 13 boards off the bench of Calvin Abueva. Reserve Vic Manuel also had another outstanding performance, turning in 17 points, 9 boards, and 3 steals.
JVee Casio, who hit big free throws late, finished with 12 points in the win while Cyrus Baguio recorded 8 points and 6 rebounds.
LA Revilla spearheaded Mahindra with 19 points and 6 assists while Mark Yee had 17 points and 13 boards. New Mahindra players KG Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos had 12 points each as their team fell to 0-3.
Mahindra playing-coach Manny Pacquiao was in action, but went scoreless after an 0-of-4 showing from the field in a little under 7 minutes of play.
The game went down to the wire as the score tied at 87 with 1:20 remaining.
Off a time-out, an aggressive Abueva attacked the rim to earn a trip to the foul line where he split his charities. After Revilla missed a shot, Casio converted a basket to put his team up by 3. With 30 seconds to go, Manuel then hit his own basket to give the Aces a 92-87 cushion.
Revilla then hit a huge 3-ball to make it a 92-90 game. After Baguio was fouled and hit both free throws, Revilla again scored on a layup.
Casio was fouled with 12 seconds left and made both charities to put Alaska on top 96-92, but Revilla scored again with 5 seconds left to trim the deficit to two.
Casio was fouled with 3 seconds left but split his free throws – missing the second one. Fortunately for the Aces, Abueva grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled, sealing the game.
The second PBA game to be held in Dubai this conference takes place on Sunday, November 8, when Alaska faces Barangay Ginebra. – Rappler.com
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