Banchero, Manuel conspire as Alaska halts Meralco streak

Delfin Dioquino

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Banchero, Manuel conspire as Alaska halts Meralco streak
The Alaska Aces prove the steadier team down the stretch to extend their winning run to 3 games

ANTIPOLO, Philippines – Alaska stretched its winning run to 3 games after holding off Meralco in a 93-89 triumph in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Center here on Sunday, June 9. 

Chris Banchero and Vic Manuel carried the scoring cudgels as the Aces improved to 4-2 and stopped the Bolts, who fell to 3-3, from extending their own two-game winning streak.

Banchero had 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Manuel provided spark off the bench with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals in just his second game of the season after missing the entire Philippine Cup due to injury. 

Meralco narrowed the gap to a whisker late off a Baser Amer three-pointer, 87-88, only to witness Banchero and Simon Enciso knock down back-to-back buckets to give Alaska a 92-87 lead. 

A Gani Lawal jumper and Enciso splitting his freebies left the comeback door ajar for the Bolts, 89-93, but they failed to score in the final 24 seconds. 

Saddled by foul trouble, import Chris Daniels still managed to put up decent numbers of 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks for the Aces, while Jeron Teng added 10 points and 4 rebounds. 

Lawal put up another monster double-double performance of 27 points, 26 rebounds, and 2 steals, but committed 8 turnovers. 

Baser Amer was the only other player in double figures for Meralco with 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Nico Salva and Bong Quinto each added 8 points. 

The Scores

Alaska 93 – Banchero 23, Manuel 17, Daniels 12, Teng 10, Pascual 7, Thoss 7, Enciso 5, Galliguez 5, Casio 3, Racal 2, Cruz 2.

Meralco 89 – Lawal 27, Amer 11, Salva 9, Quinto 9, Newsome 8, Caram 7, Hugnatan 4, Hodge 4, De Ocampo 3, Pinto 3, Canaleta 2, Jackson 2, Almazan 0.

Quarters: 18-19, 44-42, 71-66, 93-89. 

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.