MANILA, Philippines – The Alaska Aces survived a gutsy stand from the San Mig Coffee Mixers late in the game, 84-80 to notch their first win in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup on Friday, November 22 at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Alaska got off to a rousing start, leading by as much as 21-8 early in the first half before James Yap and Ian Sangalang conspired to bring life to the Mixers early in the third to pull as close as 41-43.
Different players then scored for the Aces as they tried to shut the door on the Mixers. Cyrus Baguio and RJ Jazul each hit a triple while Gabby Espinas asserted his might inside as the Aces took a 69-59 advantage heading into the payoff period.
The Aces kept pounding their opponents when they opened the fourth canto on an 8-0 run to extend the gap to a high of 18 points (77-59).
But the Mixers, who were playing without Justin Melton, Joe Devance, and PJ Simon, fought back with heart until the last moment. James Yap and Mark Barroca starred in a rally to bring the Mixers within single digits, 73-82.
But time eventually ran out as Alaska escaped with the win.
Sonny Thoss bounced back from an off night to tally 19 points, 8 reounds, and 2 blocks. Cyrus Baguio added 19 points for the Aces.
San Mig Coffee meanwhile dropped to 0-2 in the Philippine Cup.
Alaska pledged to donate 52,000 pesos multiplied by their lead tonight as part of team owner Wilfred Uytengsu’s 52nd birthday. Thus, the Aces will give 208,000 pesos to the survivors of typhoon Yolanda.
Alaska (84) – Thoss 19, Baguio 18, Casio 15, Jazul 8, Ramos 8, Abueva 7, Espinas 6, Dela Cruz 2, Avenido 1, Hontiveros 0, Eman 0.
San Mig Super Coffee (80) – Yap 19, Sanggalang 15, Barroca 13, Pingris 11, Reavis 8, Mallari 6, Holstein 4, Acuna 2, Gaco 2, Alvarez 0, De Ocampo 0, Cawaling 0.
Final: 26-17, 43-38, 69-59, 84-80
– with reports from Levi Verora/Rappler.com
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