Thoss, Abueva deliver as Meralco falls to Alaska in double OT
MANILA, Philippines – Sonny Thoss and Calvin Abueva conspired late to help the Alaska Aces to a 108-103 escape of league leaders Meralco Bolts in a double overtime affair in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Tuesday, March 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 33-year old Thoss had a quiet 8 points and two rebounds but showcased his veteran post moves in the second extension, scoring a couple of baskets in the paint to give Alaska a 101-99 edge with 2:20 left.
Chris Banchero then found a momentarily open Abueva underneath for the quick two and the 103-99 cushion with just under a minute to play.
Meralco had a chance to force a third overtime down 106-103 with 15.8 remaining as Gary David attempted a potential game-tying three-pointer. But his shot, though straight, was a tad bit too strong and hit the back iron.
“What a game,” Alaska head coach Alex Compton said of another thriller just 3 days after a triple overtime treat last Saturday. “It was just, whew…”
Abueva finished with 18 points, 9 rebounds and two steals and was one of 6 players in double figures for Alaska. His big shot made up for his 9 turnovers.
Import Damion James, who had a chance to win the game in regulation but failed to get a shot up as time expired, led all Aces with his 25 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.
He redeemed himself in the first extra session with 4 straight points that put the Aces on top, 95-90, with 1:01 on the clock. But he fouled out in the ensuing play.
Rookie Chris Banchero had an all-around performance of 13 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. While Dondon Hontiveros and Cyrus Baguio added 12 points apiece. Vic Manuel chipped in 11 markers.
Alaska could have easily won the game in the first overtime alone as they led by 97-92 on a pair of Manuel free throws with 36 seconds remaining.
But Mike Cortez, who had 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists for Meralco, scored a basket to trail by just 94-97. Meralco then forced a turnover, which resulted to John Wilson faking a triple attempt as Manuel blew by him. Wilson re-adjusted his position and trickled in a huge game-tying three-pointer with 0.7 ticks left to extend the game once more.
"I really thought that we were going to close it out at the end there, then we just got turnover after turnover and they got a big shot,” Compton said as Alaska climbed to 4-5.
"Meralco’s just a team that forces you to make mistakes and that forced the overtimes.”
Josh Davis wound up with 34 points, 17 rebounds and 4 assists for Meralco, which fell to second place in the standings behind Purefoods with a 6-3 card.
The Bolts also got 15 and 13 points from Jared Dillinger and Wilson, respectively. – Rappler.com