Maverick Ahanmisi came up big for the Alaska Aces as they took down the surging NLEX Road Warriors, 122-119, in overtime in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation in Pampanga on Monday, November 9.
Ahanmisi finished with a huge double-double of 25 points on a 4-of-6 clip from downtown and 12 rebounds to lead the Aces to their second straight victory, which secured them a spot in the playoffs.
Alaska improved to 7-4, with the win also propelling San Miguel, Magnolia, and Meralco, who are tied at 5th place with identical 6-4 records, to the quarterfinals.
“Mav, you know how special he is and the capabilities that he has. What’s nice about Mav is he has many different skills that we appreciate and we knew that we could use on our team,” said Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso.
“This is kind of his breakout game so we’re happy that he performed well and it came in the right time,” added Cariaso on Ahanmisi, who is coming off an injury and was the last player who entered the bubble for the Aces.
Knotted at 75-all at the start of the 4th quarter, the two teams went back and forth the whole period until Kiefer Ravena took over and scored 9 straight points to put the Road Warriors ahead, 108-106, with 47 seconds left to play.
Jvee Casio answered with a layup on the other end to tie the game at 108, before he and Ravena missed on opportunities to win it all for their respective teams in regulation.
Still tied at 111-all in overtime, the Aces went on a 7-2 spurt capped by a Mike Digregorio three-pointer to snatch the win.
Casio added 19 points and 5 rebounds, while Abu Tratter chipped in 16 points and 5 rebounds in the victory.
Ravena exploded for 30 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists, while JR Quinahan contributed 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists for the Road Warriors, who saw their three-game winning streak halted.
NLEX dropped to 4-6 and remains at 9th place. It is now relying on the results of other teams to determine whether it will qualify for the playoffs.
Alaska 122 – Ahanmisi 25, Casio 19, Tratter 16, Herndon 14, Teng 13, Digregorio 11, Manuel 11, Brondial 8, Ayaay 5, Eboña 0, Galliguez 0.
NLEX 119 – Ravena 30, Quiñahan 24, Cruz 18, Alas 13, Miranda 9, Soyud 9, Semerad 8, Ighalo 5, Varilla 3, Ayonayon 0, Porter 0.
Quarters: 17-23, 53-49, 75-75, 108-108, 122-119 (OT).
– Martin Mendoza/Rappler.com