PBA Governors' Cup

Departing Alaska stays alive, drags NLEX to do-or-die

Delfin Dioquino
Departing Alaska stays alive, drags NLEX to do-or-die

NO GOODBYES YET. Jeron Teng leads all locals in scoring as Alaska mounts a gutsy comeback.

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Facing a twice-to-beat disadvantage, Alaska erases a 16-point deficit and holds off NLEX with a balanced attack to stay alive in its final PBA conference

MANILA, Philippines – Alaska extended its farewell tour in the PBA Governors’ Cup after dragging NLEX to a do-or-die duel with a 93-79 win in the quarterfinals at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, March 16.

Facing a twice-to-beat disadvantage, the Aces erased a 16-point deficit and held off the Road Warriors in the second half behind a balanced attack to stay alive in their final PBA conference.

Debuting import Mark St. Fort, a last-minute replacement for Olu Ashaolu, held his own for Alaska with a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Jeron Teng churned out 16 points and 6 rebounds.

Abu Tratter chimed in 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Aces, who also drew 10 crucial points from Mike Tolomia.

Its offense tentative, Alaska got buried in a 20-36 hole in the second quarter before it dropped a 20-2 bomb in the same period to seize a 40-38 halftime lead.

Tolomia then took over, scattering all of his 10 points in the final two minutes of the third quarter as the Aces entered the final salvo with a 64-55 advantage.

NLEX remained within striking distance with 2:30 minutes left in the fourth, 75-85, only to witness RK Ilagan and Kevin Racal give Alaska a 16-point cushion off back-to-back three-pointers.

Yousef Taha made his presence felt in the win with 9 points, with 5 coming in the fourth quarter, and 12 rebounds, while Mike Digregorio chipped in 9 points.

Also a replacement import like St. Fort, Cameron Clark – who took over the spot left by former NBA player KJ McDaniels – delivered 25 points and 16 rebounds for the Road Warriors but lacked offensive help from the locals.

Kevin Alas (19) and Don Trollano (12) were the only other NLEX players in twin digits.

The Aces and the Road Warriors face off in a rubber match on Saturday, March 19, at the same venue.

The Scores

Alaska 93 – St. Fort 17, Teng 16, Tratter 12, Tolomia 10, Digregorio 9, Taha 9, Ahanmisi 6, Bulanadi 5, Ilagan 3, Racal 3, Faundo 3, Stockton 0, Adamos 0. 

NLEX 79 – Clark 25, Alas 17, Trollano 12, Rosales 7, Paniamogan 5, Quinahan 4, Nieto 3, Chua 2, Soyud 2, Ighalo 2, Miranda 0, Varilla 0. 

Quarters: 12-26, 40-38, 64-55, 93-79.

– Rappler.com

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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.