ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines – Mike Harris was a cut above the rest as Alaska avoided falling to a 0-3 hole in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup finals with a 100-71 drubbing of Magnolia at the Ynares Center here on Sunday, December 9.
There was no stopping the Best Import candidate on the night the Aces notched their first win in the best-of-seven championship series after he dropped 36 points and 18 rebounds in only 30 minutes of play.
Harris looked like a man possessed in the 3rd quarter, which saw him drain 3 of his 4 triples and score 22 points of his total output to give Alaska a comfortable 83-50 lead heading into the final frame.
The Hotshots, who rallied in Game 2, still had enough time to stage another comeback midway through the 3rd, 39-55. But Harris scored the Aces' next 18 points – highlighted by two triples and a four-point play – for a 73-49 advantage.
Alaska outscored Magnolia, 33-14, in the 3rd.
"Overall, the story of the game in the first 3 quarters was we made a bunch of shots, we didn't turn it over, and we defended at the same time," said Alaska head coach Alex Compton.
Vic Manuel finished with 14 points, Simon Enciso chalked up 12 while Carl Bryan Cruz added 10 points for the Aces, who handed the Hotshots their worst finals loss in franchise history.
After frolicking in the paint in Magnolia's back-to-back wins, import Romeo Travis was limited to 18 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Mark Barroca was the only other Hotshots player in double figures with 13 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds. Ian Sangalang and Robbie Herndon added 7 markers apiece in the loss.
Game 4 is on Wednesday, December 12, at the Araneta Coliseum.
Alaska 100 – Harris 36, Manuel 14, Enciso 12, Cruz 10, Banchero 6, J. Pascual 4, Teng 4, Galliguez 4, Casio 4, Andrada 2, Baclao 2, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0, Magat 0, Potts 0.
Magnolia 71 – Travis 18, Barroca 13, Herndon 7, Sangalang 7, Mendoza 6, Dela Rosa 5, Abundo 4, Reavis 3, Lee 2, Ramos 2, Melton 2, Jalalon 2, Simon 0, Gamalinda 0, Brondial 0, K. Pascual 0.
Quarters: 16-22, 50-36, 83-50, 100-71.
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.