Alaska Aces 100 – Meralco Bolts 95 (Series tied 1-1)
The Alaska Aces built a big enough lead in the first three quarters to withstand a furious fourth quarter rally from the Meralco Bolts. The Aces broke the seven-game winning streak of the Bolts that stretched all the way back to the eliminations. More importantly, they tie the Semis series at one game apiece.
The Aces leaned on Simon Enciso and Mike Harris to build their big lead in the first three quarters. Enciso erupted for seven points to end the first half. That formed the bulk of a 13-4 run that turned a two-point deficit into a seven-point lead heading into the break.
The Aces carried that momentum into the third quarter where they began to pull away. Enciso and Harris got started the quarter on a 10-4 run to build a 13-point lead. Harris and Vic Manuel then powered their way inside to extend the lead up to 20-points, 66-46. The Bolts put up a fight near the end of the third quarter to cut the deficit down. But Alaska still held a comfortable 14-point lead heading into the final period.
Alaska still held a double-digit advantage midway through the fourth quarter at 12 points. But Meralco refused to let Alaska build on that. Behind Allen Durham, Baser Amer and Chris Newsome they fought their way back in the game. The three teamed up to lead Merlaco to within one possession multiple times in the final minutes.
Newsome’s three-pointer with 14 seconds left cut the lead down to just one point, 95-96. Jvee Casio nailed two free throws to extend the lead to three. Amer had a chance to tie the game but he missed a potential game-tying trey. Enciso sealed the win with two free throws in the final seconds.