Alaska 102 – Kia 94
The Alaska Aces continue to keep their playoff bid alive as they win their third straight game over the Kia Picanto. The Aces got a big game from Calvin Abueva who scored 26 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the win. But even with Abueva beasting, Alaska still needed a big fourth quarter run to overcome a double-digit deficit.
Alaska went into the final period down by 10 as Kia pounded the ball inside for points in the paint in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, it was Buck Henton, Chris Exciminiano and Jvee Casio that led the way for the Aces. Exciminiano scored eight points on inside buckets and midrange jumpers to slowly chip away at the Kia lead. Casio then followed Exciminiano’s lead and scored five straight points to tie the game at 84.
Abueva scored on a put pack off his own miss and a free throw in separate possessions to give Alaska a three-point lead. Kia’s new import Geron Johnson hit a three-pointer to tie the game. Abueva answered back with a drive and assists to Henton for a triple to give Alaska the lead back. Casio hit a dagger jumper off a Kia turnover to put the game safely out of reach.
Henton backed up Abueva with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Casio had 20 points and seven assists of his own. Exciminiano scored 14 points off the bench. Johnson led Kia with 39 big points in the loss.
San Miguel 107 – Ginebra 103
The San Miguel Beermen built a huge double-digit lead in the first half. They would need every point in that lead to take home the win as they survived a furious rally by Barangay Ginebra in the fourth quarter.
Things were going smoothly for the Beermen in the first 24 minutes of the game. New import Terrence Watson immediately showed off his skills as he scored on a turnaround jumper to open the game and then battled inside for offensive rebounds and put back dunks. With a more competitive import in the game, the rest of the Beermen looked energized. Chris Ross mixed up his offense with clean outside shooting and aggressive drives inside. Arwind Santos was also solid off the bench. His outside shooting boosted the Beermen in the second quarter where he hit two three-pointers. After two quarters, the Beermen looked safely ahead, 56-33.
Ginebra wasn’t able to do much in the third quarter as they only cut the lead down to 22 points. They saved their big run in the fourth quarter. the Barangay exploded for 38 points in the final frame as they desperately tried to keep their winning streak alive. Japeth Aguilar and Kevin Ferrer started with an 11-2 run to cut the lead down. Justin Brownlee scored on two put back baskets and Mark Caguioa got a floater inside to cut the lead down to single digits. Alex Cabagnot scored on a corner three-pointer to bring the lead back up to 12 points. He then scored on a midrange jumper a few minutes later to close out the game.
Chris Ross had another 20-point game with 20 points four rebounds and five assists. Arwind Santos contributed 23 points off the bench. Watson led the Beermen with 28 points and 17 rebounds. Japeth Aguilar led Ginebra with 18 points while LA Tenorio backed him up with 17.