San Miguel Beermen 109 – Alaska Aces 96
The San Miguel Beermen had to come back from a double-digit deficit and fend off a last ditch effort from the Alaska Aces to reclaim their number one rank.
The Aces were looking to bounce back from a loss in their last game against a familiar foe. Playing without Chris Banchero and Jeron Teng, Alaska leaned on the outside shooting of Jvee Casio, Simon Enciso and surprise contributor, Ronald Pascual. Casio and Enciso waxed hot in the first half of the game as Alaska built a 10-point lead after 12 minutes. In the second quarter, it was Pascual’s turn to find his range. He hit consecutive three-pointers to help Alaska build a 15-point lead, their biggest of the game.
Alaska continued to hold the lead in the third quarter but the Beermen proceeded to start chopping it down. San Miguel concentrated their attack inside with Chris Ross leading the way. Ross aggressively attacked the paint, opening up opportunities for the rest of his team. Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo benefited from Ross’ aggressiveness as they got open looks in their spots. San Miguel opened the final period with back-to-back three-pointers to bring their lead up to nine points. They continued to attack the paint and were able to build an 11-point lead heading into the final minutes of the game.
Alaska had one last run in them. Casio led an 8-2 run in the final two minutes to cut the lead down to just five points. But the Beermen slammed the door on the Aces when Santos scored on back-to-back baskets to put the game out of reach.