Once the San Miguel Beermen found their rhythm, the Alaska Aces couldn’t keep in step.
The Beermen poured in 33 points while holding the Aces to 15 in the third quarter to overhaul a 15-point deficit and win, 109-96, on Saturday night in Batangas City.
Drawing firepower from reliables Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos, San Miguel notched its seventh win against two losses, including a shock defeat to Blackwater last week, to keep top spot in the PBA Philippine Cup.
The Beermen, who bucked the absence of the injured Alex Cabagnot, also bolstered their bid for a top two finish in the elimination round that comes with a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
Santos came through with a dunk off an inbound pass from Ross that shove the Beermen ahead, 98-87, going to the last minute as they dealt the Aces a second straight loss in a 4-6 card.
Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra tries to stay in the hunt for a quarterfinal bonus as it tangles with Meralco in their first meeting since Game 7 of the Governors’ Cup finals at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
In a tie with NLEX at fifth spot with a 5-4 record, the Gin Kings are looking to avoid complications in the quarterfinal race, even as the Bolts are hoping to keep their bid alive for a playoff spot.
With their backs against the wall, the Bolts recovered in time to score a 92-90 win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters last Wednesday.
The Gin Kings are seeking a follow up to their 99-84 drubbing of TNT Ka Tropa last week.
Just like Ginebra, the Road Warriors are gunning for a sixth victory against a Blackwater team coming off a morale-boosting win just two days ago.
Banking on the heroics of rookie Kiefer Ravena, the Road Warriors have put themselves in a strong position of punching their ticket to the quarterfinals with games to spare.
But with the Elite teetering at the brink, Blackwater coach Leo Isaac has challenged his team to get the job done just two days after the 95-76 win over Kia.
Fatigue remains a concern for Isaac, but the veteran mentor feels his team should have more than enough in its tank to overcome NLEX.
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