MANILA, Philippines—Alaska needed only 12 minutes to stage a comeback from 21 points down to stun Petron, 79-71, Wednesday in the 2012 PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces held Petron Blaze to just six points in the payoff period while sizzling with 33 points on combined efforts by Cyrus Baguio, Calvin Abueva and Jvee Casio.
“They just willed the game. It’s so nice to see them not give up,” said head coach Luigi Trillo, who even had two of his main guys not practice with him days leading up to the game.
“Calvin didn’t practice with us for two days, with a second-degree sprain. Casio had fever on our way from Dipolog (last Saturday),” shared Trillo.
Alaska was looking at a 42-63 deficit with just two minutes left in the third, but having just one quarter to overhaul that did not intimidate the Aces.
Especially now Baguio, who finished with 20 points, five rebounds, an assist and four big steals.
“Alam naman namin na sobrang kailangan namin itong larong ito. Yung effort lang talaga namin. Hindi kami nag-panic,” Baguio said.
Baguio finished with 20 points, five rebounds and four big steals.
Abueva, who had zero points in the first half, ended the game close to a double-double with 12 points and nine boards.
His tough turnaround jumper gave the Aces their first lead, 72-71, with 1:18 to go before Baguio capped their stunning comeback with a backbreaking trey.
Casio also chipped in 12 points, with two of his only treys in the game helping Alaska weather Petron Blaze’s lead midway the fourth.
Alaska (8-6) momentarily broke away from a three-way logjam with Meralco and Ginebra (7-6), with still two game days left in the eliminations.
The Boosters, meanwhile, sunk to seventh place with a 6-8 card after setting a franchise low in points scored in the fourth.
Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos, JuneMar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot all finished in double digits but only Santos scored in the payoff period.
ALASKA 79 – Baguio 20, Abueva 12, Casio 12, Hontiveros 10, Thoss 8, Espinas 7, Reyes 3, Baracael 3, Eman 2, De la Cruz 2, Jazul 0, Laure 0, Belasco 0
PETRON 71 – Lassiter 14, Santos 13, Cabagnot 11, Fajardo 10, Yeo 9, Miranda 8, Lutz 4, Ildefonso 2, Washington 0, Pena 0.
Quarters: 19-25, 29-41, 46-65, 79-71