Abueva, Baguio nail clutch shots as Alaska escapes Rain or ShineBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines – Alaska drew clutch plays in the last 10 seconds and the Aces salvaged an 83-81 win over Rain or Shine Saturday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Cyrus Baguio scooped it up and in for the game-winner at the buzzer, giving Alaska its first win over Rain or Shine in the last three meetings under head coach Luigi Trillo.
“We haven’t beaten two teams, Rain or Shine and San Mig Coffee, in quite a while,” said Trillo after the game.
Rookie Calvin Abueva nailed a hasty triple from way out with 10.1 seconds left to tie the game at 81, saving a broken play after JVee Casio nearly lost the leather.
The Elastopainters turned to import Bruno Sundov, who threw his weight in the paint, for the game winner, but couldn’t deliver down low.
Abueva grabbed the rebound and set up the fastbreak that led to the final shot as the clock wound down.
“At this point, we just had to expose Sundov a bit. It was a scratch and claw for us,” added Trillo.
The Aces reinforcement Robert Dozier poured 21 points and 16 rebounds, but misfired on two crucial freethrows with 43 seconds left.
Sundov, meanwhile, showcased brilliance with 30 points and 15 rebounds on an efficient 11-of-18 shooting clip and 8-of-10 from the stripe.
The towering import gave Rain or Shine a 79-74 lead midway the fourth quarter, his squad’s biggest lead in the fourth.
The Elastopainters, though, were outrebounded by the Aces, 44-52, as Sundov was the only one cleaning the glass.