Alaska vaults to solo leadBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SWEETER the second time around.
Alaska overhauled a bigger Rain or Shine deficit this time and then completed another miraculous comeback without an import in the final 3:20 for an 89-84 overtime win that all but gave the Aces a twice-to-beat edge in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
Dondon Hontiveros shot the lights out at Smart Araneta Coliseum in the fourth quarter and in extension, hitting six of his seven triples in that span as the Aces completed a comeback from 22 points down in the third period to improve their league-leading slate to 9-3.
Alaska, which lost import Robert Dozier to fouls with 3:20 to go to be down, 81-84, thus swept its two matches in the round against Rain or Shine counting an 83-81 win where the Aces scored five unanswered points inside the final 24 seconds.
Rain or Shine dropped to 8-4 but still remained solidly in second spot, still with the inside track on the other twice-to-beat privilege after Meralco downed Petron Blaze, 102-92, in the first
Earlier, Eric Dawson played the game of his life, producing the highest individual output in the PBA in nine years by shooting 57 points to carry Meralco past Petron Blaze.
Draining shots from inside and out, the agile 6-foot-10 Dawson was the puzzle the powerhouse Boosters failed to solve all night as he scored in twin digits in each quarter to ultimately lead the Bolts to their sixth win in 11 games and a virtual seat in the playoffs.
Derrick Brown also scored the same total for defunct Sta. Lucia in the 2004 Fiesta Conference. It was also the most points scored since Zach Graham churned out 51 for Air21 last year.
MERALCO 102—Dawson 57, Cardona 13, Hugnatan 13, Salvacion 8, Timberlake 4, Vanlandingham 3, Hodge 2, Reyes 2, Ross 0, Buenafe 0.
PETRON 92—Sims 23, Lassiter 15, Santos 10, Cabagnot 9, Fajardo 8, Washington 8, Lutz 6, Miranda 6, Pena 5, Lanete 2.
Quarters: 22-28, 46-47, 75-70, 102-92
ALASKA 89—Dozier 23, Hontiveros 22, Baguio 12, Casio 9, Abueva 8, Espinas 6, Reyes 4, Jazul 3, Belasco 2, Eman 0, Thoss 0, Dela Cruz 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 84—Sundov 23, Lee 12, Norwood 12, Chan 12, Belga 6, Tang 4, Quinahan 4, Ibanes 4, Arana 3, Tiu 2, Cruz 1, Matias 1, Rodriguez 0.
Quarters: 11-20, 27-44, 47-64, 79-79, 89-84