Alaska boosts playoff bid with 2OT win over Meralco
MANILA, Philippines — Alaska gave its playoff bid a boost after taking down Meralco in double overtime, 108-103, in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Tuesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces bucked the absence of their injured starting guard JVee Casio and the ouster of import Damion James late in the first overtime.
James recorded 25 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks before fouling out with 47.3 seconds left in OT but the Aces’ locals stepped up collectively to fill the void. A basket by Sonny Thoss broke the game’s final deadlock, giving Alaska a 101-99 lead with 2:20 left.
“We’re really, really proud of our locals. DJ (James) is a really good import for us and then he fouled and we’re still able to win without him,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton. “That’s stuff because they still have Davis and our guys made the plays.”
Veteran swingman Dondon Hontiveros made four free throws in the final 15.8 seconds left to seal the Aces’ fourth win in nine games.
Off a steal, John Wilson sent the game into double overtime on a contested 3-pointer, 97-all, with 0.7 tenths of a second left.
Alaska guard Cyrus Baguio tied the game for the 14th and final time in regulation at 87 on two free throws with 1:25 left. Meralco had a couple of chances to take the lead but Cliff Hodge misfired on an open 3-pointer and Josh Davis missed a tough shot.
James had the game in his hands in the waning seconds of regulation but his drive to the basket was disrupted by Davis as time expired and the game went to its first OT.
Calvin Abueva added 18 points and nine rebounds but committed nine turnovers for Alaska.
Davis notched game-highs 34 points and 17 rebounds in 52 minutes for Meralco, which yielded the top spot to defending champion Purefoods. With the loss, the Bolts slipped half a game behind the Hotshots with a 6-3 mark.
The league saw another game being decided in at least two overtimes in just a span of three days after Purefoods outlasted Talk ‘N Text in triple overtime last Saturday in Davao.