Aces add to Hotshots’ woes, climb to 5-1
Alaska outwitted Star down the stretch to win, 107-102, and grab a share of the top spot in the 2016 Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup Tuesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
JVee Casio unleashed 14 of his game-high 24 points while Vic Manuel scattered 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists, including a timely dish to a cutting Cyrus Baguio off an inbound play that gave the Aces a 105-102 lead with only 7.4 seconds left.
“What a game. They did a good job coming back. We squeaked by with that one. We had a couple late game transition baskets and we got barely enough stops to get by,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton after his team tied defending champion San Miguel Beer in first place with a 5-1 record.
James Yap anchored the Hotshots’ rally in the fourth quarter but muffed a wide open shot from point-blank with his team down by three with under 20 seconds to go and turned the ball over with under five ticks left that sealed the Aces victory.
Yap finished with a team-high 20 points that went with seven rebounds while Marc Pingris added 17 points, five rebounds and five assists for Star, which lost its third straight game to fall to 2-5.