PBA: Alaska ousts Meralco, clinches last playoff berth
MANILA, Philippines–Alaska slipped past Meralco in overtime, 108-103, to capture the final playoff berth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday night at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Vic Manuel played a sterling game all night, scoring 23 points while JVee Casio added in 14, including the most important baskets of the extra period to give the Aces their first victory in six games—just exactly what they needed to stay alive in the middle conference.
The celebration will be short-lived as Alex Compton and the rest of Alaska now set their sights on the gargantuan task of winning twice against top-ranked TNT which they play on Sunday at the Big Dome.
Chris Banchero scored five straight points in the final moments of the fourth period that sent the game into overtime. He finished with 15 points.
“I think we gave the PBA fans their first taste of [this conference’s] playoff basketball,” Compton said in a candid post-game interview.
“I’m gonna go back to a happy locker room for the first time in a month.”
Delroy James scored 34 for the Bolts, while Chris Newsome tossed in 20 more. Raymond Almazan had 14 points for his new team with 14 points but they were barely felt when the game hung in the balance in overtime.
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