THE Alaska Aces outlasted the NLEX Road Warriors, 122-119, to bolster their campaign for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinal round of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup on Monday, at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Pampanga.
The win allowed Alaska to end their elimination round stint with a 7-4 (win-loss) record, which is good for fourth place in the standings. However, they still have to wait for the elims to conclude on Wednesday before they learn what their fate will be in the next round. The top four finishers will gain a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
The loss was painful for NLEX as it snapped their three-game winning streak and placed them in ninth place in the standings at 4-6.
Maverick Ahanmisi scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Aces, including a layup that gave his team a 120-115 lead with just 1:22 remaining in the extra session. NLEX star Kiefer Ravena then retaliated with a layup of his own to trim the deficit to three, 117-120.
Later, Ravena had a clean shot at tying the game but missed a three-point attempt. Alaska guard JVee Casio then made a free-throw to widen the gap to four, 121-117. Cebuano big man JR Quiñahan gave the Road Warriors a little bit of life with a long two-pointer but Alaska forward Abu Tratter secured the victory with a free-throw.
The loss spoiled impressive games by Ravena and Quiñahan. The former Ateneo de Manila star had 30 points while the University of the Visayas product scored 24 markers. (JNP)