MANILA – Alaska Aces pulled one back from San Miguel Beermen with a 125-104 victory in Game 3 of the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five semifinals last night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Vic Manuel bounce back from a pair of subpar showing with 24 points while import Diamon Simpson added double-double 21 points and 13 rebounds.
The Aces trimmed the semifinals deficit to 1-2.
It also drew strong performances from Jvee Casio and Simon Enciso, who had 15 and 10 markers, respectively.
Negrense Siverino Baclao also contributed nine points and seven rebounds while hounding Beermen’s June Mar Fajardo.
The Aces surged to a 16-8 start with eight early points from Kevin Racal and back-to-back hits from Jeron Teng. The Beermen countered with a run to take a 22-21 edge but the Aces regained the lead at 27-25 on inside shots by Manuel.
The Beermen surged ahead early in the second quarter at 35-33. The Aces responded with back-to-back shots from Abel Gallinguez and inside hits from Manuel and Simpson to take a 64-55 halftime advantage.
The Aces opened the third frame with 71-57 advantage on hits from Simpson. The Beermen tried to make a run to come to within 74-77 but the Aces answered with a 17-3 run behind Manuel and Simpson for a 94-77 edge.
The Aces went on to build its largest lead at 106-83 on conversions from Carl Bryan Cruz and Simon Enciso . The Beermen made its last push to come to within 100-113 before Manuel put the game away for the Aces with back-to-back perimeter hits.
Renaldo Balkman finished with double-double 28 points and 11 rebounds. while Fajardo added 18 points and 15 boards for the defending champions Beermen.
San Miguel will again try to close out the Aces in Game 4 on Sunday night.
ALASKA 125 – Manuel 24, Simpson 21, Casio 15, Enciso 10, Exciminiano 9, Baclao 9, Racal 8, J. Pascual 7, Galliguez 7, Teng 6, Cruz 5, Thoss 4.
SAN MIGUEL 104 – Balkman 28, Fajardo 18, Standhardinger 10, Ross 9, Lassiter 9, Cabagnot 8, Heruela 8, Lanete 6, Nabong 5, Santos 3.
Quarterscores: 27-25, 64-55, 94-77, 125-104./PN