MANILA – Alaska Aces survived an endgame spurt by the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters to escape with a 105-102 victory in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Already comfortably ahead at 103-90 following a basket from Vic Manuel, the Aces were stunned by a 9-0 blast by the Fuel Masters, capped by a triple by Matthew Wright, to cut their lead to 103-102.
Jvee Casio calmly sank two free throws for the Alaska as the lead increased to 105-102 with nine seconds to play before forcing Phoenix to miss their final attempt.
Manuel finished the match with 20 points while Jeron Teng added 17 markers.
The Aces notched its third straight victory to improve to 4-6 win-loss record.
For Alaska, Franko House finished with double-double 15 points and 18 rebounds while Maverick Ahanmisi and Kevin Racal added 12 and 11 markers, respectively.
Matthew Wright had double-double 25 points and 10 assists, while Alonzo Gee added 23 markers as the Fuel Masters bows out of playoffs contention with its 2-8 record.
In the first game, NorthPort Batang Pier recovered from a flat start to score a 102-94 upset over the NLEX Road Warriors and kept its playoffs hopes alive.
Michael Qualls and Christian Standhardinger took turns on offense for the Batang Pier to get back on the winning track after trailing by as much as 15 points to start the game.
Qualls finished the match with double-double 36 points and 11 rebounds, while Standhardinger chipped in 23 markers and 19 boards for the 4-6 Batang Pier.
Sean Anthony also came up huge with 19 points for the Batang Pier, which were without injured key players Robert Bolick, Jonathan Grey and Bradwyn Guinto in the win./PN