The Alaska Aces squandered a huge advantage in the first half but got crucial baskets from Romeo Travis down the stretch to prevail in a dogfight against San Miguel Beer, 82-77 in the 2015 PBA Governors’ Cup Saturday in Panabo City, Davao.
Travis drained back to back baskets inside the final two minutes to push the Aces ahead while JVee Casio sank clutch free throws in the dying moments to preserve the victory.
Alaska improved to 8-2 overall, snatching the top seed in the elimination round while also putting a stop to San Miguel’s eight-game winning streak.
The Beermen fell to 8-3, good for second seed in the quarterfinals.
The Aces led by as much as 19 in the first half before a gallant fightback from the Beermen made it a tight encounter in the fourth.
A four-point play by Ronald Tubid tied the count at 74-all while another trey from Marcio Lassiter gave San Miguel the 77-74 cushion.
But two consecutive drives by Travis led to layups, including an and-one play under the last minute to give Alaska back the margin, 79-77.
In the next possession, AZ Reid launched an ill-advised attempt from three-point land which kissed the front of the rim. Alaska coraled the rebound and wasted enough time before a triple from Dondon Hontiveros went short.
However, Casio secured an offensive rebound and was fouled with 13 seconds to go. The Aces guard made the first but muffed his second, giving leeway to San Miguel.
But the Beermen failed to secure another board, as Travis grabbed the offensive rebound leading to two more charities from Casio to seal the game.
Alaska (82) – Travis 32, Abueva 12, Casio 7, Banchero 7, Baguio 6, Thoss 6, Dela Rosa 5, Hontiveros 5, Manuel 1, Dela Cruz 1, Eman 0, Jazul 0, Exciminiano 0
San Miguel (77) – Reid 17, Tubid 15, Fajardo 12, Ross 8, Cabagnot 8, Santos 6, Lassiter 5, Espinas 5, Lutz 1, Reyes 0,
Quarterscores: 23-10, 47-31, 65-59, 82-77