ALASKA revved up its offense in a vicious fourth quarter run to down San Mig Coffee, 112-105, and force a sudden-death in their PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces outscored the Mixers in the final period, 31-16, but coach Luigi Trillo credited their overall team defense for the come-from-behind win that saw them rallied from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit and held the opposition to just two field goals in the final five minutes.
“I was glad that we stepped it up defensively, but we can’t be satisfied now and we can’t celebrate. We got one more (game) to take care of,” Trillo said after beating the second-seeded Mixers.
The deciding game for a berth in the semifinals opposite Meralco is set Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
After playing flat in the third period, the seventh-seeded Aces turned to their defense in the payoff quarter to ignite the amazing comeback.
Cyrus Baguio sparked Alaska’s rally by scoring the team’s first nine points in the fourth before fouling out late in the game.
The Aces took the cue from there, forcing the Mixers to take hurried shots behind their swarming defense and led import Marqus Blakely to commit crucial turnovers that led to easy transition baskets.
Import Wendell McKines fired 38 points, nine of them in the final period including a pair of two-handed dunks that fired up an Alaska side that was fighting for dear life.
JV Casio added 21 points, four rebounds, seven assists, and three steals, while Sonny Thoss and Baguio finished with 17 apiece in a balanced scoring attack for the Aces.
Blakely led the Mixers with 27 points, 12 boards, and seven assists, but also committed five turnovers.
PJ Simon chipped in 15, while Rafi Reavis added 12.
James Yap had 11, but was scoreless in the final period. He shot just 4-of-13 in the game.
Alaska (112) -- McKines 38, Casio 21, Thoss 17, Baguio 17, Espinas 7, Abueva 5, Dela Cruz 4, Jazul 3, Hontiveros 0.
San Mig Coffee (105) -- Blakely 27, Simon 15, Reavis 12, Yap 11, Pingris 11, Devance 10, Maliksi 8, Barroca 6, Mallari 5.
Quarterscores: 30-21; 59-58; 81-89; 112-105.