ALASKA survived a late scare by Mahindra, 98-94, to gain a share of the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night (early Saturday morning, Manila time) before a packed crowd at the Al Wasl Sports Club in Dubai.
The Aces saw a sizeable lead almost disintegrate no thanks to a late Enforcers rally led by LA Revilla, before proving steadier down the stretch to pull off the hard-earned win in the league’s first game outside of the country this season.
Vic Manuel registered 17 points and nine boards, while Calvin Abueva added 15 points and 13 rebounds as the two energetic forwards provided the spark off the bench, although free throws by JVee Casio and Cyrus Baguio rescued the Aces in the endgame.
The Enforcers suffered another heartbreaking loss after a 101-97 setback at the hands of Talk ‘N Text as they remained winless in three games.
Mahindra, though, gave the Aces a run for their money as they came back from nine points down in the last four minutes.
The pint-sized Revilla stood tallest for the Enforcers, scattering seven of his game-high 19 points in the last 19 seconds to keep his team within striking distance.
Rookie Bradwyn Guinto grabbed 19 rebounds for Mahindra, the most by a freshman since June Mar Fajardo two seasons ago, according to PBA chief statistician and Spin.ph columnist Fidel Mangonon
The Aces continue a grueling UAE schedule as they face Ginebra on Saturday night (Sunday midnight in Manila).
ALASKA 98 – Manuel 17, Abueva 15, Casio 12, Baguio 8, Thoss 7, Dela Rosa 7, Menk 7, Dela Cruz 6, Hontiveros 6, Jazul 5, Banchero 4, Magat 4, Exciminiano 0, Baclao 0
MAHINDRA 94 – Revilla 19, Yee 17, Canaleta 12, Ramos 12, Bagatsing 8, Guinto 6, Pinto 5, Paredes 5, Laure 4, Hubalde 4, Webb 2, Pacquiao 0, Alvarez 0, Baloria 0
Quarterscores: 31-22, 53-40, 70-66, 98-94