ALASKA leaned on the heroics of import Romeo Travis to outlast San Miguel Beer, 82-77, to clinch the top seed in the PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals on Saturday in Panabo, Davao del Norte.
The Aces squandered a huge 21-point lead, but their hardworking import spared the blushes by scoring five points and grabbed a crucial offensive down the stretch to pull off the relieving win that snapped the Beermen’s eight-game winning streak.
Alaska, on the other hand, stretched its own run, winning for the fourth time in a row to supplant their victims at the top of the 12-team standings.
Travis finished with 32 points and 10 boards in the Petron Saturday special offering at the Panabo Multi-Purpose Tourism Cultural and Sports Center.
The Aces seemed poised for a lopsided victory as they enjoyed a 55-34 cushion early in the third quarter.
But the Beermen, eager to protect their longest winning streak in a while, banked on a blistering rally that saw them erase the deficit and even take the lead, the last at 77-74 after a Marcio Lassiter right-corner triple with a little over three minutes left.
Travis, though, rescued the Aces as he scored five straight points to give his team the lead for good, then preserved the win by hauling down an offensive rebound after JVee Casio split his charities with 13.2 seconds to go.
Calvin Abueva sustained his efficient showing, churning out 12 points, six boards, and one assist in just 13 minutes.
AZ Reid, coming off a triple-double effort in a win against Blackwater, was held to 17 points on a dismal 29 percent (7-of-24) shooting from the field.
ALASKA (82) – Travis 32, Abueva 12, Casio 7, Banchero 7, Baguio 6, Thoss 6, Dela Rosa 5, Hontiveros 5, Dela Cruz 1, Manuel 1, Jazul 0, Exciminiano 0, Eman 0,
SMB (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.