SAN Miguel's spirited run fell short late as Alaska pulled off an 81-79 win Friday, in a game where Terrence Romeo suffered a right ankle injury.
The defeat left the defending champions winless in the Phoenix Super Basketball Tournament at Upper Deck Gym in Pasig.
Alex Cabagnot's three at the buzzer failed to find the bottom of the net as the Aces escaped with a gritty win and avoid a 14-point meltdown.
"I was telling the team that I wish all our practice games are like these cause this is where you learn the most and it forces you to be more clear and be able to execute lalo na defensively," said Aces coach Jeffrey Cariaso.
Alaska lost grip of a 62-48 heading to the payoff period as Chris Ross' three with 20.3 seconds cut the deficit down to one, 79-78.
Vic Manuel gave the Aces a bit of a breathing room with 17.1 ticks left, but Cabagnot split from the line to make it an 81-79 affair with 12.5 seconds remaining.
The Beermen were able to make one last defensive stand, forcing Manuel to turn the ball over with nine seconds left, but Cabagnot failed to finish his heroic act with his missed winner late.
Manuel starred for Alaska with 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals, while Robbie Herndon sizzled with 19 points, 14 coming in the Aces' blazing third quarter, on top of eight boards, five steals, and three dimes.
Rodney Brondial added a double-double of 14 points and 17 rebounds, as JVee Casio had 12 in the win.
Rodney Brondial tries to break free from the SMB defense.
Cabagnot captained the Beermen with 22 points, five rebounds, and five assists, while Mo Tautuaa produced 12 points, six boards, and two dimes.
ALASKA 81 -- Herndon 19, Brondial 14, Manuel 12, Casio 12, Ebona 10, Ayaay 8, Ahanmisi 2, Teng 2, Andrada 2, Racal 0, Galliguez 0, DiGregorio 0.
SAN MIGUEL 79 -- Cabagnot 22, Tautuaa 12, Romeo 10, Ross 8, Zamar 8, Gamalinda 7, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Santos 4, Pessumal 0, Alolino 0, Mamaril 0, Comboy 0, De Guzman 0.
Quarters: 10-15, 33-37, 62-48, 81-79.