ANTIPOLO CITY - Alaska turned back a resilient Meralco side, 93-89, and extended its winning run in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Sunday at the Ynares Center.
The Aces lost a 13-point third quarter lead but still needed a short telling run inside the final two minutes to escape with the hard-earned win.
It was the third straight win for the Aces, who improved to a 4-2 record.
Looking at the stats of both teams prior to the match, Alaska coach Alex Compton more or less predicted a grindout game between his ballclub and the Bolts.
"I just expected a real tough game. It really changed the game for us when Chris Daniels got into foul trouble and then our locals, all of them, did a great job of playing together," said Compton.
The Aces posted a 68-55 lead in the third quarter but had to sit down for a long stretch after being whistled for his fifth personal foul.
In Daniels' absence, Vic Manuel, Chris Banchero, and Jeron Teng held the fort, although the Bolts were quick to capitalize on Alaska's disadvantage.
A three-pointer by Baser Amer had Meralco closing within 88-87 with 1: 45 left in the game.
But Banchero led a closing 5-2 run to snuff the life out of the Bolts.
Banchero led Alaska with 23 points and nine rebounds while Manuel added 17 and six rebounds while playing extended minutes with Daniels in foul trouble and back up Jake Pascual hurting his shoulder.
Daniels had 12 points, seven rebounds, and managed to finish the game.
Meralco fell to an even 3-3 record as the loss snapped its two game winning run.
Import Gani Lawal had a huge 27-point, 26-rebound effort fot the Bolts, although he committed a total of eight turnovers.
ALASKA (93) - Banchero 23, Manuel 17, Daniels 12, Teng 10, Thoss 7, Pascual 7, Enciso 5, Galiguez 5, Casio 3, Cruz 2, Racal 2.
MERALCO (89) - Lawal 27, Amer 11, Salva 9, Quinto 9, Newsome 8, Caram 7, Hodge 4, Hugnatan 4, Pinto 3, De Ocampo 3, Jackson 2, Canaleta 2.Almazan 0.
Quarterscores: 18-19; 44-42; 71-66; 93-89.