BLACKWATER gave Alaska false hopes of finally putting an end to its misery before hacking out a 111-106 win in double overtime in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Elite simply prolonged the Aces’ agony, allowing Alaska to make a late rally in regulation and keep it a nip-and-tuck battle in the extra sessions, before coming through with the biggest plays late in the second overtime to register a franchise-record third straight win and level their win-loss record to 3-3.
Bill Walker took a backseat to the locals in the extra sessions, but carried enough of the load early on to still produce a monstrous 35 points, spiked by five treys, and 32 rebounds, along with three steals, two assists, and one block in 58 minutes.
Mike DiGregorio drained the triple that gave the Elite the lead for good at 107-106 with a minute and three seconds left of what turned out to be a late shootout as they dealt the Aces their 13th straight defeat.
“Really, you can’t get an easy win here in the PBA,” Elite coach Leo Isaac said. “We thought we had an easy ending going into the final six minutes of the game, then suddenly they came down charging.”
“Good thing we had some presence of mind, the character to survive those two overtimes, and lady luck was on our side,” he added.
Indeed, the Elite had to endure some anxious moments late in regulation when they saw the Aces erase an 11-point deficit inside the last seven minutes of the fourth quarter, making a run capped by a Simon Enciso floater that sent the game into overtime at 91-all.
The Elite, though, drew timely contribution from their locals aside from DiGregorio as Bambam Gamalinda finished with 15 points and 11 boards, while Poy Erram anchored the defense again as he registered 13 points, 13 boards, and one block.
A marked man after firing a career-high 32 points against NLEX last Friday, Roi Sumang wound up scoreless in regulation, but scored four crucial points in the extra sessions, although he could’ve sealed the win in the first overtime had his last-ditch layup attempt not been blocked.
Buck Henton led the Aces with 31 points and 10 caroms, but airballed a crucial three-point attempt down the stretch.
JVee Casio added 25 points, including the triple that gave the Aces their last taste of the lead at 106-104 with 1:17 to go before DiGreogrio retaliated with the go-ahead trey.
BLACKWATER 111 – Walker 35, DiGregorio 17, Gamalinda 15, Erram 13, Canaleta 9, Cruz 8, Pinto 6, Sumang 4, Sena 2, Miranda 2, Aguilar 0, K. Pascual 0
ALASKA 106 – Henton 31, Casio 25, Enciso 11, Banchero 10, Thoss 10, Manuel 6, Baclao 6, Galliguez 3, Exciminiano 2, Mendoza 2, Hontiveros 0, Racal 0
Quarterscores: 25-13, 44-40, 68-60, 91-91, 97-97, 111-106