MIKE Harris bailed Alaska out from a late Blackwater charge as the Aces hacked out a 116-109 win for a share of top spot in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.
Harris scored six of the team’s last 10 points including a rare four-point play in the final 16 seconds that clinched the Aces' seventh win in nine outings, creating a three-way logjam at No. 1 along with Magnolia and defending champion Ginebra.
The 35-year-old Harris finished with a game-high 38 points including nine in the payoff period. He added 19 rebounds and five assists.
The Elite, which suffered their second straight loss and fell to 6-3, made a last-ditch effort to turn the game around, coming within four points at 110-106 when Harris made the game-winning play.
“He’s special,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton of his import. “Mike’s four-point play obviously sealed it.”
“I’m really happy to come away with the win. I really respect Blackwater and what they are doing.”
Guard Chris Banchero also came up big for the Aces with 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting, including 3-of-5 from three-point range, JVee Casio added 14 and seven assists, while Vic Manuel with 12 points.
"Chris was just dominating the game offensively," said Compton of Banchero, who scored most of his points against the tough defense of Blackwater's Nards Pinto.
Henry Walker posted a triple-double for Blackwater with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
But he also committed a team-high six turnovers, including two inside the final minute that doomed Blackwater's endgame rally.
Alaska (116) - Harris 38, Banchero 28, Casio 14, Manuel 12, Racal 7, Teng 6, Baclao 4, Thoss 4, Enciso 3, Exciminiano 0.
Blackwater (109) - Walker 29, DiGregorio 20, Erram 18, Pinto 13, Maliksi 10, Zamar 10, Al-Hussaini 5, Belo 4, Sena 0, Sumang 0, Jose 0.
Quarterscores: 26-29; 57-45; 87-82; 116109.