ALASKA played just hard enough to repulse Columbian Dyip, 104-94, in a crucial rebound that bolstered its top four bid in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Mike Harris went unstoppable all game-long, banging away with 44 points and grabbing 27 rebounds as the Aces clinched their sixth win in eight outings in a tie with Backwater for third and fourth places in the standings.
Vic Manuel, JV Casio and Chris Banchero shone brightest among the locals to help Alaska rebound from an 83-73 loss it suffered at the hands of now solo leader Magnolia last Oct. 14.
Manuel finished with 16 points and six rebounds, Casio added 10 points, but it was Banchero who did remarkable damage after finishing with 10 points on top of seven rebounds and 11 assists.
The win primed the Aces up for tougher games ahead in their bid to gain the luxury of having to win only once in the next round.
The Aces dominated the game from start to finish and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way as the Dyip simply failed to flash some sort of killing instinct in the game.
At one point, the Dyip managed to come within 95-88 on a drive by Shawn McCarthy with a little over five minutes left, only to fail to sustain the heat even as the Aces were sputtering.
The Dyip thus remained winless in nine outings as they head for another forgettable campaign in the PBA.
Harris already tallied a double-double in the first half, scoring 25 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
His three-point shot which barely beat the shot-clock gave the Aces a 45-31 lead with 6:15 left in the second period and sent the Dyip calling for timeout which did very little help.
The Dyip came through with a brief spurt ignited by JR Reyes’ basket to move within 45-36, but Sonny Thoss struck for consecutive jumpers to highlight the Aces’ retaliation that kept Alaska’s twin-digit advantage at the turn, 53-43.
Alaska (104) - Harris 44, Manuel 16, Banchero 10, Casio 10, Baclao 6, Thoss 6, Enciso 4, Exciminiano 4, Racal 2, Teng 2, Pascual 0.
Columbian (94) - Wright 19, Corpuz 19, King 14, Celda 11, Reyes 8, McCarthy 7, Lastimosa 6, Tubid 6, Khobuntin 2, Ababou 2, Escoto 0, Cabrera 0.
Quarterscores: 33-24, 53-43, 85-72, 104-94.