Even with a badly depleted lineup, Alaska Milk found a way to check its slide and seal a spot in the Top Six – thanks largely to Jvee Casio and Marion Magat.
Casio came through with a career-first triple-double job while Magat delivered a breakthrough game as the Aces beat out the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 99-95, in a gut-wrenching battle for a sure twice-to-beat incentive in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.
Jeron Teng, Kevin Racal, Vic Manuel, Simon Enciso and Sonny Thoss had their significant contributions as the Aces bucked the absence of Calvin Abueva, Carl Bryan Cruz and Chris Banchero to end their elims stint with seven wins against four losses.
Casio, however, stood out with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a superb triple-double effort highlighted by two key free throws that made it 98-95 with 11.4 ticks left.
The E-Painters had their chance to force overtime but Mark Borboran missed a three-pointer in the dying seconds, and thus ROS got stalled at fifth place at 5-4.
Alaska 99 – Casio 22, Teng 14, Magat 14, Racal 13, Manuel 12, Thoss 10, Enciso 10, Baclao 2, Exciminiano 2, J. Pascual 0, R.Pascual 0, Galliguez 0, Potts 0
Rain or Shine 95 – Ahanmisi 23, Yap 17, Daquioag 14, Almazan 12, Belga 11, Nambatac 9, Borboran 5, Ponferada 4, Trollano 0, King 0, Onwubere 0
Quarterscores:26-23, 44-43, 72-71, 99-95.