Alaska made a big turnaround from a flat performance Sunday and stopped Meralco’s seven-game charge with a crucial 100-95 victory in Game Two of their PBA Governors Cup best-of-five semifinal series at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Tuesday night.
Mike Harris, Simon Enciso and Chris Banchero led the way before the Aces knocked in critical charities at the finish to fend off the Bolts’ endgame fightback and force a one-game-all deadlock in the series.
“We got out of a hole and we’ve now got a best-of-three,” sighed Alaska coach Alex Compton.
The two teams slug it out again at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Cuneta Astrodome, with the winner moving on the threshold of the best-of-seven finals.
Curiously, Compton called an early timeout after his troops committed early fouls in the payoff quarter. “We can’t afford to get early fouls and get to early foul-trouble situation,” he reminded his team.
Harris came through with game-highs of 37 points and 19 rebounds, Enciso sizzled with five three-pointers and a career-high total of 23 while Banchero frolicked with a near triple-double with 13 markers, 11 boards and eight dole-outs.
Alaska 100 – Harris 37, Enciso 23, Banchero 13, Manuel 7, Baclao 6, Racal 5, Casio 4, Exciminiano 3, Teng 2, Thoss 0.
Meralco 95 – Durham 24, Salva 20, Amer 14, Hugnatan 12, Tolomia 10, Newsome 6, Caram 4, Canaleta 3, Faundo 2, Dillinger 0, Ballesteros 0.
Quarterscores: 23-21, 47-40, 74-60, 100-95.