Sonny Thoss and Chris Banchero were already having a special game for Alaska.
Then they made sure their efforts did not go to waste by coming up big in the endgame to lift the Aces to a hard-earned 103-101 win over Blackwater Wednesday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Banchero’s mid-range jumper, followed by Thoss’ own 17-footer, enabled Alaska to overcome a 99-100 deficit and go into the last 34 seconds with a three-point lead.
Roi Sumang inched the Elite closer with a charity and the count held when the Aces were able to regain possession following a miss by Ping Exciminiano.
In the end, Alaska emerged with a second straight win to improve to 2-1 while dealing Blackwater a fourth straight loss that dropped it to 1-6.
No matter the score, this one should sting the Elite as much as their last three defeats by an average of 17 points.
True to coach Bong Ramos’ wish, Blackwater kept the game close and even wrested the upper hand several times after trailing by 13 points in the third quarter.
Alaska 103 – Teng 18, Cruz 18, Thoss 16, Exciminiano 14, Banchero 11, Ayaay 9, Pascual 8, Galliguez 7, Potts 2, Baclao 0.
Blackwater 101 – Maliksi 25, Sumang 18, Digregorio 14, Jose 9, Tratter 7, Belo 7, Sena 6, Cortez 6, Desiderio 4, Alolino 3, Eriobu 2, Javier 0, Banal 0.
Quarterscores: 29-28, 49-48, 75-72, 103-101.