Clutch Banchero lifts Alaska past Meralco for 3rd straight win

Some big games are coming up for Alaska and Meralco unwittingly helped the Aces in their preparations.

Alaska fully displayed its mettle in the tight endgame to hurdle Meralco 93-89 Sunday and stretch its winning streak to three in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares center in Antipolo City.

Chris Banchero merely shook off an injured left hand to finish with 23 points and nine rebounds and, together with Simon Enciso, delivered the points which made the difference inside the last 95 seconds.

As a result, the Aces improved to a 4-2 win-loss record while dropping the Bolts to an even 3-3 slate.

“It was a game we have to have,” said Banchero in a television interview after adding four assists and two steals and taking the lead from the foul-saddled Chris Daniels.

In only his second game of the season, Vic Manuel also played a big part with 17 points, on just nine shots, aside from six boards.

Daniels still finished the game and wound up with 12 points and seven rebounds, a far cry from his averages of 21.8 and 13.4. He did score on a jumper that made it an 84-80 count and stole the ball off Lawal that led to that Enciso freebie.

The scores:

Alaska 93 – Banchero 23, Manuel 17, Daniels 12, Teng 10, Pascual 7, Thoss 7, Enciso 5, Galliguez 5, Casio 3, Racal 2, Cruz 2.

Meralco 89 – Lawal 27, Amer 11, Salva 9, Quinto 9, Newsome 8, Caram 7, Hugnatan 4, Hodge 4, De Ocampo 3, Pinto 3, Canaleta 2, Jackson 2, Almazan 0.

Quarterscores: 18-19, 44-42, 71-66, 93-89

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